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The Four-Door Muscle Car Is Pulling In Drivers From Two-Door Pony Cars

Dodge Charger
All photos by and exclusively for MuscleCarsandTrucks.comphoto copyright Muscle Cars & Trucks.

The Dodge Charger has sold over 80,000 units annually for seven consecutive years, and just came off of the best Q3 it’s had in 13 years. The high-performing Charger Scat Pack in particular just had a record month. And over time, the four-door muscle car has emerged to be the best selling vehicle in the entire full-size sedan segment.

So, as it turns out, it’s necessarily that the segment itself is shriveling up. That just pertains to the boring models. Not only that, but the potent Charger has been able to bring in buyers from the shrinking two-door muscle car/pony car segment.

“We actually see a lot of people coming in from Mustang and Camaro. It’s a sedan, but we see (two-door) muscle car buyers getting into it,” according to Dodge Charger marketing manager Ashton Muñoz in an interview with MC&T.

Another vehicle in the FCA stable that’s been pulling muscle car buyers away has been the JL Jeep Wrangler.

“We like to theorize that you’ve had a muscle car your whole life, and you’re in that next stage (with a family), but you still want something fun. You can have it with the (Dodge Charger),” he said.

At the same time, customers driving more tame full-size sedans such as the Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala aren’t looking to fall into the ranks of The Brotherhood of Muscle and seize the savings of Dodge Power Dollars.

“We don’t see a lot of conquest from ‘normal’ full-size sedans. It’s (literally) the muscle cars and trucks,” Muñoz disclosed, without irony. “F-150, Silverado, yeah… Mustang, Camaro and F-150 are kind of the top three.”

Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

Some brands have made the effort to rival the Dodge Charger, but results have been futile.

“The (discontinued) Ford Taurus SHO was decently powerful and had all-wheel-drive, but it was still a Taurus… Impala has zero performance trim levels, and the only (Chevy) that was close to the Charger was the SS sedan, which is no longer,” he said. “The Toyota Avalon just came out with a TRD… they’re trying, I get it, they may be see what we’re doing and hoping to get a piece of that performance market. But what you look at their actual additions for performance, they only did an exhaust and tightened up the steering and suspension. And it’s still front wheel drive. We’re the only RWD car in that segment.”

Lastly, it’s not just the looks, the drivetrain, or the fun badges. It’s the bang for the buck, and, like the Dodge Challenger, not overcomplicating the formula.

“When people are paying $40-grand for almost 500 horsepower, to me, is one of the reasons why it’s been super popular. It comes with Brembos, it comes with 20 inch wheels, and all of the ways you can customize it. Like the satin roof and hood, the Hellcat wheels, and the Widebody now. We’re looking to see a lot of success with the Widebody from people getting into the Scat Pack.”

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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