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The American auto industry is trying to muscle its way out of the doldrums.

Three decades after the heyday of muscle cars (Raw, powerful vehicles such as the Ford Mustang and Pontiac GTO that helped define freedom-of-the-road independence for a generation) some newly redesigned versions are emerging as strong sellers. Ford Motor Co. is selling about 18,000 Mustangs a month, as many as its factory can produce, and says demand is greater than expected.

In coming weeks it will face a new challenger, the Dodge Charger, from DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, which is hitting showrooms this month and is a remake of a vehicle that last rolled off assembly lines more than 25 years ago. The Mustang and GTO have both been on the market since last year.

The stakes are high for Detroit's Big Three auto makers, which are having trouble finding new designs that connect with buyers. At Ford, the Mustang is one of its few big hits among several new passenger cars that were supposed the help the company regain market share.

Despite a few successes like the Mustang and the top-selling new Chrysler 300C sedan, Detroit's auto makers have mostly had trouble getting buyers interested in their new designs. Ford already has started reworking the look of its Ford Five Hundred, a rival to the Chrysler 300, less than a year after its launch in hopes of boosting sales. GM's Buick division has piled up a big inventory of LaCrosse sedans, an all-new model that was supposed to turn around the brand's dowdy image.

In the first five months of this year, Ford's market share has fallen one percentage point to 19.1 percent. GM's is down to 25.7 percent from 27.2 percent

Even with the Mustang's strong sales, Ford's market share has continued to slip, although profit from the car is one of the factors putting Ford in slightly better financial condition than General Motors Corp. In the first quarter GM had a loss of $1.1 billion.

To meet current demand, Ford considered investing in additional capacity to build more Mustangs than the current maximum output of 192,000 a year. Executives decided against it to avoid getting stuck with too much capacity should demand slack off after a year or two, says Stephen G. Lyons, Ford North America group vice president for market, sales and service.

Part of the Mustang's appeal to buyers is its aggressive, retro look. As part of the redesign for the 2005 model year, Ford reverted to styling that hews closely to the look of the Mustangs of the mid-1960s. The most noticeable change is the car's front end, which features a large grille slanted backward toward the engine, giving it sort of a "shark nose" profile.

Despite the redesign, don't expect the kind of refined interior found in a BMW or Audi. There is plenty of hard plastic, and the rear seat is small: During a recent test drive, a three-year-old complained about a lack of leg room. Entry-level Mustangs go for $19,890, but the most powerful GT version starts at $25,815.

The remake of the GTO, which also started appearing in showrooms with the 2005 model year, followed a different strategy. Instead of evoking the car's 1970s heyday, it adopted a more modern, rounded look, which hasn't been a hit with buyers.

As a result, GM is on track to sell only about 13,000 this year: this year, they are averaging only about 1,000 a month. Evan Sobran, a 43-year-old real-estate executive in Duxbury, Mass., who has test-driven the car, says it drives well but doesn't turn heads like the Mustang and Charger. "It's $34,000 and looks like a Saturn, or some rounded bar of soap," he says.

That is bad news for GM, which was hoping the GTO would help generate excitement for its other new passenger cars, particularly the Pontiac G6, a all-new replacement for Pontiac's aging Grand Am. The company was counting on a comeback in passenger cars to offset declines in sales of sport-utility vehicles, one of its biggest sources of profit.

Chrysler is launching the Charger while the company is on a roll, thanks to the success of the 300 sedan, which shares its underpinnings, as well as its powerful eight-cylinder engine, with the Charger. If the Dodge Charger turns into a hit along the lines of the 300, Chrysler could be on its way to its most profitable year in some time. A sedan with a big, bold front grille, the 300 is among the hottest cars right now. Chrysler sells about 12,000 a month.

The new Dodge Charger won't be an updated copy of the original, which is perhaps most widely known for its iconic role in "The Dukes of Hazzard" television show.

In a nod to the baby-boomer sensibilities of its current target market, the new Charger is a four-door (The original had only two). The car does retain its scowling, angled headlights as well as other styling cues to remind consumers of its heritage.

Catering to consumers' concerns about fuel efficiency in an era of $2-a-gallon gas, the Charger also has a system that shuts off four of the engine's eight cylinders while cruising on the highway or sitting in traffic. In one day of heavy stop-and-go driving, the Charger managed 19 miles a gallon, which is roughly two or three miles a gallon better than the Mustang in similar driving. On the highway, the Charger got almost 24.

By Neal E. Boudette / The Wall Street Journal
 

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I sure hope so (muscle cars making a come back)!

The 05 Mustang is very cool, it really catches my eye! I think they really nailed the old style look!

