Dodge’s “Retro” Challenger Muscle Car Outsells Camaro & Mustang In 2021!

Challenger Takes The Best-Selling Muscle Car Crown...

As the automotive industry focuses on the future of electrification, America’s pony car segment has continued to be competitive between the iconic Ford Mustang and the retro-loving Dodge Challenger. With the Chevrolet Camaro continuing to take a back seat to the other Detroit offerings, 2021 seemed to be Dodge’s year as the Challenger was the best-selling “pony car” of the year.

2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock in Go ManGo. (Dodge).

Ford has held the title since 2015, after its launch of the S550 (or sixth-generation) Mustang. It was at the time that Chevrolet introduced its lackluster sixth-generation Camaro which left a lot of bowtie fans scratching their heads. Since 2015, Dodge had a heavy mid-cycle-action (MCA) for the Challenger and has continued to dial in the oldest and largest car in the segment.

Offering the most diverse lineup in the “pony car” segment, the Challenger offers everything from an efficient 303 horsepower V6 model with class-exclusive all-wheel-drive (AWD) to a drag strip dominating 807 horsepower beast. Needless to say that there is a Challenger to fit everyone’s persona is an understatement.

2022 Ford Mustang GT500. (Ford).

Dodge sold 54,314 Challengers during 2021, which is 3% over its performance in 2020. Ford, on the other hand, managed to sell 52,414 Mustangs last year, which was a decrease of 14.2% from its sales in 2020. Ultimately, 2021 was the worst year for Mustang in the nameplate’s 56-year history. 

Now it is important to understand, Ford does not mix sales of its electrified Mustang Mach-E electric crossover with the sales of its muscle car.

2021 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS. (Chevrolet).

Ford Motor Company is currently developing its next generation of Mustang (S650) for launch in 2023 as a 2024 model. The next-generation Mustang will also adopt electrification, with a Hybrid model being expected to join the lineup after the seventh-generation Mustang’s launch.

For General Motors (GM) Chevrolet brand, they managed to sell 21,893 units of their Camaro during the year. That was down 26.5% over Camaro’s 2020 results, leaving many to wonder if 2022 will be Camaro’s last full-year in production. GM has announced it will become a fully-electric vehicle automaker over the next decade, with several automotive sources saying that the famed Chevrolet muscle car will be replaced by an electrified four-door sedan.

2021 Number of Muscle Cars Sold in the United States
Year Dodge Challenger Ford Mustang Chevrolet Camaro
2020 52,995 61,090 29,775
2021 54,314 52,414 21,893

Dodge has its own plans for the Challenger’s future.

Unlike most of the Stellantis brands, the Dodge brand will focus on building both internal combustion engine (ICE) and electrified variants of its next-generation Challenger (LB) which is due to start arriving in dealer showrooms in late-2023.

Dodge gave us a tease of an all-new battery-electric vehicle (BEV) version of the next-generation Challenger in concept form. during Stellantis’ EV Day 2021 Presentation. In a couple of recent interviews, Kuniskis explained that we would see this concept eMuscle car before the end of Q1 2022.

Front of the Dodge eMuscle Concept Car. (Dodge).

It is believed that this concept will showcase the upcoming BEV powertrain, which is rumored to feature a tri-motor setup of Stellantis’ 330 kW (or about 443 horsepower) electric motors and an all-wheel-drive system. That means the new Challenger BEV could have over 1,300 horsepower. Stellantis will also showcase its capability of 800-volt drive modules.

With that being said, it looks like the battle between the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger will continue for many years to come.

Jared B

Jared founded MoparInsiders and is a 41-year-old automotive enthusiast from Vancouver, British Columbia. He took an interest in cars at a very young age and has been interested in them ever since. His hobbies include photography, videography, drag racing, and auto detailing. He currently owns and drives a 2023 Audi RS6, a 2024 GMC Sierra, and a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

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It will be interesting to see a breakdown for Challenger's sales numbers by model.

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