Next generation Dodge Challenger could arrive as early as 2014
Little is known about the Dodge Challenger set to arrive in 2014 but reports indicate that it will continue to be based on the “same DNA” as the Chrysler 300. That leads us to believe that the next generation Challenger will still be based on the same sedan architecture as the 300 and Charger which, sadly, means that it will likely still be a larger muscle car. Rumors have been floating around the Mopar enthusiast community that there is a smaller, lighter Challenger that would have more compact dimensions – taking a direct shot at the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. The Challenger has often been criticized for its hefty weight and those who want to compete more closely with the Mustang and Camaro have been praying for a lighter Challenger in the next generation. Unfortunately, unless there is some sort of substantial redesign of the chassis – we can expect the next generation Challenger to be similar in weight to the current models.
Since being introduced for the 2008 model year, the Dodge Challenger has received only minor upgrades other than increases in power and engine size. In terms of the interior and exterior, the Challenger has remained mainly unchanged so it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise to see the next generation Challenger arrive in 2014. Depending on when it actually arrives, it could either serve as either a 2014 or 2015 model year vehicle. We can expect that the Challenger will continue offering a V6 entry level engine and a variety of V8 engines with the Pentastar V6 and two variations of the Hemi V8. One of the key features that many prospective Challenger owners are hoping for is a manual transmission for the V6 models to help the base Challenger compete with the manually shifted, V6-powered Mustang and Camaro. We would also expect to see a tradition automatic transmission (perhaps the 8-speed auto currently available in the V6 Charger and 300) as well as a 6-speed manual transmission. I would also bet that the next generation Challenger will feature an awesome “race track” LED taillight design like those featured on the Dodge Charger and Dodge Dart.
One interesting idea that Automobile Magazine mentions when discussing the next generation Dodge Challenger is the possibility that it could be introduced as the SRT Challenger and not the Dodge Challenger. The problem with that idea is that we cannot expect the SRT brand to offer V6 and lower performance V8 engines in addition to the high end SRT 6.4L V8 so if anything, the Challenger V6 and base (presumably the 5.7L Hemi) V8 could be badged as Dodge products while the range-topping Mopar muscle car would be badged as an SRT Challenger. When you look at it from that perspective, it seems less likely that the Challenger will enter its next generation as an SRT brand vehicle.
Perhaps the next SRT branded vehicle will be a rear wheel drive coupe with Hemi power but it seems to be more likely that it would be a new model of its own – perhaps the rebirth of the Cuda? Only time will tell but with 2014 about a year and a half away, it shouldn’t be long before more news on the next generation Dodge Challenger surfaces if it truly is destined for the 2014 (or even 2015) model year.
Source: Automobile Magazine