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Muscle Car Sales Charging Up in America

Buyers pony up cash despite challenges of ownership.

by on Jun.30, 2015

Muscle car sales, including those of the Dodge Challenger, are on the rise in the U.S.

If it appears that there are more Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers on the roads around town, it’s not a figment of your imagination: American muscle cars are big sellers these days.

According to Experian Automotive, muscle car sales are up more than 35% in the last nine years with the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro leading the charge. Through May Ford sold 56,571 Mustangs; Chevy sold 33,982 Camaros, according to Autodata Corp. The Dodge Challenger is in third place, with 30,166 sold.

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“The love of the Mustang combined with the reintroduction of the Camaro, Challenger and Charger has sparked a resurgence of the muscle car,” said Brad Smith, Experian’s director of automotive statistics. (more…)

Dodge Challenger Hellcat Opens up New Muscle Car Era

Muscle car brand fills in gaps as it expands Challenger line-up.

by on Jul.18, 2014

The Dodge brand is putting more emphasis on performance with the new Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Dodge is revamping its lineup of muscle cars for 2015; using the stunning 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat as a calling card to show that it is possible to blend modern technology with traditional design cues to create an entirely new line of vehicles with power, distinctive heritage and celebrated silhouettes.

Though sales have slipped a bit in recent months – nothing unusual for a model about to get a major redesign – the muscle coupe has given competitors such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro a run for their money since Challenger was re-launched in 2009.

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A big part of its appeal has been a distinctive design that “won’t get lost in a mall parking lot,” said Tim Kiniskis, head of the Dodge brand, during the first media drive of the 2015 model.

But performance also matters to these buyers, and as the most powerful factory-built muscle car ever, the $60,000 Hellcat is expected to serve as a halo car for not only the SRT line of performance cars, but the entire Dodge brand.

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Dodge Delivers Unexpected 707 HP with Challenger SRT Hellcat

Most powerful muscle car ever?

by on Jul.02, 2014

When the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat hit showrooms this fall, it will boast 707 horsepower.

When it announced plans for the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat a few months ago, Chrysler’s performance brand suggested it would deliver “600-plus” horsepower. It turns out that was a big plus sign, Dodge now revealing that what it is calling “the most powerful muscle car ever” will come in at a screeching 707 hp when it hits showrooms late this year.

All the numbers have taken a big jump. SRT Powertrain Director Chris Cowland originally suggested we’d be looking at torque in the range of 575 pound-feet. It turns out that will actually be 650 lb-ft.

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But we anticipate that we can still take Cowland at his word, the engineering chief earlier suggesting that the 2015 Hellcat will be “bloody fast.” (more…)

To Hell and Back: Dodge Unleashes 600+ HP Challenger SRT Hellcat

Supercharged Hemi is most powerful V-8 Chrysler has ever produced.

by on May.20, 2014

The Dodge brand will put even more emphasis on performance, going forward, and the Hellcat is the first clear expression of that mandate.

Dodge, it seems, has found a hidden fury inside its already formidable 6.2-liter Hemi, bolting on a supercharger, among other things, to create the new SRT Hellcat, a 2015 addition to its Challenger line that will boast the most powerful V-8 ever offered by one of the Chrysler brands.

While final numbers have yet to be locked down, look for something on the order of 600-plus horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, suggests SRT Powertrain Director Chris Cowland who suggests the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will be “bloody fast.”

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As part of the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles corporate strategy, the Dodge brand will put even more emphasis on performance, going forward, and the Hellcat is the first clear expression of that mandate. (more…)

Muscle Cars Muscle Their Way Into the Big Apple

Mustang, Challenger, Charger – and some high-powered imports – dominate 2014 NY Auto Show.

by on Apr.18, 2014

Yes, it has a Hemi, the newly updated 2015 Dodge Charger is one of many new models muscling in at the New York Auto Show.

Marking the 50th anniversary of its original introduction at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, an all-new Mustang is waiting to greet visitors at the NY Auto Show opening this week.

But Ford’s redesigned pony car isn’t the only offering putting the emphasis on performance at an annual event that had, in recent years, been more focused on battery cars and other green machines.  While there are a number of new, fuel-efficient products on display, muscle cars have muscled their way to dominance on the floor of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on New York’s West Side.

Muscle Up!

From Detroit, there’s not only the new 2015 Ford Mustang, but a pair of muscle cars from rival Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge Division. And General Motors, which had a hit with the all-new Corvette Stingray shown in NY last year is back with the upgraded Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which is expected to add nearly 200 horsepower – coming in at an estimated 625 hp – when it reaches showrooms early next year.

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Dodge Muscles Up With New Charger, Challenger

Power supplemented with new technology.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Tim Kuniskis introduced the 2015 Dodge Challenger, left, and Dodge Charger at the New York International Auto Show.

