Blogs, car sites, and auto shows have been hyping up the concept Dodge Challenger to the point where you would think that the car is almost ready to roll off of a DCX assembly line. To say that the prototype is being well received is an understatement — quite frankly if the Challenger was available for sale today the waiting list would be many months long. Such is the demand for a retro car that takes its styling cues right from the ’71 Challenger.
As it currently stands, the car will be built as DaimlerChrysler has given its blessing to the new Challenger. Still, the Challenger is more than three years from being manufactured as it is likely to be released some time during 2009 as a 2010 model. Yes, the wait will be hard for many, but if the hype equals the performance, then the wait will certainly be worth your while.
Some people are against the whole retro car revolution. Citing that Detroit must reach back in time to make relevant cars is a testimony to the each automaker’s woes. On the contrary, I believe the many revived models currently being planned or already on our streets is a clear testimony to Detroit finally listening to its customers: we want cars that are uniquely styled and we want them to perform exactly the way you will say they will perform. No fake hood scoops, no heralded model name slapped on a car that pales in comparison to the original. No, we don’t want you to build the original model we want you to build the original model better. Take the styling cues and run with them and incorporate modern technology to improve upon the original design. That’s all we ask.
So, just what can enthusiasts expect when they take delivery of their Challenger? Well, like I said the car is still in the planning stages, but what I have gleaned from various sites is the following information:
Modified Platform — If you like the Mercedes based LX platform currently used to run the Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, and Dodge Charger then the LY platform will suit you too. DCX is planning to modify the LX platform for its next generation of vehicles and the LY based Challenger will be one of many cars built upon it. Some have suggested that the LY will be the LX on steroids, whatever that means.
Did Someone Say Hemi? — Every Mopar product of significance will have optional Hemi power and the Challenger is no exception. Expect a V6 to be standard with the optional Hemi V8 for performance versions of the car. Some have suggested that the 425 h.p. SRT 6.1L V8 will also be made available for the Challenger.
Ragtop Regalia — Chrysler says that the Sebring will be its only convertible offering, but that leaves Dodge dealers without a soft top car to market [other than the Viper, of course] . Despite this bit of information, look for a Challenger convertible to show up one or two years after the car’s debut. Heck, if DCX doesn’t want to build one then aftermarket coach builders will do the job for them. You can bet that Dodge dealers will make these arrangements if DCX doesn’t.
Yes, the Challenger won’t be in new car showrooms any time soon. For those of us waiting with “baited breath” we’ll have to console ourselves with the many blogs, sites, and car shows hyping the car. Other than that, just imagine your shiny new Challenger stopped at a traffic light with a Mustang on one side and a Camaro on the other side…