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Place Your Bets: Which Halo Car Will Depreciate the Most in 1 Year?

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.

2015 BMW i8

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

2016 Mercedes AMG GTS

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

2016 Mercedes AMG GTS

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.

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    • Plugin hybrids also seem to have a steep depreciation curve since they are perceived to lose battery power like they are a cellphone or laptop, My Volt only charges up to 2/3rds of capacity so when cells fail others will them up, It’s so well overengineered that there are 350k mile examples of them who still hold most of their charge.
      But their ignorance is our gain, But I still think the i8 is WAAAAAY overpriced, You pay for the styling and BMW roundel more than anything IMO, If BMW was smart they would either slash prices of the i8 but 50% OR work on an i6 with similar supercar like looks and sell it for 50-70k with performance a bit under the i8’s already lackluster performance so not to undersell it.
      But who am I kidding? People buy expensive BMW’s as status symbols and BMW knows this full well. German elitism it seems hate having their elite products be available to the lower-middleclass, Much can be said about H&K but even they acquiesced to pricing things out of the reach of normal people, While most of you won’t even know what I’m referencing to but H&K sells firearms in much the same sense of elitism as BMW, When GM is producing cars for half the price with more features standard and matching performance I can see the elitist brands finally capitulate and price things in reach.
      I’ll say this and I’ve said it about MANY modern products, YOU ARE OVERPAYING!!! No matter if it’s Automotive, Aviation, Firearms, Sporting goods etc. They charge you high prices because they know you will pay it! 
      In the Army a well known example is the 300 dollar toilet seat, The Army gets everything from the lowest bidder and often the lowest bidder will ask 300 dollars for it knowing the Army has no choice but to pay it.

      And no one is more guilty of this than exotic car manufacturers, They know that more than likely your car is insured and more than likely the insurance will pay for it otherwise if you need a headlight replaced they know you have no choice but to pay 5000-10000 dollars to replace it unless you are willing to go with aftermarket over OEM.

      Ok, I wrote my own article now ranting about people getting ripped off…
  1. AMG, Hellcat, I8

    AMG has a history of similar cars that depreciate like a lead weight. Hellcat is a collector car, and has a huge line of want to be owners.  I8 has the longest line of want to be owners, with me being one, and has no competition in it’s class.

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