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Discussion Starter #1
Either way I think it's time. Change is pretty much required at this point.

If more than a full decade isn't enough reason for serious change to the Challenger that would include less weight and an over all big improvement in the chassis then maybe some numbers should have FCA concerned for the future.

Up until now the Challenger has been selling pretty well with very little more required that small face lifts and creative packaging of models ( I personally jumped into a Challenger for the first time last year when I saw a 392TA that peaked my interest and memories of the old 340TAs from my own youth)

How-ever the time for change is starting to get hard to ignore.

It's all in the numbers, IMO.

First up on the numbers are the Baby Boomers. I'm at the tail end of this generation myself. As the 2008 model year was being prepared for the idea of a Retro Challenger that Captured the look while ignoring the primitiveness of the platform's short comings was an easy decision. The goal wasn't just about building a better car at the time. It was really all about appealing to memories of Boomers, in their PRIME INCOME years, as they were jettisoning their responsibilities to raising kids and mortgages. Flush with cash and aged from our mid-40s-62 in 2008.........the BOOMERS were EXACTLY the buyer this car was supposed to appeal to and it's most profitable models would sell to. The problem today......those oldest Boomers are now retired and a new car is often no longer a priority. The generation that occupies the sweet spot of 45-60 is mostly made up with people who don't have the same attachment to the past for the Challenger.

Still the Challenger is a good looking car.......but now I think it's no longer enough to rely on that as heavily as it has over the first 10+ years of it's comeback.

When a Hell Cat on street tires can't hang with a car like the new Corvette in 0-60 sprint and then it only barely hangs with it in the 1/4 mile on slicks and an absolutely PERFECT launch even as it brings 200-300 more Horsepower...........it's time for change. Too much of an advantage has been ceded to the Competition in the $60,000-$70,000 price category. On a side note you just know Chevy will bring a Super Charged Z06 or ZR1 at some point and you have to wonder if the hell cats won't need 1,000HP or more to at least keep those Chevy tail lights within view.

I see no reason why a "still Retro enough" yet lighter and more nimble Challenger that can accommodate up to date performance rubber without cheap looking tack on flares couldn't be designed and built.

FCA might or might not have a car meeting this description in the works.....but if the Challenger is to sell going forward I have to believe these are requirements. The wringing out of all the various possibilities to sell this car, as it is, seem pretty played out at this point.

It's time to get BETTER and extra HP......that isn't enough anymore.

The car itself has to improve.
 

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I agree with your post, but it's up to FCA to decide if they want to dump the cash into a new Challenger. They could just keep this one going until the driverless cars take over in five or so years. Who needs horsepower if you're just going along for the ride!
 

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I understand and even agree with many of your points. My biggest concern would be about "retro enough". I would caution FCA not to follow in the footsteps of GM or Ford. Both the Camaro and Mustang started out as great retro designs but have been restyled with disappointing results.

When a redesign of the Challenger comes, I hope it is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
 

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When a redesign of the Challenger comes, I hope it is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
This.

Change for the sake of change isn't always good. See: Camaro.


A few thoughts from a millenial:

I wouldn't buy a C8 Corvette and I don't care that it might be faster than a Hellcat.

Armchair racers are a pain in the ass. All numbers, no purchase.

It's not just boomers who like nostalgia, muscle cars have been part of pop culture for the longest time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I understand and even agree with many of your points. My biggest concern would be about "retro enough". I would caution FCA not to follow in the footsteps of GM or Ford. Both the Camaro and Mustang started out as great retro designs but have been restyled with disappointing results.

When a redesign of the Challenger comes, I hope it is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
Appearance is always highly Subjective.......but I do understand what you're saying and I agree with the point.

I tend to disagree on your assessment of the Camaro.......I think this car has been LOUSY in appearance from day one in 2009 or 08......honestly I can't remember. I've owned 4 Camaros over the years but never even once did I come close to buying the latest generation. It's over the top look still amazes me for how I can actually see the Retro attempt at a CLASSIC GOOD LOOKING '69 body........yet the amazing part is found in how completely Chevy managed to destroy every good angle by pulling, stretching, squeezing, squashing and outright CHANGING every good feature of the 1969 car.

Ford's Mustang is where we're far closer to agreement. The 2005-2014 Mustang was a GREAT take on the original fastback design of the late 1960s era cars. in 2015.........that great look was completely lost and I'm one of the fans turned critic of the new Ford Fusion on Steroids appearance.

Chrysler always did have the most faithful and successful "take" on the Retro packaging of a late model car mimicking it's early 1970s inspiration.

