Things just got a little more interesting in the musclecar world: Chrysler has bumped up the price of the 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 to $41,230. That's an increase of $1010 over the 2009 model.
What this might mean for the Challenger isn't sure. On the one hand, the price jump makes the 2010 model about $8000 more expensive than the similarly performance-minded 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which has a base price of $33,430. Moreover, the Challenger is about 400 pounds heavier than the Camaro, but that weight doesn't translate into additional power. (The Challenger boasts 425 hp, the Camaro clocks in at 426 hp.)
It's a little harder to compare the 2010 Challenger SRT8 with the 2010 Ford Mustang. Yes, Ford offers two Mustang variants that ring in above the $40,000 mark: the coupe and convertible Shelby GT 500s, which have MSRPs of $46,325 and $51,325, respectively.
However, even those models come with only a 315 hp V8. [Not exactly: see correction in the comments below.] Ford does plan to bring a brawnier 5-liter V8 to the 2011 Ford Mustang 5.0.
In sum: on paper the Challenger outperforms the Mustang, but it runs neck and neck with the Camaro, although the Challenger costs significantly more. This would seem to imply that performance enthusiasts might gravitate toward the Camaro -- and certainly some do. But in our experience, brand loyalty is a huge factor in the musclecar market, so even with the price jump, don't expect many Challenger fans to jump ship.