Patrick Rall's picture

American muscle cars outsell hybrids in May 2011

According to the folks at USA Today, the Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang outsold all hybrid models sold in May by a margin of almost 10%.

You would think that the record-high fuel prices would force buyers away from these high performance models for fuel sipping hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid, the Chevy Volt and the rest of the electric/ hybrid models but in May 2011 the consumers spoke out – buying a total of 19,476 American muscle cars compared to just 17,852 hybrid models. This shows that consumers are showing their appreciation for the fuel economy efforts put out by the American automakers but it may also suggest that American consumers are growing numb to the skyrocketing fuel prices.

Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge have made great strides in the area of fuel economy, with these modern American muscle cars offering far better fuel economy than their ancestors of the 1960s and 70s could have ever dreamed. The 2012 Camaro comes with variants offering 323, 400 and 426 horsepower; the 2012 Mustang offers 305, 412, 444 and 550 horsepower and the Challenger packs 305, 372, 375 and 470 horsepower – depending on the trimline chosen. These are all incredibly impressive numbers and they eclipse the output of muscle cars from just a decade ago but thanks to their ability to get fuel mileage in the range of 30mpg – these are by far the most fuel efficient American muscle cars ever.

While the disasters in Japan caused shortages that had a direct impact on the hybrid segment, it is a relief to gearheads like myself to see that not all Americans are running for the ultra-efficient and ultra-blank hybrids like the Prius – instead opting for cars that offer reasonable fuel economy with lots of American muscle and plenty of attitude. The 2012 Mustang, Camaro and Challenger don’t come anywhere near the 50mpg claim of the likes of the Toyota Prius but consumers showed last month that getting fair fuel economy in a car with some personality and the ability to actually get you somewhere in a hurry is better than getting slightly better fuel economy from a car that struggles to break the speed limit.

Editor's Note: I applaud those who have recognized the gains made by General Motors, Chrysler and Ford Motor Company to make their performance cars more efficient by purchasing one of these awesome muscle cars last month. Now, how about someone put together a real hybrid performance car? Not everyone can afford the Fisker Karma sedan and the demand for a hybrid performance car is there – now where is the supply?

Source: USA Today

Other May Sales News:
Camaro leads in May 2011 as segment sales slow
GM struggles in May 2011 but still leads the industry in sales
Chrysler leads the Big 3 in May 2011 growth
Ford shows no growth in a rough May 2011
The Nissan Leaf easily outsells the Chevy Volt in May 2011

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If anything, this shows that hybrids and EVs will eventually replace ICEs. 10 years ago, how many EVs and hybrids were being sold? Now it almost matches muscle cars? amazing progress.
Personally I am numb to gas prices too. It just depends on the consumer; some don't care about gas prices and don't need to save the money. They can afford muscle cars and lets face it; cars like the Ford Mustang are way funner to drive than a hybrid with hardly any power. However, if you don't care about performance then sure go for they hybrid. Its good that consumers have options. I also agree with previous poster that hybrids are more popular than ever; I live in So Cal and I see them everywhere.
I love that people are getting more into <a href="">musclecars</a>. It just shows that American muscle is becoming popular again.
Patrick Rall they do make a high performance Electric Sports Cars and GT Sedans, they are called Tesla's and Koea's Leo Motors will soon sell its LZ-1H in the States.
I just traded in a 2011 Honda Civic LX purchased in Febuary for a 2011 Dodge Challenger SE. The honda had a lovely fuel economy of average around 33 miles to the gallon. But it had not the power I longed for, or the style. Tiny little thing I felt nervous driving in the company of trucks and sedans alike. Plus it does not suit my personality at all. And I think thats important. I am more of a Dodge Ram 1500 kind of person which is what I traded in for the Civic. My wife coerced me into it reluctantly, more room for the kids, better fuel efficientcy. The result was a loss in 100 horsepower :( I got to researching the 2011 Dodge Challenger HEAVILY. They get just 9 miles to the gallon less than Civics with 165 horsepower more. Thats a six cylinder vehicle that is pulling 65 more horsepower than my 8 cylinder 2005 Dodge Ram was pulling. And getting close to 10 miles to the gallon more on an average day than my Ram was getting on its best day. And to be honest I've ridden in and drove both mustangs and cameros and after an hour riding in or driving one, my back and legs were killing me, fun to drive but not for extended amounts of time. The Challenger has every vehicle I have ever owned, driven or ridden in in terms of smoothness of the ride and comfort levels. It is by far the all around best car I've ever sat in. That was the final hook in the sales pitch after considering all 3 I like the Challenger's style best as far as remaining true to the original designs, but ultimately it came down to the test drive. You can not surpass the fact that everything is smooth and flowing in the ride you experience in this car. And yeah you can save yourself some money and get a mustang, or a camero, but if I'm gonna pay for something I'm gonna pay for something that I can drive comfortably across the country and enjoy doing so in comfort if I get the sudden urge to hit the road, and I got the 6 cylinder because well I only need so much power, its a waste in my opinion to have all of it, if you can't use it on the open road. The SE's speedometer registers 140 I've never gone over 110 in my life and wouldn't recommend it to anyone that values their life or the lives of others. Plus I logicly couldn't justify sinking another 10 grand for a 67 to 70 horsepower increase to a V8 or another 10 grand on top of that for an aditional 100 horsepower in the form of an srt. I can just as easily save up 5 grand and increase my horspower from 305 to 720 with a super charge kit. The V6 is the bridge between power and fuel economy. I'll enjoy this car for years to come as I don't see myself ever owning anything but a Challenger now :)