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Dodge CEO Gilles: the Challenger will never wear crosshairs

During my discussion with Dodge cars CEO Ralph Gilles at the LA Auto Show, he commented on a wide variety of items, including the common design of the new models that all use the newly designed “crosshair” grille style. Dodge is so happy with the new front end design that they have incorporated it into their new brand logo and it is seen on the new Charger, Durango, Journey, Avenger and Grand Caravan but the mighty Dodge Challenger is devoid of the company grille styling.

When asked if we could expect to see the crosshair grille on the Challenger in the near future, Gilles was vehement that the muscular Dodge coupe would “never” wear this style grille as it does not fit into the “retro” theme of the modern Dodge Challenger.

Gilles put a stop to crosshairs when the Challenger returned in 2008

When the Dodge Challenger Concept was unveiled at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show, we were told that it was in near-production form but when the car hit showrooms in 2008, none of the trimlines included the crosshair styled grille seen on the Challenger Concept. It turns out that the exterior design of the concept was completed prior to Gilles taking the reins but when he did, one of his first moves was to replace the concept’s crosshairs with the egg-crate style grille found on the current production models.

Even though the crosshairs were not as heavily featured then as they are now, it was still a common styling cue across the brand (including Dodge Ram trucks at that time) but the Challenger was intended to call upon old school styling. The old school Dodge Challengers (1970-1074) never featured a crosshair so to keep true to their design theme, Gilles had the crosshairs removed.

Towards the end of our discussion about the new Challenger, Gilles was asked if we would ever see the family grille treatment applied to the 2-door Dodge muscle car and he stated that it wouldn’t happen while we was at the helm of the Dodge brand.

Click here for a closer look at the 2011 Dodge cars unveiled at the 2010 LA Auto Show, including the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT9 392.

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