Lightening up the car.......shrinking it's proportions and accommodating 300mm wide or more rubber, without plastic tack flares that look like something on a Ford Ranger Pick up truck, doesn't require a Mustang like change.......and since the car didn't start out UGLY like the Camaro it shouldn't be too hard to keep most of what "works" right now in place.

Funny thing about the Mustang change from the S197 to S550 body style.......Ford didn't screw up the Retro as much as people believe they did. What was REALLY happening was an attempt to leave Retro behind entirely.
Ford was pretty open about their desire to change and appeal to a new foreign market as much as they already did to an American Market buyer.

Chrysler would be wise to recognize the mistake Ford made here. I'm sure they sell more Mustangs overseas now than they did with the '05-'14 model but I really wonder if they haven't lost more here at home than they gained overseas.

In the end a pony car/muscle car with it's long hood line, short deck and smallish passenger compartment vs the over all size of the car is an IMPRACTICABLE and inefficient design. To sell it you gotta have good looks and market leading performance/value or it's never going to do well.

I think Chrysler can thread the needle......the real question is will they before the current car starts to inevitably slide in sales and the doubters start to question if a redesign is worth doing at all.

As we enter 2020........I think about this new Corvette that is about to be made available. I think about the IDEAL picture of the buyer who might purchase a a $60,000-$100,000 performance car and I keep coming back to the mirror in my house. I'm the guy or someone like me barely younger or older. In my late 50s .......it's just me and my wife at home (always was I don't have kids) and I have lots of friends who look like me.......no kids at home, no bills, making plenty of $ to spend on a "toy" car.

Maybe I'm just not "Brand Loyal"........I'd never utter a line as silly as "Mopar or No Car"....... maybe some are. God knows I've seen the T shirts Harley guys used to wear that said, "I'd sooner push a Harley than Ride a Honda".......so I know brand loyal will sell some cars........but for those of us who consider more than one make for purchase I just can't imagine shelling out the cash for a Hell Cat over the new Corvette.

Good looking and my memories of the Challenger are strong inspiration but not limitless in the ability to reel me in for the sale. This car needs to get better if I'm ever going to buy another off in the not too distant future.

I'm betting there are more than just a few current Challenger owners who see this as I do.
 

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At age 66, I don't care what they do really. I've got my lifetime car, with no plans on trading it in for anything.

It is what it is, and I bought it for what it is.

41577.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This.

Change for the sake of change isn't always good. See: Camaro.


A few thoughts from a millenial:

I wouldn't buy a C8 Corvette and I don't care that it might be faster than a Hellcat.

Armchair racers are a pain in the ass. All numbers, no purchase.

It's not just boomers who like nostalgia, muscle cars have been part of pop culture for the longest time.
If that's a STRONG ENOUGH sales pitch there might be some gas left in the tank on the current design.......but I'm not at all sure you're right on this.

All around are indications of the Baby Boomer inspired culture fading away to new tastes and wants in your generation.

I just barely touched on Harley Davidson in my last post, concerning brand loyalty.......but a deeper look into Harley's sales problems over the last few years might be something to also recognize as possible in the sale figures of cars like the Challenger, Camaro or even the Mustang which has made a deliberate move away from the Retro.

Older people will hang up the Helmet before relinquishing the keys to a car so seeing Harley suffering this first isn't and shouldn't be a big surprise.........but I think the same problem is in place and for any "retro car" that relies as heavily on the Baby Boomers and, as you described it, the "pop culture" of the original cars. I'd be very interested to see the demographic break out of the sales figures for the Challenger, Mustang and Camaro all 3 over the last 10 years.

I'd place a blind bet on the idea that the median age of the buyers has been steadily creeping higher since 2008.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You lost me comparing the Vette to the Challenger. They don't, and aren't meant to, share a market segment.
That's true "car to car".........but ultimately there are lots of people who look at what is available as a "toy" in a particular price range and then they make a choice. If you favor the look of a Coupe over a sports car.......sure that adds to the likelihood you'd by the Hell Cat. There is always a point though where a car can fall far enough behind in the value proposition such that it becomes a far harder choice to make. This despite you're Bias toward it;s purchase.

The Challenger needs to get better. I'm already at that point. I was there already in 2018 when I bought my own Challenger. At under $50,000 the car was an easy decision. The Hell Cat I drove.......not-so-much. Poor balance, a complete inability to put the extra power down on the street made it an impossible choice vs the 392 at huge discount in price. You and I probably are different. Maybe you need that back seat, I don't. If the new C8 is anywhere close to as good as it promises to be when I finally get a chance to take one out for a test drive. It'll be in my garage within a day of that drive.