Automakers spend a lot of time chasing young buyers, so it was a bit of a shock to see Dodge launch into its New York Auto Show news conference with a short film filled with seniors averaging close to the century mark. No worries, though, as they quickly proved to be as young-at-heart as the typical Dodge buyer.

And so, whatever the age, Chrysler’s muscle car brand quickly refocused the spotlight on a pair of updated performance models, the 2015 Dodge Charger and 2015 Dodge Challenger, both of which undergo some significant mid-cycle updates.

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It’s clearly an appropriate move for the two-door Dodge Challenger, which is in its fifth year since its last full redesign – though, surprisingly, the classic muscle coupe set an all-time sales record last year. (more…)

Chrysler Warns Some Owners Not to Drive 2013 Challenger

Muscle cars equipped with V-6 face fire risk.

by on Mar.18, 2013

The 2013 Dodge Challenger equipped with V-6 power could be subject to an urgent recall.

Chrysler has issued an unusually dire warning to some owners of its Dodge Challenger muscle car warning them to park the vehicles until it can make repairs due to a risk of fire.

According to Chrysler, the wiring harness is the source of the problem due a batch of potentially mis-wired electrical components. If that’s the case, the harness can overheat and lead to a fire. The problem affects only those models equipped with a V-6 engine.

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The maker says it so far received word of seven incidents involving the 2013 Dodge Challenger. It is warning motorists to park the vehicles outside of their garages and away from homes or other structures in case they do catch fire.

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Dodge Challenger R/T Tops List of Cars Holding Their Value

Looking for cars, trucks and crossovers with maximum trade-in power?

by on Jun.27, 2011

The 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T is the current model with the lowest anticipated 1st-year depreciation.

Sure, if you’ve got the money in your bank account, invest in that rare Bugatti Royale.  And an original, mint-condition Ferrari Testarossa isn’t a bad way to watch your money grow, either.  But for the average automotive buyer, the economic realities are significantly less positive: the moment you drive off the dealer lot you’re likely to start losing a significant chunk of your investment.

According to a AAA study, you’ll lose nearly $4,000 a year on depreciation with the average vehicle, much of that weighted to the first year after purchase.  A separate study by Consumer Reports projects depreciation will account for 46% of the money you’ll spend over the first five years.  But the folks at NADAguides stress that not all models lose their value equally.  Some, in fact, barely depreciate at all during the first year.

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Perhaps surprising to some, the current model most likely to hold its value is the 2011 Dodge Challenger.  Mopar’s big muscle car is expected to lose just 8% of its value after 12 months of ownership, according to the NADAguides Car Buyers Market Report, which is comprised by the National Automobile Dealers Association.

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Dodge Brings Back 392 Hemi in Challenger SRT8

New engine adds 65 horsepower, 90 ft.-lb. of torque

by on Nov.04, 2010

For 2011, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 features a bigger, more power engine, revised interior and exterior styling and an upgraded suspension.

The news coming out of Chrysler HQ in Auburn Hills is almost relentless these days. There are new engines, completely new SUVs and crossovers and revamped sedans.

Add to the mix a new Dodge Challenger SRT8 with a huge power infusion.

While Dodge has already announced that the base 250-horsepower V-6 will be replaced by a 305-horsepower version of the new Pentastar V-6, it hadn’t said anything about the Challenger’s other engines. Dodge still hasn’t announced numbers for the R/T, but it is expected to maintain its 5.7-liter Hemi, but it will likely make slightly more power.

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Just as Ford has done by bringing back the hallowed 5.0, the Challenger is bringing back a reverred name of its own. The new SRT8 now adds the numbers 392 to its name, as in 392 cubic inches.

Now 6.4 liters, the top dog in the Challenger lineup is rated at 470 horsepower, 65 more than before. Torque rises to 470 as well, 90 more than before, compared to the old 6.1-liter Hemi.
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First drive: Ford Mustang GT

The 5.0 is back and the original pony car has never been more fun.

by on Oct.29, 2010

The 2011 Ford Mustang GT in Grabber Blue turns a lot of heads.

The number 5.0 holds a hallowed place in Ford lore. For more 25 years, Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8 powered everything from Thunderbirds to F-150 pickups to Broncos. But most notably, they powered Mustangs.

Now, after 16 years in exile, the 5.0 is back. Ford retired the old 5.0, also known as the 302 for its displacement in cubic inches, in 1995, replacing its venerable V-8 with the decent 4.6-liter. But while the 4.6 did a decent job, it didn’t have that beloved number attached to its valvecovers.

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Don’t think for a moment that Ford’s decision to bring back the 5.0 isn’t partly driven by nostalgia. Automakers decide how big a new engine design will be based on a lot of factors such as the power characteristics it needs, fuel economy and smoothness. But they also make decisions based on what the marketers say will help sell cars.

With this new engine, there was one other important consideration: It had to produce horsepower comparable to the 6.2-liter V-8 in the Chevrolet Camaro SS.
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