The only thing I like about the GTO is the badge, but I have to say its got a great sound. But the body style, well, it has none.

I bought a 05 Daytona R/T Charger (for my wife) and I think it rocks! I refer to it as the modern day muscle car. I love muscle cars (I have 2 old ones in the garage) as does my wife.

When it comes to Charger sales, I'm surely convinced that they blew it in their advertising. I have now seen this car on many comercials and especially during sports events. But specfically where they blew it was, they allways show a red one. Now I'm not saying it isn't nice, but had they shown all those comercials with a Go Mango Daytona Charger, they would have doubled their sales. As my wife says, "the hood screams Hemi" and its drop dead gorgeous.

Just mho : )

Murunga
 

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The only Musclecar making a comback is the Mustang. The so-called Charger is a family cruiser. As far as it having a Hemi, not to many Dodge vehicles don't these days. It sure dosent have a musclecar body style. They want to increase sales so they figured they could dupe the public by throwing highly sought after muscle car names on cars they already have in production (300 and Magnum). The GTO is in the same boat. Anyone who bought one got duped. I mean really, look at their trucks,Daytona and Rumble Bee? Come on. They dont know if they want to make a musclecar or muscletruck. Its just a way to repackage old vehicles for those who dont know any better.
 

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As long as the car fits what people want, it is their choice to make, not yours. If the car does not fit what you want, find one that does.... that simple... so no one is getting dupped because of buying one car over another....

As far a repackage vehicles for those that don't know better... EVERYONE is aware that the charger is based on the 300 and magnum.... I am not buying mine because I think it is all new.... I am buying it because I happen to be looking for a vehicle around the time it got released, and I prefer the style and look over that of the 300 and the magnum.

I know that you are a classic charger guy, and although I will respect your opinion... your comments are not really deamed here, and if the car is not for you, dont talk crap about it... go find something that is more "you"
 

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xp29f8b said:
The only Musclecar making a comback is the Mustang. The so-called Charger is a family cruiser. As far as it having a Hemi, not to many Dodge vehicles don't these days. It sure dosent have a musclecar body style. They want to increase sales so they figured they could dupe the public by throwing highly sought after muscle car names on cars they already have in production (300 and Magnum). The GTO is in the same boat. Anyone who bought one got duped. I mean really, look at their trucks,Daytona and Rumble Bee? Come on. They dont know if they want to make a musclecar or muscletruck. Its just a way to repackage old vehicles for those who dont know any better.
How did I get duped again? I bought the car that fit my needs. I was born after the GTO production ended in the 70's, so I never got attached to it. The new GTO is what I know.

The older muscle car guys are just pissed the newer cars perform better out of the box. Case in point at a GTO dyno day recently, most of the older car's were putting down 200-240rwhp. I got on and my 1st run put down 336, the place freakin cleared out and all the older GTO's went home. I asked the tuner where everyone went, he told me "they don't want to see your car putting down these #'s"

For the retro crowd here's a blurp on the 08 GTO from autoweek.

What you see in this illustration is a fairly close rendition of what we can expect when the next-generation Pontiac GTO hits the market in 2008. We say “fairly close” because we’ve seen the super-secret spy photos upon which it is based, and the actual shots show a sleeker, wider, lower and, frankly, far more appealing car.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is General Motors’ Aussie division Holden reportedly may not start cranking out these future Goats until 2008, a full two years after production ceases on the 2006 Holden Monaro-based GTO.

One more tidbit: It’s not shown here, but we hear GM is considering doing this GTO as a four-door coupe, using rear-hinged rear-access doors without visible handles
 

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Does that thing look like its smiling or what? Freaky!

(But not too bad I'd say.)
 

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xp29f8b said:
The only Musclecar making a comback is the Mustang. The so-called Charger is a family cruiser. As far as it having a Hemi, not to many Dodge vehicles don't these days. It sure dosent have a musclecar body style. They want to increase sales so they figured they could dupe the public by throwing highly sought after muscle car names on cars they already have in production (300 and Magnum). The GTO is in the same boat. Anyone who bought one got duped. I mean really, look at their trucks,Daytona and Rumble Bee? Come on. They dont know if they want to make a musclecar or muscletruck. Its just a way to repackage old vehicles for those who dont know any better.
Damn! I got dupped! I.. got.. dupped!! :confused:

Wow, how could that have happened? I was looking for a new car. I heard that Dodge had a new one coming similar to the Magnum, but not a wagon. Great, I'll check that out. Let see, its got reasonable performance (more than most have had in a while), price is reasonable as well. I can handle that. Gee, it seems that my finances have put me in a good position to be able to get what I want without having to settle for something less.

