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Chrysler Teases SEMA Bound Dodge Challenger T/A Concept

The Chrysler Group has rolled out their first group of teaser images ahead of the 2014 SEMA Show and among those images is the new Dodge Challenger TA Concept - a concept that could lead to the next performance trimline for the brawny Mopar muscle car.

Each year at the sprawling SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Chrysler Group’s Mopar display is among the largest at the show and with the main focus of the show being on high performance, we can most certainly expect to see at least a few examples of the Dodge Challenger. The first Challenger teased by the Chrysler Group shows a shadowy image of what is obviously a 2015 Challenger in Sublime Green with black trim, but what matters here is the logo on the fender as this Challenger Concept wears the familiar “T/A” badges.

The Challenger T/A Concept
While we don’t know anything about the 2015 Dodge Challenger T/A Concept shy of the fact that it is green, it is called the T/A Concept and it will debut at the SEMA Show in a few weeks. However, based on the use of the T/A moniker in the past, we can make some guesses as to just what the T/A Concept might be.

The most significant use of the T/A logo came back in 1970 on the Dodge Challenger. Back then, T/A stood for Trans Am as the ‘70 Challenger T/A was designed to go road racing against the likes of the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. The Challenger T/A wasn’t the most powerful model in the lineup, with the 340 cubic inch V8 being the only engine offered with the Trans Am package. However, the 1970 Challenger T/A featured a host of items that made it a monster in the turns while the 340 V8 did a fine job of helping the Challenger keep pace with the Mustang and Camaro on the straights.

More recently, the T/A trim line has reappeared - this time on the modern Dodge Viper as part of their Time Attack package, but while the definition of T/A has changed for the Viper, supreme handling is still the key objective.

I would expect that the 2015 Dodge Challenger T/A Concept will follow the same basic goals, with features that will help make this new Concept Challenger one of the best handling of the modern Mopar muscle cars while likely calling upon a smaller engine such as the 5.7L Hemi. Something like the high end suspension, brakes, rims and tires from the Hellcat, but the 5.7L Hemi from the R/T could make for a great modern T/A package - offering incredible handling and braking while still relying on the power of a Hemi.

In short, expect the 2015 Dodge Challenger T/A Concept to be amazing, but don’t expect it to be packing Hellcat power. I could be wrong, but I would be stunned to see the Hellcat Hemi under the hood of the Challenger T/A Concept since the original 1970 Challenger T/A didn’t feature the most powerful engine in the lineup back then.

Will the 2015 Challenger T/A Concept Become a Reality?
While the vast majority of show cars at SEMA are nothing more than just show cars, there is a chance that the Dodge Challenger T/A Concept could preview a future production model. If the Challenger T/A proves to be a high performance handling model with a lighter weight, improved suspension and improved braking package compared to the Challenger R/T, I believe very strongly that we could see the T/A package in showrooms in the future.

On the other hand, if the SEMA-bound 2015 Dodge Challenger T/A Concept proves to be a crazy, super modified muscle car that is unreasonable for production, it could be just another SEMA concept car that never goes beyond being a show car.

However, knowing how awesome the 1970 Challenger T/A was back in the original muscle car era - I’m hoping that this bright green Challenger is more than just a show car. We will find out in a few weeks.