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Challenger Convertible Interest Parallels Camaro Numbers

Jul 01, 2016 - 9:30 AM - by MagnumClub
Editor note: we are following up on a poll we posted several weeks ago gauging interest in a Challenger Convertible

By Patrick Rall, LXForums Editorial Staff

Over the past few weeks, I have been watching a series of polls posted across the various social networking sites asking Mopar fans whether or not they would be interested in buying a Dodge Challenger convertible in the next generation, should one be offered. There was a similar poll posted here on LXForums and across all of the pages where I poised that question, the results were relatively uniform.

Across all of the polls that I posted online, there was a ratio of roughly 4 people who aren’t interested in a Challenger convertible to every person who would like to buy a next gen Challenger convertible. That ratio of 4 to 1 or, if you’d prefer, 1 in 5, suggests that of the hundreds of people polled, around 20% would be interested in buying a Dodge Challenger convertible. Of course, that number could be inflated by people who will post online saying that they would buy one in a heartbeat when, in reality, they aren’t going to be buying any new vehicles in the next few years. At the same time, there are likely people who voted “no”, but who would change their mind once they saw the Challenger convertible in person.

In other words, the polls posted online are a far cry from the act of putting money down on a new Challenger convertible, but these surveys show that a surprisingly low number of Mopar fans want to see a droptop Dodge muscle car. 20% seems very low, right?

Not really.

I reached out to General Motors and Ford Motor Company to see what their coupe to convertible take rates were for the 2015 calendar year. Ford didn’t reply, but General Motors did, and they provided me with the mix numbers for the Chevrolet Camaro and the Chevrolet Corvette. For the Camaro in 2015, 82% were coupes and 18% were convertible while the Corvette saw a mix of 78.7% hardtops and 21.3% convertibles. Now, with the Corvette serving as more of a “toy” than a daily driver, we can expect that it would have a slightly higher take rate for the convertible, but the Camaro’s rate of 18% is obviously of special interest here.

While 20% might seem like a low rate of interested buyers, that is higher than the real world take rate for the Camaro convertible, so in the ongoing battle between the Big 3 for muscle car supremacy, 1 in 5 seems like enough Mopar fans to warrant a production convertible when the next generation arrives in a few years.

Now, it should be noted that the introduction of a Dodge Challenger convertible likely won’t account for the difference in sales numbers between the Challenger and its cross-town rivals. Critics have often referenced the lack of a convertible when examining why the Challenger doesn’t sell as well as the other two and while a droptop model would help – it isn’t going to close the gap between the segment sales leader. For example, during the first five months of 2016, Ford has sold over 53,000 Mustangs while Dodge has sold just over 29,000 Challengers. Say that we were to assume that the 20% of buyers who wanted a Challenger convertible weren’t going to buy a hardtop; that would effectively add another 20% on top of the current numbers – leading to an estimated sales figure of around 34,800 units. This is still well short of the Mustang and really, we cannot expect that every single person who raised their hand to show interested in a convertible in my polls would run out and buy one. However, if we look at the fact that GM has sold just shy of 32,000 Camaros through the first five months of this year, the Challenger would only need an increase of about 11.5% to catch and pass the Chevy in the annual sales race.

... [Read More]
  2 Replies | 224 Views

We Gonna Drag Race Drag on Woodward Ave.

Jun 23, 2016 - 1:51 PM - by MagnumClub

'Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge' Brings Legal Drag Racing to Woodward Ave. at M1 Concourse on August 19

  • August 19 Roadkill Nights event takes over new M1 Concourse in Pontiac from noon to 10 p.m. with drag races, thrill rides, giveaways and more
  • Cash purse totaling $19,000 will be awarded to the quickest Dodge cars, Dodge body and Dodge-powered cars only
  • Event FREE to spectators; participants may register a vehicle at www.roadkill.com/PR
  • Roadkill Nights expanded to two cities this year; June 18 event in Kansas City drew nearly 12,000 attendees
  • August 19 Pontiac event expected to be even bigger with legal street racing; early registration is encouraged

June 23, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - “Flashlight” drag racing is back, but this time it’s on Woodward Avenue ... and it’s legal. Registration is now open for the much anticipated Michigan return of the “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge,” TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s popular drag racing event and car festival, which drew more than 10,000 performance enthusiasts to its inaugural event last year alone.

This year’s event, taking place on August 19, 2016, is bigger and better, with a new, larger location at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich., a cash purse totaling $19,000 and legal street drag racing on Woodward Avenue.

“Woodward is one of (if not the) most famous ‘Muscle Car Corridors’ in the country and, as far as we know, this is the first time ever that street racing on it will be legal,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA, North America. “Drag racers will be able to show their muscle when Woodward is closed from South Boulevard to Rapid Street in Pontiac to create what is sure to be an epic kick off to the weekend’s cruise events.”

Leading the races will be David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan, co-hosts of ROADKILL, the most-viewed YouTube automotive original series in the world.

"This event is uniquely Roadkill. We are racing in a spot no one else would dare to run all in the name of fun. Show up and you'll see Roadkill cars, come and spend time with us and have the time of your life," said Mike Finnegan.

