Unlike Doug, I am totally unqualified to answer car questions. I went from being a used-car salesman to being a used-car dealer, and eventually I went broke in the car business. I then became a dude who sells steak burgers — and recently, I began documenting my horrible car purchase decisions for other people’s amusement. This means I’m often left with more questions than answers, and that gave me an idea. Why not pose these questions to the people of the internet?
Since the comments section of larger websites like YouTube cause me to seriously doubt the future of the human race, this is a terrible idea — but I’m doing it anyway. I’m more hopeful for the Oversteer readers, since they are especially brilliant individuals who make excellent choices with their automotive journalism sources.
My first question comes from my love of massive car depreciation. Most of my hooptie fleet was purchased for a small fraction of its original MSRP, and I’ve been fantasizing about what modern-day halo car will depreciate the most in the near future. I’ve decided to turn this into a betting pool for bragging rights, something we can revisit a year from now to see who was the smartest. So, without further delay, here’s the first question:
Which of the following halo cars will depreciate the most over the next year? Will it be the BMW i8, Mercedes AMG GTS or Dodge Challenger Hellcat?
Along with posing this question to the internet peanut gallery, I also asked a few attendees at my local Cars and Coffee for a video. It resulted in two votes for the Hellcat and one for the BMW i8. Since these vehicles all have different values, I’m basing their results on percentage dropped from their current average asking prices on Autotrader. Before you make your decision, allow me to lay out arguments for each choice.
1. 2015 BMW i8
Original base MSRP: $141,695
Current average dealer asking price: $100,563
With dealers offering used i8 hybrids at nearly a third off the original MSRP, the BMW i8 is already a depreciation hero. The BMW Group has always been very aggressive with its leasing options, meaning lightly used i8s will continue flooding the market as more cars are turned in. Being a 3-cylinder hybrid, and since it’s slower than its halo-car competitors, the i8 has had trouble capturing the hearts of automotive enthusiasts.
While this choice may seem like a slam dunk given how far it’s already fallen, there are reasons this trend could stabilize. BMW initially oversupplied dealers with i8s, leading to massive discounts. With even lower prices used, this opens up the i8 to a much larger buying pool, creating more demand — and that could level out the depreciation curve. Find a 2015 BMW i8 for sale
2. 2016 Mercedes AMG GTS
Original base MSRP: $129,900
Current average dealer asking price: $118,038
Perhaps you’re wondering why anyone would buy a pre-owned 2016 AMG GTS, since used prices are so close to new. The simple answer is pricey options. As our fearless leader described in a previous Ask Doug, very few people buy stripper-model supercars. Items like Macchiato Nappa Leather ($3600), the Burmester Surround Sound system ($4500) and ceramic brakes ($8950) are popular choices that send window stickers soaring over the MSRP.
Despite crazy option prices, the AMG GTS is certainly due for a price drop, and the chances of this happening are better than ever thanks to the new GTR. As dealers begin offering AMG’s newest performance variant of the GT, it will almost certainly devalue the GTS.
The main counterpoint to this argument is AMG’s previous halo car, the SLS. These gull-wing-door beauties dipped slightly in price before returning to levels close to their original MSRP. Find a 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT for sale
3. 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Original base MSRP: $60,990
Current average dealer asking price: $55,319
Another head-scratcher with little depreciation over 3 years is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat — but, like the AMG GTS, it’s about to be dethroned from its halo-car status. The Demon is now what every Mopar fan wants, which could create less demand for the Hellcat. Historically, previous performance Mopar models, such as the Viper, have always been depreciation heroes (along with just about every Chrysler product ever made).
The Hellcat has clearly been the exception to the rule, and it has the largest cult following of the three depreciation options. Just when interest in the Hellcat may have started to wane, the Demon brought the Challenger back into the headlines. With a large waiting list for the Demon, and with limited production numbers, enthusiasts may seek out the next best thing. Find a 2015 Dodge Challenger for sale
Now it’s time to make an informed guess. No, you’re not allowed to ask Doug. He’s busy solving life’s other great mysteries — like why Germans can’t engineer cupholders.