autoevolution

Dodge Confirms "Three New Variants" of the Challenger and Charger

We’re here waiting for Dodge to redesign the Challenger and Charger, but Fiat Chrysler has other plans. According to the agreement signed by FCA and the Canadian auto workers union, the Brampton Assembly Plant is gearing up for three new variants of the full-sized muscle cars.
Dodge Challenger Super Stock 35 photos
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No fewer than $50 million will be invested in the Canadian factory, and Fiat Chrysler has also confirmed that the 300 will soldier on despite woeful sales figures. Even the Challenger is struggling in this regard, but the same can be said about the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

The Challenger outsold the ‘Stang and ‘Maro last quarter with 16,332 units as opposed to 13,851 and 8,366 units. By comparison, Dodge’s aging muscle car sold 18,031 examples in the same period last year.

As to what kind of variants you can expect in the next few years, don’t get your hopes up for the American Club Racing. Head of passenger cars Tim Kuniskis said that weight and physics stopped them from developing the track-oriented Challenger ACR we’ve known since 2011 as a concept car.

Following the Hellcat, Demon, Redeye, Super Stock, and the widebody option, it’s pretty hard to guess what Dodge is cooking up behind the scenes. Fiat Chrysler has recently filed a trademark for Cuda with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but even if this name will be revived for a trim level, the Barracuda as we know it won’t come back and neither will Plymouth.

Going forward, we don’t know much about the next generations of the Challenger and Charger because Fiat Chrysler has changed its mind pretty often. Originally planned to switch to the Giorgio platform, the Alfa Romeo underpinnings have been dropped in favor of a vehicle architecture from Maserati. Just before the late Sergio Marchionne passed away, he said that the LX platform would be thoroughly overhauled. Still, one thing is certain.

“I think the absolute future is electrification of these cars,” said Kuniskis last year. Speaking to Automotive News, the head of Dodge let it slip that “electrification will be the key to high performance in the future.” Coincidence or not, FCA has also ordered a lot of hybridized transmissions in 2019.

The 8HP-based transmission from ZF Friedrichshafen allows for 48-volt mild hybridization, full hybrids, and plug-in hybrids with anything from 24 to 160 kW of electric power. In U.S. currency, make that 32 to 215 horsepower depending on application. The Challenger and Charger already rely on the 8HP, meaning that hybridization is not a question of if but of when.

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