Its called a Charger, wow how nostalgic, I used to own one. I loved that car. It is what got me interested in cars and racing (all forms I might add). Crap, it gonna have only 2-doors and I have a family to haul around. Oh well... what you say? Its has 4-doors? Whoa, let me have a closer look at this new Charger. Very sharp style to it, I like it. Not to keen on the color choices. Whats this? Go Mango Daytona. Oh now thats way kewl!! I gotta get me one of those. Who's that behind me? Oh don't pay attention to him, thats the DCX wizard back there putting a spell on me to dupe me into buying this car.

Ok, on the serious side. As Daytona_R/T just so eloquently said, no one is ever "duped" into buying a car. Everyone has a choice. If your choice is to not want one, then don't.

Oh and by the way, can you please explain to me and the others here who are too stupid to know better because we like this new Charger, what exactly constitutes a "muscle car bodystyle"? In all my years of having owned one, hung with folks who owned them. I was never briefed on that aspect of muscle car specifications.

xp[whatever], for only having posted twice and you come in here trolling like you are gods gift to us all and are here to save us from this ungodly act that DC is pulling on us. Your credibility just shot through the toilet and out the bottom floor.
 

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thanks co-charger, man talk about slamming the charger and probably never seen one in person. to see this car in person and to drive it is a whole different story. the charger looks mean, aggressive and fits the look of a muscle car in my eyes. oh, and the four doors - very practical. the 'stang....common, these two cars (charger and mustang) are set up to appeal to two different age groups as well as two different bank accounts. my opinion. i love the old charger and the new charger. oh and the gto...in my opinion....has a great engine but looks like a sunfire (yes i have seen one in person, test drove also)....the gto looks bland.
 

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xp29f8b said:
The only Musclecar making a comback is the Mustang. The so-called Charger is a family cruiser. As far as it having a Hemi, not to many Dodge vehicles don't these days. It sure dosent have a musclecar body style. They want to increase sales so they figured they could dupe the public by throwing highly sought after muscle car names on cars they already have in production (300 and Magnum). The GTO is in the same boat. Anyone who bought one got duped. I mean really, look at their trucks,Daytona and Rumble Bee? Come on. They dont know if they want to make a musclecar or muscletruck. Its just a way to repackage old vehicles for those who dont know any better.
I have a 300csrt-8 and if you don't think that it doesn't have muscle,your highly mistaken!!I'm pesonnally waiting for the charger srt-8 to come out!! I also think that the new mustang gt is a very nice looking car. But if you think that your new car ia a muscle car and the 300c srt-8 and the charger srt-8 is not,then let it be said that my 300c srt-8 has toasted more than a dozen new 05 mustang gt's. So if you want to say that your new mustang gt muscle car got beat by a heavy 4dr. luxo-cruiser sedan,than fine by me,but you still lose,so how much "real muscle" does your muscle car really have.Sounds alittle like all show,and not enough go to me!!! Where mine does both! :biggrin:
 

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I totally agree. If Dodge would have stuck to the original 1995 concept design, than it would have been a different story. 1995 concept pic attached. Now this looks more like the charger of old. Ford did a good job with the Mustang.



xp29f8b said:
The only Musclecar making a comback is the Mustang. The so-called Charger is a family cruiser. As far as it having a Hemi, not to many Dodge vehicles don't these days. It sure dosent have a musclecar body style. They want to increase sales so they figured they could dupe the public by throwing highly sought after muscle car names on cars they already have in production (300 and Magnum). The GTO is in the same boat. Anyone who bought one got duped. I mean really, look at their trucks,Daytona and Rumble Bee? Come on. They dont know if they want to make a musclecar or muscletruck. Its just a way to repackage old vehicles for those who dont know any better.
 

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bkovacs said:
I totally agree. If Dodge would have stuck to the original 1995 concept design, than it would have been a different story. 1995 concept pic attached. Now this looks more like the charger of old. Ford did a good job with the Mustang.

If you love that concept, you'll really like the Intrepid. Looks like one from the side.
 

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that side profile looks like a firebird or camaro. (with four doors of course). why do we have so many people on this site that hate the charger? i am sure the chargers of old have their own forums and the mustang owners must have at least 1000 forums commited to their cars (seeing as everyone has got one; hell i have 2 88's). please, let us talk about our cars without having non-owners sit there putting their 2 cents in about things they know nothing about especially when they are just looking for a rise.
 

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I bought my 06 Charger R/T cash. If I wanted an old Charger I certainly have the money to buy one.

When I was at the parts store some 20 year old, $6 an hour monkeywrench told me how he hated it. He wasn't even alive when the last one was made!!! And what kind of civilized person says that to someone's face?

