By Andrew Ganz
Tuesday, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 3:20 pm
 
Although Ford dominated the Detroit muscle car market for more than 25 years - including a brief stint alone in the segment - the revived Chevrolet Camaro outsold its blue oval rival this year for the first time since 1985.

Posting 81,371 deliveries, the Chevrolet Camaro bested the Ford Mustang by 8,015 units. The Dodge Challenger came in scrappy third place with 36,791 sales. Overall sales grew 32 percent for the Camaro, 10 percent for the Mustang and 42 percent for the Challenger - an interesting figure given that only the Challenger made its way through 2009 and 2010 virtually unchanged.

The reborn Camaro went on sale last summer in both V6 and V8 coupe versions. Sales were brisk initially as Chevrolet struggled to fill orders that had been placed years before, but demand appears to be leveling off. Sales were down 26 percent in December to 5,614 units - still impressive for the typically tepid sporty coupe market.

Camaro even managed to overcome two potential obstacles to capture the sales crown. Unlike the Mustang, Camaro is currently offered only in a hardtop configuration. In addition, Ford added an entirely new powertrain lineup to the Mustang earlier this year. Mustang and Camaro occasionally jostled for position after the Ford's engine room revamp, but the bowtie brand eventually came out on top.

Size up your bets
It's hard to say what will happen next year. The Challenger receives a new, 305-horsepower V6 and a range-topping 470-horsepower SRT8 392 model, but it's unlikely that it will take the crown.

Ford's pretty much done with the Mustang in its current iteration, as far as mainstream models are concerned, but the new track-tuned Boss 302 and 302S might stir up some interest.

A droptop Camaro is just weeks from hitting the road, while the high-performance Z28 is set to debut soon.