buying: The Future of Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger: What We Know

1967 Mustang Is the Perfect Blueprint for a Coyote Swap

  1967 Mustang Is the Perfect Blueprint for a Coyote Swap Wicked Fabrication has become the go-to shop for late-model Coyote V-8 swaps, and Byron Tudor’s 1967 Mustang is the latest example.The good thing we speak of is the 1967 coupe that was given to Byron by his girlfriend's sister, Holly. Holly had driven the plain white coupe for a number of years before parking it in the late '90s due to its declining condition and concerns regarding reliability. After having it sit in her garage for nearly 20 years and concluding she was unlikely to get it back on the road, Holly offered it to Byron—free of charge. It was important to Holly that her Mustang go to a good home.

First the SUVs came for our sedans. Now they're going after our sport coupes.

a car parked in a parking lot: Pony Cars © Automobile Magazine Staff Pony Cars

Two-door American coupes and convertibles with virtually unusable rear seats, usually referred to as pony cars or muscle cars and considered sports cars by some, have long been a hard sell in the U.S. market. Now with the Detroit Three offering SUVs like the Chevrolet Blazer RS, Ford Edge ST, and even the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, the future of this segment is in grave doubt.

1964 Ford Mustang Test Car Photos You've Never Seen

  1964 Ford Mustang Test Car Photos You've Never Seen The 1964 Ford Mustang was performance tested by MotorTrend magazine. Here are unseen archival photos from those tests.The bright red test Mustang clocked a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds and got to the end of the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds at a top speed of 89 mph. MotorTrend published its story in the August 1964 issue. These archive photos are from that test day in Riverside. Most of them were not published.

Consider: In calendar year 2015, when U.S. auto sales hit 17.4 million for the first time (followed by two more record years), the combined sales of the Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro, and Dodge Challenger were 266,216. In 2018, the U.S. market held on to 17.3 million total sales, but the three ponies totaled just 193,134. That's a collective 27.5 percent drop.

Since at least the 1960s, constant design and performance updates have been key to the success of sporty two-doors. The thinking is that after the first model year of almost any expressive, aspirational car, everyone who wants one has one. Makers of the Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro work overtime to keep these models fresh, but sooner or later it becomes time for an all-new replacement. Here is everything we know about the future of these cars as we approach a decade in which electrification, autonomy, and car-sharing will do far more to upend the auto business than the proliferation of SUVs.

1966 Mustang Restomod: Homebuilt from the Ground Up

  1966 Mustang Restomod: Homebuilt from the Ground Up At 69 years old, Stan Hawkins undertook his first full car build, restoring and modifying a 1966 Mustang Coupe in his home garageAs Stan tells it, this is how it all started: "When I retired as a product development engineer in 2013 at the age of 69 I needed a project. I've always loved working on cars but never had the time to do it from bottom to top. I felt I might be too old until I met another old guy with a hot rod Model A pickup in a parking lot at the hardware store. We talked, and I told him my concern. He looked at me kind of funny and said, 'Well I'm 74 and working on several right now.

a car parked on the side of a road © Manufacturer,Patrick M. Hoey

Chevrolet Camaro

We've been hearing for weeks that General Motors brass have been debating whether there's a future for the Chevy Camaro. Now, Muscle Cars & Trucks reports that development of a seventh-generation Camaro is on hiatus, and the car will be discontinued after the 2023 model year. We think "hiatus" may be a tad too optimistic, even though the Camaro went on hiatus before, between the 2003 and 2008 model years.

Read More: 2020 Camaro Offers a Cheaper V-8

When the fifth-generation, '09 Camaro made its debut it shot to the top of pony-car sales, topping even the Ford Mustang. But the all-new '15 Mustang passed it again for good, outselling it that year 122,349 to 77,502. Dodge sold 66,365 Challengers in '15. Since then, with low-volume Hellcats and Demons polishing its halo, the Challenger has passed the Camaro in sales; last year the numbers were 75,482 Mustangs, 66,716 Challengers, and just 50,963 Camaros.

Classic American sports cars and more up for auction at Palm Beach sale

  Classic American sports cars and more up for auction at Palm Beach sale Classic American sports cars and more up for auction at Palm Beach sale

While the '09 Camaro borrowed interior and exterior visual cues from the 1969 Camaro, early proposals were to completely redesign the car for its sixth-generation with a Gen II, 1970.5 look. Instead, that redesign proved far too conservative for such a style-conscious segment, and the problem was compounded by an even gloomier interior and poor outward visibility that forces drivers to depend heavily on modern camera and proximity sensor technology.

2021 Acura TLX: First Look

  2021 Acura TLX: First Look New dynamic styling and — of course — more power.… The post 2021 Acura TLX: First Look appeared first on

There's another reason to ice the Camaro for good: It allows Chevrolet to devote the car's resources toward updates and upgrades of the new mid-engine Corvette, which will have a base price competitive with the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. There's no reason to continue competing with the four-cylinder Mustang EcoBoost convertibles popular mostly with California and Florida rental fleets.

a blue car on a race track © Automobile Magazine Staff

Ford Mustang

The new rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator was designed to put volume, and thus cost-effectiveness, into the next-generation Ford Mustang, which is the automaker's single remaining non-truck/non-SUV sold in North America. But when we attended the 2020 Explorer first-drive program, engineers said the longitudinal-engine architecture was designed to be a sport-utility platform from the start.

