Opinion: What will replace our Aussie muscle cars?

Dodge sedan

AFTER Falcon and Commodore have taken their final bows, what on earth is MOTOR going to write about? It’s a question we’re occasionally asked. And I’m happy to share a theory. Hint: I’m still getting my eight hours a night...

Disregarding the countless cars that aren’t $60K, V8 and rear-driven, for the second time in as many months we have an American muscle car on our cover. And for good reason – we find they’re attracting attention.

We’ve been more than a bit surprised by the warm welcome Mustang’s received with Aussie fast car buyers. And more recently we’ve seen a heightened interest in the maniacal muscle cars produced by Dodge for the American market.

Dodge Charger SRT frontThe Hellcats, a coupe and sedan, each boast a blown 6.2-litre Hemi V8 and more power (527kW) than your mind, or their rear tyres, can properly comprehend. And Fiat Chrysler wants them for Australia. At least, the previous boss did; they just got a new one, and it’s not yet clear his position. But surely it’d take just 3.6sec to rationalise a business case for their development in right-hand drive, given the Mustang’s sell-out success.

It must be said, we’re talking more the next-gen Hellcats due in three or four years as there’s surely no chance of a factory right-hand drive program for the current model. But still, Aussie interest percolates, and the connection to the E49 Charger in particular is a tempting and not unfair one.

Dodge Charger wheelStill in Motor City, obviously all current, hot, V8 Commodores are powered by American engines too. It just could happen that the chassis the thing sits in ends up being designed by them as well, and made somewhere else.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for globalisation to work in our favour rather than cheering on a bunch of imports coming in and cutting our lunch. I’ll be as devastated as anyone to see Falcon and Commodore go.

But that ship has unfortunately sailed and so long as we share common motoring tastes as Americans and vice versa, comparatively tiny Australia will continue to offer a surprisingly healthy market for prospective muscle car sellers. So there’s plenty for us to bang on about yet. And in the years to come, plenty to keep you V8, rear-drive lovers biting your fist.


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