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Pony Car Examine-up: If Only Our Lives Were As Stable As the Dodge Challenger’s Sales

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Image: Tim Healey/TTAC

What’s one thing that’s actually, actually previous, but continues to draw a gentle movement of consumers yr after yr? You may say the Colt 1911 and its knock-offs, and also you’d be proper — in truth, an previous American pistol that packs a punch and by no means actually noticed the want to enhance in a serious means looks like an apt comparability to what we’re truly speaking about.

When it first appeared on gross sales charts in Might of 2008, the Dodge Challenger was pure throwback. A cherry to put on prime of the brash, retro sundae Chrysler had constructed out of its 300 and Charger sedans. In case you missed it, final month was the 10-yr anniversary of the reborn Challenger’s first full month of American gross sales; the TTAC crew deferred its celebrations till July 4th.

Looking at the gross sales efficiency of its home, um, challengers, it looks like the two-door Dodge may outlive us all. Will the final American passenger car on the market experience into the sundown with a supercharged roar and two smoking rear tires?

You’d be forgiven for considering that. When it comes to quantity, the Challenger takes second place in the pony car battle with 37,367 models bought over the first half of 2018. However whereas the first-place Ford Mustang’s forty two,428 YTD gross sales modestly trounces its FCA rival, trajectory counts for one thing.

Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2

Mustang quantity fell four.9 %, yr so far, regardless of June offering the Blue Oval with a 19.6 % yr-over-yr uptick for the month. The Challenger, on the different hand, noticed gross sales rise three.three %, yr over yr. Over 2018’s first half, Challenger quantity rose four.1 %.

It’s value noting that Mustang gross sales are much more fickle than that of the Challenger’s. To take a look at the final 15 years in Mustang gross sales is to take a look at twin peaks. From 166,530 models bought in 2006 to only sixty six,623 three years later, Mustang gross sales rebounded to 122,349 in 2015, solely to fall once more, to lower than eighty two,000 in 2017.

The Mustang’s a yo-yo. That’s what you get whenever you truly redesign your mannequin every so often.

Anyway, if Fiat Chrysler retains this up, it simply may discover itself surpassing final yr’s tally, which wasn’t far off 2015’s excessive water mark. That yr, after seven years of steadily rising quantity, People took residence sixty six,365 of the LX-platform coupes. The next yr noticed sixty four,478 Challengers depart the supplier lot. And 2017? FCA unloaded sixty four,537 of ’em. That’s amazingly constant quantity for a heavy, two-door passenger car that isn’t precisely the freshest factor round.

In fact, it’s one just a few automobiles the place you’ll want all 5 fingers on one hand to rely the engine choices, with no electric help in sight. Only the addition, years again, of a three.6-liter Pentastar V6 base engine and eight-velocity automated in the lineup gave any nod in the direction of environmental stewardship. And but the Challenger, a decade on, manages to buck two tendencies: our simultaneous, self-defeating thirst for each SUVs and extremely-inexperienced driving (the latter of which is especially simply an OEM rivalry spurred by rosy predictions and worry of presidency).

For the coming mannequin yr, the Challenger Hellcat good points a further 10 ponies (to 717 hp), whereas the semi-Demon Reyere variant leaves the gate with 797 hp on faucet. It’s superb seeing the quantity of mileage FCA will get out of including energy to an historic mannequin.

However you’re forgetting one thing, you say. What about the Chevrolet Camaro?

Image: GM

Can’t overlook that, although many consumers have already got. The Camaro’s first-half quantity stands at 25,380 automobiles, which represents a 30.6 % drop from the similar interval final yr. We will solely common GM’s quarterly gross sales reports over three months, nevertheless it returns a determine of four,529 — which means June doubtless noticed a yr-over-yr gross sales dip. Sadly for Chevy, the sixth-era lookalike Camaro, even with the addition of the 650 hp ZL1, hasn’t set gross sales on hearth.

Its introduction led to a gentle decline for the mannequin which, to its credit score, nonetheless posted gross sales quantity of over sixty seven,000 automobiles in 2017.

For 2019, the mannequin undergoes a trim-dependent styling refresh (Turbo 1LE seen above) and makes 4-cylinder energy out there on extra variants, probably luring in consumers concerned about additional features and flash, however no further sprint. To beat the Challenger in full-yr 2018 gross sales, these new faces might want to show very common.

[Images: © 2018 Tim Healey/TACC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

– Pony Car Examine-up: If Only Our Lives Were As Stable As the Dodge Challenger’s Sales –

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