American muscle is dead. SEMA 2009 is quite possibly the final sunset into which the American pony car will ride. While it may be hard to see daylight fading in SEMA’s glare of eight customized Camaros sponsored by GM, or the usual herd of V8 tuners ready to add more excess, if you step outside the corral, you will find that the American pony car’s muscle no longer fits its market or our times.
Build a Camaro SS add the RS package along with a couple of options and soon you’re in the $40K stratosphere; hardly a reflection of the original pony car ideal of taking an inexpensive sedan chassis, adding some sporty lines with a powerful engine and keeping the price point accessible. Even though we see the current Mustang GT does a reasonable job of holding on to this heritage, it’s still a top end model and priced accordingly. The Challenger SRT may be retro fabulous, but is ultimately a ridiculous machine. Sure, these are halo models intended to help shift secretary specials, but something has been lost in translation so that the fast and furious versions are now priced to be garage queens and the intended market will look elsewhere for practical rear drive performance with flair.