I disagree with the idea the two cars aren't competitors. Maybe they aren't on the race track.....(why would any Hell Cat driver want that race anyway. Come we're all Challenger owners here..we all know that's going end in embarrassment).......but as Street driven vehicles they absolutely ARE in direct competition for sales.

Maybe it's because I live in an area of the country where anyone with an once of common sense PARKS there Corvette or RWD Challenger every winter. These cars are both TOYS not "daily drivers".

With that thought in mind the Hell Cats are in direct competition with the Corvette for the pool of available buyers with the extra cash and garage space for a third car........the RT and Scat Pack Challengers are in direct competition with Mustangs and Camaros. All of these cars also, at least here in the N East are typically not daily drivers.

It's about $60,000-$100,000 priced toy cars in the one category and bigger category of $40,000 to under $60,000 cars in the other around my neck of the woods. You want to take 4 Bags of clubs to the golf course along with 3 of your buddies.......you take the SUV not the car. Still got kids at home?Do you really want to take the kids with their sticky fingers home in the back seat of your Hell Cat any more so than the guy with the Corvette wants to take just one kid like that in the passenger's seat?

I don't know...... maybe there is something I'm missing or failing to appreciate.
 

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I disagree with the idea the two cars aren't competitors. Maybe they aren't on the race track.....(why would any Hell Cat driver want that race anyway. Come we're all Challenger owners here..we all know that's going end in embarrassment).......but as Street driven vehicles they absolutely ARE in direct competition for sales.
This is 100% backwards to how I see it.

I love the new Vette, but there's no way I'm driving one daily. That's where a battleship comes in. You make this point elsewhere (backseats and personal choices, etc)

The track? The track is who gets to the end first. Most bets are off, tires get changed, fuel gets changed, and so forth. This is exactly where competition takes place, and it's not a 2 seater vs a 4 seater, it's that kid with a huge turbo strapped to his turd that walks down all the crusty old folks.
 

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Last week I traded a 2012 corvette convertible and a Honda Pilot in on my Challenger. The CFO...wife...said I needed one car, not two. The corvette and the Challenger aren’t really competitors. If they made a Corvette with four seats I would have one . The Camaro, Mustang and even the CT’s-v are most definitely not a four seat corvette.
 

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If that's a STRONG ENOUGH sales pitch there might be some gas left in the tank on the current design.......but I'm not at all sure you're right on this.

All around are indications of the Baby Boomer inspired culture fading away to new tastes and wants in your generation.

I just barely touched on Harley Davidson in my last post, concerning brand loyalty.......but a deeper look into Harley's sales problems over the last few years might be something to also recognize as possible in the sale figures of cars like the Challenger, Camaro or even the Mustang which has made a deliberate move away from the Retro.

Older people will hang up the Helmet before relinquishing the keys to a car so seeing Harley suffering this first isn't and shouldn't be a big surprise.........but I think the same problem is in place and for any "retro car" that relies as heavily on the Baby Boomers and, as you described it, the "pop culture" of the original cars. I'd be very interested to see the demographic break out of the sales figures for the Challenger, Mustang and Camaro all 3 over the last 10 years.

I'd place a blind bet on the idea that the median age of the buyers has been steadily creeping higher since 2008.
Maybe the problem with Harley is that I hear they're overpriced garbage.
 

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When a Hell Cat on street tires can't hang with a car like the new Corvette in 0-60 sprint and then it only barely hangs with it in the 1/4 mile on slicks and an absolutely PERFECT launch even as it brings 200-300 more Horsepower...........it's time for change.
Who races a 700+ hp Hellcat on street tires? lol

I had 28K miles on my Hellcat when I traded it in and 27.5K of those miles were on drag radials and I had No trouble hanging.

It's common sense you don't run a street tire on a high HP muscle car, unless you just want to do burnouts all day long.
 

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Recently within the last few months, the Challenger had passed the Camaro in the 'pony car segment' or whatever you want to call it. But now the last couple months the Challenger has been down on sales. Yes I think they do need to do something. And I don't care about the new Corvette, it looks generic in looks and I am not impressed. But like others have said, in the long run I don't care about what Dodge does, I intend to keep my 2013 R/T forever. It is what it is.
 

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I suspect that other than a refresh, the Challenger will either succeed with that, or go the way of the Dodo. Unless they are the only game in town, and there is great demand for the game, the Challenger may just run out the clock.

A Guy
 

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I agree on the performance aspect but that’s it. I loved my 2014 and 2017 Camaros, they were fantastic cars.

But I’m 34 and have a 2019 scat. My friend is 30 and he has one and everyone in my family and friends loves this car, they think it’s awesome. My nephew who is 8 says it’s his favorite car, it sells because it’s s cool ass car from the past.


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