You can get 300 HP for 25k in a base trim Ford Mustang with a manual trans right now. There is an ecoboost Mustang sitting at a dealership near me with touch screen and automatic transmission for just over $26k after incentives right now. 315 HP I believe.You want 300HP for $25k? You're nuts. Sorry but you're talking like it's 2000 and there isn't such a thing as inflation. $25k in 2000 is $37,800 today. That's more realistic. Hell even since 2010, $25k then is just shy of $30k today. And you can get 300HP for $30k, in a Challenger V6.
If you want lightweight, you need to still pass modern crash tests, which makes it even harder, because you're talking huge R&D costs... for what? Mazda didn't even sell 8000 Miatas last year and the new one is by far the BEST of all of them (still light, way more power than an NA Miata, modern safety, etc). Where's the profit?
Pretend you're presenting to the CEO, make a business case, I'd love to see it. Seriously, small coupes are dead. The Fiat cost FCA almost nothing to bring to market because of the Miata, they let Mazda absorb the huge R&D cost for that experiment. Medium and large coupes are dying. The Challenger is holding on because of, let's face it, the Hellcat and Demon maintaining buzz. The Mustang is a cheap easy 500HP car with the 5.0, so it's survived. The Camaro is on life support. Coupes are the most useless of all car styles (2 doors, and most of them have useless back seats, nobody wants that when you can get a CUV that's just as fast and efficient with a slight handling penalty that 99.99% of drivers don't care about).
Dodge can't touch this for that price. At least not given how much heavier and less nimble the base trim Challenger is.
That being said chasing entry level Mustang would be too costly for Dodge given the size of the market for these cars. Challenger is all about a big retro 1970 ish cruiser with a V8 not a pony car. More like a Gram Torino than a Mustang.
As for the how do you bring a dresser home comment or the no useful back seat comments well that is why you buy a Mustang and a CUV and switch off with the wife every once in a while.
My future garage will be an ecoboost Mustang with 101A package and a Badlands edition of the Bronco Sport. Unless MOPAR can provide better value and alleviate my quality fears.
Yes I have owned many Mopars and Fords both.
The Mustangs two lowest trims are the best bang for the buck on the market today. But at 4000 cars a month sold or now even less, do you wonder why big automotive companies don't care? Any decent CUV can sell 3 or 4 times that easy. The return on investment is not there for Dodge.
Bottom line the market won't get bigger just because Dodge introduces an awesome low cost pony car. Instead Ford Mustang profits will be squeezed and Dodge will lose money too as they compete for share in a shrinking market.