Muscle Cars in 2023: Last Gas-Powered Standoff and Future Prospects

The year 2023 witnessed a pivotal moment for the muscle car industry as iconic models retired, leaving only a few contenders on the track. In this exploration of the muscle car landscape, we delve into the last gas-powered standoffs, electrified futures, and the top-selling models. Discover the winners and losers of 2023 as the automotive world continues to dive deeper towards electrification.

With Dodge’s “Last Call” V8 HEMI-powered Challengers and Chargers, the debut of the next-gen Ford Mustang with the mighty Coyote 5.0L V8 engine, and the race-ready Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, it really was like a race to the finish of both style and power for these four longstanding rivals. But with the auto industry constantly changing, many of these automakers have had to make some tough choices to their future lineups. But before we dwell too much on that, let’s take a closer look at the official standings for which muscle car sold the most in the U.S. in 2023.

2023 Muscle Car Sales in the U.S.

According to GoodCarBadCar.net and CarFigures.com

RankModelTotal
4Chevrolet Camaro24,652
3Dodge Challenger44,961
2Dodge Charger46,732
1Ford Mustang53,159
Grand Totals169,504

Leading the pack was the new 7th-generation 2024 Ford Mustang, which, as far as the general public knows, is the last gas-powered muscle car to survive 2023. With its heavy emphasis on performance, and its very attractive Dark Horse model that features the alluring Coyote 5.0L V8 that generates up to 500 horsepower, it is no surprise that muscle car fans flocked to the only muscle car they expected to go on when the electrified future loomed over the automotive landscape.

Trailing behind in second place was the four-door Dodge Charger, which certainly saw a boost in sales as the final gas-powered HEMI V8 before the electrified e-muscle Charger Daytona SRT Concept takes over. However, there is a strong likelihood that Dodge is developing a new gas-powered Hurricane i6 Charger in the background. Not to mention that the upcoming Hurricane 3.0L i6 generates more horsepower and torque (400+ HP and 450 lb-ft of torque) over the HEMI (363 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque). Of course, we’ll have to wait for official word from Stellantis whether or not this is true (which it probably is).

In third was the fan-favorite, the Dodge Challenger HEMI, which unfortunately has gone on to the great highway in the sky. But it most certainly had one of the most explosive farewell parties ever seen. This was evident by the production of the rare 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, the most powerful factory-produced car ever made that was capable of generating over 1,000 horsepower! Now that is how you make an exit with style.

Last, but certainly not least, was the Chevrolet Camaro. While it technically was discontinued before, this latest version of the muscle car managed to see an uprising in sales nearing the end of 2023. Knowing that its time was almost up, many hungry customers scrambled to get their orders in before it was gone for good.

How Does The Future Look For Muscle Cars?

Right now, the Ford Mustang appears to be the only “traditional” muscle car in production. While the Dodge Charger will be part of the upcoming e-muscle line of electrified muscle cars, a gas-powered alternative with the new Hurricane i6 engine is a strong possibility. But other rumors suggest that a next-gen HEMI V8 could also be in development as well. Not to mention that automakers may have their own ideas for new muscle cars in the future. So while muscle cars are in a bit of a haze at the moment, brighter days could be over the horizon. Fingers crossed.

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