By on December 14, 2015

14 - 2013 Scion FR-S - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden

November 2015 produced the lowest full-month U.S. sales total for the Scion FR-S in its history.

November 2015 also produced the sixth consecutive year-over-year Mazda MX-5 Miata monthly sales increase; November was also the fifth consecutive month in which the Mazda MX-5 outsold the Scion FR-S.

The FR-S and MX-5 are clearly not direct rivals. One is sold exclusively as a coupe with rear seats; the other is a two-seat convertible.

But the comparison between the pair, like the forthcoming comparison between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, is pertinent because of the contrast between old and new. From June 2012, the first full month of availability of the FR-S, through June 2015, the Scion was the fresher sports car parked outside A&W on a Thursday night. However, it suffered from the same malady that typically afflicts most sports cars early on in their tenure: DDDD. Drastically Decreased Demand Disorder.

(Read More…)

By on December 14, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang Exterior-003

The new Mustang is handsome, isn’t it? I was behind one the other day in traffic, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it: in the right color, with the right wheels, there’s a good argument to be made that the Mustang is one of the most attractive coupes on the market today. Too bad it’s still just another in a long list of retro designs.

I was thinking about this recently because there has been a lot of retro designs in the last few years — and virtually all of those models are still sporting retro designs. Which leads me to wonder: Has anyone ever actually successfully followed up on a retro design? Has anyone ever created a retro design, and then un-retroized it, and still found success?

In other words: Once you’ve gone retro, is it even possible to go back?

(Read More…)

By on December 10, 2015

2016ChevroletCamaro_(17_of_30)

No good deed goes unpunished.

When Chevrolet announced its fifth-generation Camaro in 2008 after a long hiatus, many hailed (including yours truly) its avant-garde style and sleeker sheet metal. A starring role and skyrocketing sales couldn’t dim its usual criticism shortly thereafter. Fully four years into that model, good feelings waned; its overweight chassis and zest for precious, expensive gasoline overshadowed most of its good attributes.

Even our sixth-generation tester — which we picked up in Bozeman, Montana on a dreary November morning in between snowstorms and set under overcast skies — didn’t entirely impress.

The lipstick red V-8 clad SS — shod with snow rubber and little else to handle an unforgiving Western Montana winter climate — seemed overmatched with the task of climbing Lookout Pass and into Eastern Washington and beyond. A rear-wheel drive sports car could find friendlier confines than the Montana plains and mountains in winter’s first offensive. (Read More…)

By on May 19, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

While by no means the overwhelming success that the first-generation Ford Mustang was back in 1966 – 417,000 were sold in that car’s first twelve months on the market, according to Ford MoCo – the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro was a hit by most any other standard.

Now that the sixth-generation Camaro has debuted with surprisingly similar styling to the outgoing model, it’s worth our while to look back at nearly seven years of Camaro sales to gauge the popularity of GM’s Mustang challenger. (Get it? Challenger?)

The main factor for Camaro fans involves the car’s ability to outsell the Mustang. True, the Camaro (and Mustang, for that matter) both put up the kinds of numbers many so-called mainstream cars can’t. But the more appealing measurement is the one which says that in each of the latest Camaro’s complete sales years, from 2010 forward, the Chevy has been the more popular car. (Read More…)

By on April 21, 2015

04-2015-ford-mustang-1The Ford Mustang outsold the whole Lincoln brand by a 1.5-to-1 count in March. U.S. Mustang volume has, not surprisingly, risen sharply since the age of the sixth-generation model began.

March’s tally, however, was particularly notable, not just because of the way in which Mustang volume made Lincoln’s abysmal total appear even worse (Lincoln sales slid 3%, year-over-year, to just 8695 units) but because the Mustang outsold the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, combined.

That won’t become a long-term trend. General Motors is already gradually leaking details of its next Camaro. The Challenger, meanwhile, is selling better than ever. Sales have only increased on an annual basis since Dodge brought the nameplate back in 2008. (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2015

2016-Camaro

 

The next Chevrolet Camaro is set to lose 200 lbs thanks to a variety of light weighting techniques.

(Read More…)

By on January 21, 2015

USA muscle car sales chart 20142014 was the fifth consecutive year in which the Chevrolet Camaro outsold its two key rivals in the United States.

2015, however, could present far different results.

Leading up to the sixth-generation Mustang’s arrival, the Camaro led the Mustang by nearly 11,000 sales through the first ten months of 2014.


• Second-best year for fifth-gen Camaro

• Mustang was on a roll at the end of 2014

• Challenger growth continues in sixth consecutive year


But Ford sold 8728 Mustangs in America in November, a 62% year-over-year improvement, basically double the number of Camaros sold that month.

(Read More…)

By on December 15, 2014

2015 ford mustang at factoryFord reported in November 2014 the largest number of Mustangs sold in any November since 2006. With 8278 sold last month, year-over-year Mustang volume jumped 62%.

It was also the best month for the Mustang since May of this year, when monthly U.S. Mustang volume jumped beyond 9000 units for just the third time in 23 months.

Yet, “best since 2006,” doesn’t sound nearly as good to the Mustang fan base as, “nearly twice as popular as Camaro,” does it? (Read More…)

By on July 17, 2014

2016-chevrolet-camaro-spy-photos-32

 

Another ordinary day at GM’s proving grounds, right? Well, I’m wondering what the hell a 2016 Camaro mule is doing with a CNG powered Impala.

(Read More…)

By on July 14, 2014

TTAC_Muscle-Car-sales-chart-June-2014

It feels like we’ve known a lot about the 2015 Ford Mustang for years. There have been stories on its alleged weight gain, then stories that suggested the gain wasn’t nearly so bad. Its independent rear suspension makes the idea of serving global markets so much more tenable. Its turbocharged four-cylinder should, on paper, offer a new blend of performance and efficiency.

(Read More…)

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