Ford Drops Out of the Race and Makes Space for Dodge to Takeover
Have you heard the great news? Well, great for us and the Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) Group anyway. Automaker Ford is all but pulling out of the muscle car competition. Faced with plunging demand and declining profits from its passenger car lineup, Ford CEO Jim Hackett announced that Ford will be pulling its sedans and small cars from the North American market to focus on the apparent “booming side of the market” – pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles, and crossover-utility vehicles. That leaves the 2018 Mustang as the only sedan Ford will be selling.
When it comes to sedans, Dodge only has one – the Dodge Charger. Many would argue that this sedan is a borderline muscle car, but given the four-door body style and the lack of coupe styling, we’re gonna hafta keep it in the sedan category. That works for this comparison though, because although the Ford Mustang is also known as a muscle car, Ford classifies it as a passenger car. So when it comes to sedans, both Dodge and Ford have a worthy contender – at face value.
Now let’s look at powertrain options. We discussed the differences between the Dodge Challenger and the Dodge Charger earlier, and they all have the same powertrain with varying outputs for each. See, the 2018 Dodge Charger has four engine options available to it depending on the trim. Even if we didn’t count the all powerful supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine, capable of generating 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, the Ford Mustang still doesn’t stand a chance.
The most powerful engine on the 2018 Ford Mustang is a 460-horsepower 5.0-liter Mustang V8 engine. That’s the “legendary” engine that can supply the Mustang with the most power possible. The second-to-most powerful engine on the 2018 Dodge Charger is a 392 (cubic-inch) HEMI V8 engine. Alone, this engine has an output of 485 horsepower. That’s 20 more units than the Mustang, and that’s the second-most powerful engine on the Charger. The SRT Hellcat engine puts the Mustang’s numbers to shame with an output of 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. We can hear the sobs already.
Ford said they’re pulling their passenger cars, but they said nothing about completely leaving the race for muscle cars. We can assume some of them are safe, including the Mustang Shelby GT350, a high-end trim of the Ford Mustang. Then there’s the Dodge Challenger, the muscle car contender for the Ford Mustang. The Mustang Shelby GT350 has only one engine option, a 5.2-liter V8 engine that produces 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. Admittedly, that’s more powerful than a 485-horsepower 392 HEMI V8 engine.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger has one more engine option in comparison with the Dodge Charger sedan. It’s the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Demon V8 engine, optimized with over 97 new parts to make it possible to generate a total of 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque. We know not everyone is interested in getting an SRT Demon though, and that’s okay. The supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine is more than enough if a Dodge consumer wishes to put the Ford name to shame.
The only upper hand Ford may have on the Mustang is the price. For the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, one of its strongest, the starting MSRP is set at $57,240*. If going for the more upscale option, then the Shelby GT350R has a starting MSRP of $64,740*. Both of these are less than the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat starting MSRP of $65,995. However, if not looking for SRT Hellcat power and okay with a slight drop between the Dodge Challenger and the Ford Mustang, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT 392 has a starting MSRP of $50,495*. That’s nearly a $10,000 difference between the two muscle cars. And with the Dodge Challenger offering more choices (Ford has nine Mustang trims, Dodge has 16 Challenger trims), is there really any competition left between the two?
Thanks for jumping ship, Ford. Now America knows who the real muscle car automaker is. Find your 2018 Dodge vehicle at Aventura CJDR.