Read More: 2020 GT500: More Engine Details

A hybrid Mustang is expected next year as a 2021 model, and this car always was planned for the existing architecture. This suggests the Explorer/Aviator-based Mustang would come in time for perhaps the 2023 model year, with the hybrid powertrain carrying over. That said, we still wouldn't be surprised if Ford keeps the current Mustang around a few years longer as it continues to sort out the new car's underpinnings, which it will share with the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.

2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid: What You Need to Know

  2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid: What You Need to Know The 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid has incredible acceleration, athletic handling, and a stately cabin, yet it sits in the lower half of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. It has high ownership costs, subpar fuel economy for a hybrid, and a small cargo space. The 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is ranked: #4 in 2016 Hybrid SUVs #10 in Used Hybrid SUVs $30K and up Is the 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid a Good Used SUV? There's no denying the 2016 Cayenne Hybrid is an exceptional vehicle, boasting sporty performance and a posh interior. But it will cost you more to buy this Porsche than it will to purchase most other luxury midsize SUVs.

The "Mustang-inspired" all-electric four-door crossover will not be mechanically or architecturally related to any of these models.

Look for the next Mustang, which Automotive News reports will stick around through 2030, to grow closer in size to the Dodge Challenger.

The current Mustang is 188.5 inches long overall and 54.3 inches high and sits on a 107.1-inch wheelbase. In comparison, the Challenger is 197.9 inches long and 57.5 inches tall and has a 116.2-inch wheelbase, a result of sharing a tall firewall with the Charger and Chrysler 300. The Camaro is close to the Mustang in size, at 188.3 inches long and 53.1 inches tall, and with a 110.7-inch wheelbase.

A Challenger-sized Mustang would make it a tough sell in the European Union, where Ford says the car has become the region's bestselling sports car. But it might be the future for what most likely will be a two-car segment, consisting of Mustang and Challenger. Think of this next-generation Mustang as being a kind of retro nod to its 1971 ancestor, which left its Falcon compact platform for the one under the midsize Torino. Of course, that 1971-73 model was succeeded by the Pinto-based 1974 Mustang II.

a car parked on the side of a road © Automobile Magazine Staff

Dodge Challenger

Fiat Chrysler's muscle/pony has had a checkered future, full of oft-canceled replacements. The Challenger debuted in '08 in SRT guise, with the full line added for '09, and Dodge had planned a new "Barracuda" in the early 2010s that would be smaller than Challenger, though on the same platform. It was a pet project of Fiat Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles.

Ford Mustang successor will live through the end of this decade, report says

  Ford Mustang successor will live through the end of this decade, report says Production of the 7th-generation pony car should start in 2022, which suggests a reveal could happen as soon as next year.Citing sources close to the Blue Oval's plans, industry publication Automotive News reported Monday that Ford will keep this next pony car around for a lengthy eight-year product cycle. AN's sources also reaffirmed a 2022 production start date, which would give the next Mustang life through the end of this decade at least.

Read More: Stars & Stripes Challenger Looks Wicked

By Fiat Chrysler's second Five-Year Plan introduced by then-CEO Sergio Marchionne in 2014, the Dodge Challenger and Charger were to migrate to Alfa Romeo's rear-drive Giorgio platform, on which the Giulia is built. But delays and added cost in developing that platform put the Dodges on ice.

By Fiat Chrysler's third Five-Year Plan presentation last year in Balocco, Italy, Marchionne confirmed that the Giorgio-based Dodges were off, and that constant updates of the Challenger/Charger/Chrysler 300 platform would keep the models fresh through the 2020s. Fiat Chrysler long ago evolved the chassis, cribbed from the Mercedes-Benz E-class during the DaimlerChrysler years, to the point that it considers the platform its own. For instance, AWD was added to the Dodge Challenger in the 2017 model year. Earlier in the decade, Fiat Chrysler had to pay a licensing fee to post-Chrysler Daimler for AWD systems for the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300.

Read MoreThe Mustang Is Winning the Pony-Car Sales War

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Meanwhile, ZF Friedrichshafen last week announced Fiat Chrysler has placed the second-largest order for the transmission supplier's eight-speed automatic for longitudinal-engine, rear- and all-wheel-drive models. The order includes a "significant share of hybrid transmissions," which means Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep, as well as Alfa and Maserati, will likely soon offer 48-volt systems like those seen on Ram pickups and the Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator.

Fiat Chrysler now considers the Dodge's plus-size an advantage, so we don't expect any significant downsizing when the next Challenger arrives, likely for 2022.

READ MORE2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Test Drive Is a Double-Sided Proposition

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2017 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid: What You Need to Know .
The 2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid finishes in the top half our luxury midsize SUV rankings. It boasts a posh cabin, sprightly acceleration, and precise handling. It also earns a great predicted reliability rating. That said, the Cayenne Hybrid’s cramped cargo area hurts its appeal. The 2017 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is ranked: #2 in 2017 Hybrid SUVs #3 in Used Hybrid SUVs $30K and up Is the 2017 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid a Good Used SUV? The 2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid is a marvelous luxury midsize SUV that delivers on both the luxury and performance fronts.

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