Truth is that even though I like the old Charger, there are classics I like more (Ferrari GTS, Maserati Ghibli, Austin Healey, some American too).

It's all personal preference.

I love the fact that this car is fast and I can pick people up at the airport in it.

The compliments far outweigh the scoffing.

I think most of the people doing the complaining can't even afford one!!!! :embarrese
 

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I'm a little late with this, but bkovacs, you are in a very small minority. You are even in the minority of your Charger nay-sayer brethen out there that do not like the new Charger because it didn't look anything like the '99 concept Charger. You come in with a wine about a missed concept that is 4 years older than the one most point to!

The '95 concept you can tell is based on the LH platform (they are no longer made), and the '99 concept was an entirely ground up piece of work. This ground up design is probably what sunk it in the first place, too expensive to bring to production. Therefore the designers went to work with what they had (the LX platform) and voila, we have the '06 Charger.

Besides, based on all of your posts, look like you are nothing but a troll or at most a sorry soul with a Don Quixote complex.
 

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xp29f8b said:
The so-called Charger is a family cruiser.
Gee, my 66 Tempest is just the same size. Oh, and how many of today's hot rods with muscle (muscle car) used to be family cruisers? Afterall, we never claimed it was a sports car.

xp29f8b said:
As far as it having a Hemi, not to many Dodge vehicles don't these days.
Well, wouldn't a new car with 5.7 liters and 350 hp qualify as having some muscle?

xp29f8b said:
It sure dosent have a musclecar body style.
I suppose that depends on your interpretation of what constitutes a muscle car body. I think if you look at the the front end with the spoiler, it looks mean.

xp29f8b said:
Anyone who bought one got duped.
I bet there were people that said the same thing about the 71 Cuda, 67 Shelby, and even some original Chargers. I also bet some of their owners felt the same way I do now, very happy with their purchase.

Murunga
 

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Muscle cars are making a come back! I'm one of them old farts, 50. I remember the Charger when it first came out. I love the new Charger. I really do not care for the 4 doors but it is cool. Maybe it would not have been such a big deal if they called something else. like Fury or something. I have a '70 Road Runner, Lime Light. I looking into a Daytona In Gomango. The two would look great sitting next to each other in the garage. Mopar Rules!!! :cat:
 

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Hello to everyone here!!!

I have a 04 SRT4 that is built to some extent----------but with all this talk on Muscle Cars-----Everyone needs to take a look at the New MotorTrend-------DCX is going to make a Mustang Killer with the new Challenger-----5.7 or 6.1 HEMI----------2010-------bad as hell in my book!
 

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When people compare the new Charger to the old one I have to ask, which older Charger? There are at least three different Charger styles, plus a whole bunch of different powertrain combinations. Several years ago I drove a restored-to-orginal '69 Charger 500 (precursor to the big-winged Daytona) wtih the Hemi and the "heavy-duty" suspension. That thing was downright scary. The owner had reverted the car to original, including shock absorbers. You did NOT want to make that try to turn a corner. In fact, I'd say a lot of the excitement from the original Hemi Chargers came from trying to keep the car under control. It was fast, but by modern standards, it felt much faster that it was.

That said, don't expect the "Touring" suspension on the '06 Charger to do much better. :eek:
 

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Muscle cars are making a comeback and the dodge charger was a perfect fit. I sold my 2001 Mustang Bullitt for the charger and I was a big Mustang fan with over 6 mustang purchases, all of them modded. I would say the Dodge charger is a muscle car and a family car, I was very pleased when I found out it had four doors and the go to back it up. The charger has it all; Muscle car looks w/HEMI v-8 and the ability to carry your family as well as good fuel economy. If you really need more power dodge has the SRT8 for the nay sayers. The Dodge Charger has it all and the people that own one understand completely what this car offers. I am a proud owner and this car is staying in the family :)

Rod
 

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carbuzzard.com said:
When people compare the new Charger to the old one I have to ask, which older Charger? There are at least three different Charger styles, plus a whole bunch of different powertrain combinations. Several years ago I drove a restored-to-orginal '69 Charger 500 (precursor to the big-winged Daytona) wtih the Hemi and the "heavy-duty" suspension. That thing was downright scary. The owner had reverted the car to original, including shock absorbers. You did NOT want to make that try to turn a corner. In fact, I'd say a lot of the excitement from the original Hemi Chargers came from trying to keep the car under control. It was fast, but by modern standards, it felt much faster that it was.

That said, don't expect the "Touring" suspension on the '06 Charger to do much better. :eek:
Don't forget the 2+2 charger of the 80's. I sure feel that the 2006 Charger represents the spirit of the early muscle cars better than the 4 cylinder, front wheel drive version of the 80's.
________
AVANDIA LAW
 
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