Additional celebrity guest appearances include Richard Rawlings of Dallas’ Gas Monkey Garage and the Discovery Channel’s “Fast N’ Loud” TV show.

Open from noon to 10 p.m., the Aug. 19 "Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge" event includes thrill rides in Dodge Viper, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat vehicles, a Show ‘n’ Shine area, Roadkill stunts and exhibitions, as well as live music, food trucks and much more.

"We're excited about hosting ‘Roadkill Nights’ as one of the main events during our newly branded ‘Pontiac Power Week’ festival,” said Mayor of the City of Pontiac Deirdre Waterman.

Following the huge success of the inaugural event held in Michigan last year, TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s "Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge" was expanded to two cities in 2016. The first stop, June 18 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, drew nearly 12,000 spectators.

With first-time legal street racing on Woodward Avenue, this year’s Pontiac, Mich., Roadkill Nights event is expected to be even bigger. Early registration at www.roadkill.com/PR is encouraged.

Fans can follow the action for both Roadkill Nights events at hashtags #Roadkillnights and #poweredbydodge.

Roadkill Nights Registration Information
Registration is open at Roadkill.com/PR. General admission to the event is FREE for spectators. Participants may register a vehicle for drag racing and the Show ’n’ Shine at the site.

Pricing is as follows and spaces are limited:
  • Drag Racing: $50 per vehicle, all makes are welcome
  • Show ’n’ Shine: FREE
  • VIP Packages: $150 per person and includes one spot to compete in the drag race, personal meet-and-greet with Mike Finnegan and David Freiburger, photo
... [Read More]
  3 Replies | 538 Views

Dont Hate on the 4 Cylinder Charger – it Could Preserve the Hellcat

Jun 09, 2016 - 9:07 AM - by MagnumClub
By Patrick Rall, LXForums Editorial Staff

Picture from Allpar

There is a rumor floating around the internet with insider support that suggests that the next generation Dodge Charger sedan will come with a new twin turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Although this small engine is expected to offer similar power to that of the current Pentastar V6, this rumor has stirred up a ton of controversy since many Mopar fans cannot imagine a 4-cylinder engine in the world’s baddest-ass sedan.

However, the twin turbo “Hurricane” engine is an idea that should be embraced by lovers of high performance cars – not because they will consider buying the fuel-sipping Dodge Charger with this tiny turbo engine but rather, because it could play a big part in the future role of the Hellcat Hemi in the Charger lineup.

Gratuitous engine pic. Visit our Hemi Anniversary Photo Gallery

Why the Hurricane Charger Might Be Ok
First off, before anyone begins organizing a lynching, hear me out on why the rumored Hurricane engine might be an ok option for the next generation Dodge Charger.

The next gen Charger is expected to be built on the new Alfa Romeo Giulia platform and there are rumors (again, supported by insider information) that the next Dodge sedan will still be a large vehicle, but it will be a bit smaller and a considerable amount lighter. Some reports suggest that the base Charger could weight around 3,500lb, some 500lbs lighter than the current base Charger. At the same time, the twin turbocharged 4-cylinder Hurricane engine is expected to pack around 300 horsepower and, more importantly, it will likely offer far more than the 260lb-ft of torque.

In other words, the TT 4-cylinder should have a little more horsepower and a lot more torque, so when you plug that engine into a lighter next gen Charger, we should have a new large Dodge sedan that will offer better performance than the current V6-powered base Charger.

Of course, this new engine and lighter chassis will almost lead to a Dodge Charger that is far more efficient than the current V6 Charger and that could lead to improved fleet fuel economy figures. Those improved fleet figures could allow the company to continue offering the Hellcat Hemi while still improving their overall fleet fuel economy – thus conforming to the bothersome CAFÉ laws.

You might be asking how the addition of a 4-cylinder engine to the Charger lineup might help preserve the Hellcat. Here’s how:
CAFÉ laws state that by 2025, all automakers must reach an average fuel economy figure of 54.5 miles per gallon, but it is important to understand what that means. Some people seem to think that it means that every vehicle will have to get 54mpg, but that isn’t the case at all. CAFÉ laws are based on the overall fuel economy of the fleet and that average is weighted by sales volume.

Say that Company A sells 10 examples of Vehicle A that gets 50 miles per gallon in 2020. I understand that every automaker sells more than 10 vehicles per year, but I have simplified the numbers to make the math easier. To get the CAFÉ fleet fuel economy number, you divide the total number of vehicles sold by the average fuel economy numbers of each vehicle.

Since all 10 vehicles get 50mpg, the average fuel economy for Vehicle A would account for a factor of 0.2 and when you divide the total number of vehicles sold in 2020 (10 vehicles), you get an overall fleet fuel economy average of 50mpg under café laws.

Now, say that in 2021, Company A sells 10 more examples of Vehicle A which still get 50mpg, but they also sell one example of Vehicle B, which only gets 10mpg. Vehicle A would still have a factor of 0.2 while Vehicle B would have a factor of just 0.1. To get the 2021 CAFÉ number, we add together those two factor numbers for a total of 0.3 and we divide the total number of vehicles sold (11) by that number – leading to an... [Read More]
  48 Replies | 3,397 Views

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