Dodge Charger and Challenger Will Not Get Replacements For Years But They Hide A Surprise
Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger are here to stay. And to stay for a long time that is. The recent announcement of the introduction of the AWD Challenger, widebody Hellcat and other versions of the famed muscle cars now come with a grain of salt. FCA does it all to prolong the reveal of their successors. Don’t get us wrong, the introduction of the Challenger T/A after 46 years was a really nice surprise. Furthermore, the already confirmed AWD version will be an awesome asset. However, this goes to say FCA will keep the Challenger on an LC platform introduced in 2008.
To be quite honest, LC is even older. This is only a modified and shortened LX platform introduced back in 2005. Considering the next Charger and Challenger are bound to appear in 2021, it means the architecture underpinning the Challenger will be (at least) 13 years old by then. A bummer? Well, not really! At least not for the FCA anyway. They will keep the Challenger fresh with special editions and the car will be super cheap to produce thanks to tech which made a return on an investment long ago.
Information about the Charger and the Challenger getting an update in 2021 leaked from an alleged new four-year labor contract sent to union members at the Ontario FCA plant. As a matter of a fact, Canadian auto workers union Unifor ratified the agreement which includes the rebuilding of some segments of the Brampton, Ontario plant. Construction of a new paint shop ($242 million US) will commence in 2017. This gives some credibility to the information for sure.
Furthermore, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne noted he was pleased by the versatility of the architecture underpinning the Giulia sedan. The same architecture will underpin the next-gen Challenger and Charger. Only, it will have to be considerably modified due to increased length and width of the American muscle cars. That is if they stay muscle cars in the purest sense of the word which we doubt. The new Giulia will, on the other hand, hit the US next year.
Now, we can expect some major changes to the Charger, Challenger and the 300 (Chrysler, remember) in the meantime. Expect a major overhaul in 2018 for all three regardless of them being kept on the old platform. Maybe Dodge would have introduced AWD versions by that time and given us some crazy small engines to prepare the world for the inevitable muscle car downscaling as Chevy (2.0T) and Ford (2.3 Ecoboost) already did.
Alfa platform to support it all
The story does not end there either. All the changes bound to happen in the FCA will mean a lot of sacrifice. Like real car sacrifice. The Chrysler 300 may lose its place among the living. After all, it is a bit dumb to have a Charger sedan using Giorgio platform and then the same thing for the very similar Chrysler 300. And then there is the most exciting piece of news ever. Barracuda is coming back. At least according to the latest FCA dealer’s show in Las Vegas in August 2015. They discussed the prospects of bringing back the iconic name and linking it to the Dodge brand instead of the Plymouth.
Giorgio platform could support it all. It is really an amazing place the world we live in today. Giulia, new Alfa SUV, Giorgio, Charger, Challenger, Barracuda, Hellcats, probably some kind of new FCA SUV and even a Chrysler sedan may share almost everything between themselves.
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