Road & Track magazine announced Thursday that American muscle cars are cool and ruling the roads, as Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, commonly known in the auto world as the "Detroit 3," take up three of the top four spots in the magazine's Performance Car of the Year contest for 2016.
"It's like the engineers are sitting in meetings asking, 'What's the coolest thing we can do?'" Larry Webster, editor at Road & Track, told USA Today. "The domestic manufacturers are giving their engineers more freedom to than any other companies in the world and we're the beneficiaries."
Road & Track magazine picks the candidates for Performance Car of the Year based on the numbers and the feel of the vehicles.
"The experience of driving and the character of the car trump everything else," Webster said. "We're not looking for the perfect car. We're looking for the car that moves and excites us."
The list of candidates for Performance Car of the Year has eight cool cars: the Bentley Continental GT3-R, Cadillac ATS-V coupe, Chevrolet Corvette ZO6, Dodge Viper ACR, Ferrari 488 GTB, Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang, Mercedes-AMG GT S and Porsche Cayman GT4, according to USA Today.
"One of the things the Detroit 3 do well is ratchet performance up to super car levels without super car cost," said veteran automotive journalist Bill Visnic.
"There's been a comeback by performance and sports cars, especially cars from the Detroit 3, since the Great Recession," said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader. "They're among the most researched vehicles online and the strongest sellers."
This good news comes at a great time for GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, as they have all reported high October sales, Fox Business reported. Sales are up 16 percent at GM, 13 percent at Ford and 15 percent at Fiat Chrysler. Auto sales could reach their highest sales volume since 2001.