Chart Of The Day: The Pony Car Wars In 2011

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

What is there to say about this chart? Mustang had a shot… it coulda been a contender… but Camaro was just too busy building momentum, en route to what should be the nameplate’s best volume year since 1995. Challenger, meanwhile, just seems stuck spinning its wheels in third place. Oh, and since this chart has little in the way of controversy, let me just add this: if Hyundai starts breaking out its Genesis Coupe sales when it launches a muscle car-inspired facelift for the model, we would love to see how that underdog story plays out. In the meantime, though, Genesis coupe and sedan combined barely touch the Challenger’s volume… at this point pony cars are still very much an American game.

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  • CJinSD CJinSD on Jun 16, 2011

    I don't think any of the two ton pony cars have a future as CAFE ramps up. It is almost time for a return of the Mustang II, which sort of suits when you consider that the Mustang has been 'evolving' pretty much like it did at the end of the '60s. The Probe was almost called a Mustang back when the Mustang sold in far greater numbers. Remember the Mitsubishi Challenger? The Charger 2.2? Even if gas prices go back to normal, the automakers won't have the option of selling 100,000 heavy, powerful coupes in their model mixes.

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    • CJinSD CJinSD on Jun 17, 2011

      @SV Smaller and lighter would be great, but they don't have any obvious sources of component sets for such a car unless it is FWD. I won't buy anything turbocharged, but I seem less and less likely to ever buy a Mustang newer than 1966 as time goes by. The new one isn't all bad, but it is much too big for a 2+2 in my book. The Challenger is a good looking car. My not-exactly-car-enthusiast friends made a lot of favorable comments about their styling during the first year they were on the road. I certainly like the styling more than the Charger's, but I really can't stand the idea that they removed all the room of the sedan without removing any of the weight. Maybe they should have had some old hot-rodders teach them how to section the body. I think the Camaro is just awful. It is compromised by its styling in so many ways without managing to look good when near another car to give it scale. I came out of a sandwitch shop to see an orange Camaro RS parked next between an E46 BMW and some other normal sized sedan. It looked like a drunk with a tub of Bondo had fashioned it out of an old full sized truck. The front end is definitely more Silverado than sports coupe, and stood about a foot higher than the leading edge of the BMW's hood. The greenhouse is too small for a car the size the Camaro should be, let alone the 1.5:1 scale parade float that it is. The interior looks gimmicky and cave-like. The trunk opening is a joke too.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Jun 17, 2011

    As big and heavy as the Challenger is, it was an easy choice for me. A mid 13 second car is fast/quick enough (I made a few mods and now traction at launch is something that's very hard to find now, the car has actually slowed down at the strip by a few tenths, but the MPH is up, so it is making more power), and I get an easy 17 MPG around town and about 27 on the highway. I've had it for seven months and I love it. I don't really love the attention it gets though, from police to old people to teenagers, I get asked about it all the time. And it's been hit while parked twice already!

  • Joe_thousandaire Joe_thousandaire on Jun 17, 2011

    Perhaps the Genesis Coup could be included in this chart if Hyundai were to finally put on their big-boy pants and offer it with a V-8. Until then, even if its sales do improve, the Genesis will never be a 'pony-car'. I'd take mine in reverse of the sales order: Challenger-Mustang-Camaro.

    • Th009 Th009 on Jun 17, 2011

      As noted by Edward, Hyundai doesn't break out its sales from the sedan.

  • M 1 M 1 on Jun 17, 2011

    The phrases "Pony Car" and "Muscle Car" describe two different things. The pony car delivers the muscle car looks for somebody who can't afford the powerplant to back it up, and the muscle car is for covering the shortest distance from point A to B in the shortest time. Sure there is overlap, but among the people responsible for the terms, they aren't universally interchangeable. I was feeling faintly disappointed that the distinction is apparently lost here, but I suppose when a Hyundai is mentioned in the article itself and the 370Z makes an appearance in multiple posts, it isn't that surprising.