The Mopar 11 Charger doing a burnout
Patrick Rall's picture

Sorry Folks - Dodge Still Doesn't Need to Build a Charger Coupe

The Dodge Charger is one of the Chrysler Group’s bestselling vehicles and with the next generation Charger expected, there has been a great deal of chatter across the social networks about a 2-door Charger – but I am here to tell you that Chrysler doesn’t need to build a coupe version of their popular high performance sedan.
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The Dodge Charger gained its fame back in the 1960s and 1970s as a 2-door muscle car so when the Chrysler Group reintroduced the Charger name for the 2006 model year as a full sized sedan, Mopar and muscle car traditionalists were enraged by the fact that the fabled Charger had been reduced to a mere family sedan. A family sedan with variants that pack some serious power in the RT and SRT trimlines – both of which would outrun the old school Charger in almost any heads-up racing venue be it drag racing or road racing. The traditionalists cried foul…insisting that no one would be the atrocity that was a 4-door Charger, but those folks were quickly proven wrong as the Charger became one of the Chrysler Group’s bestselling vehicles.

Some of the guys who originally hated the modern Dodge Charger relaxed their opinion over time and the demand for a Charger coupe really died down when the modern Dodge Challenger was introduced for the 2008 model year. The modern Challenger shares a similar chassis architecture, most drivetrain components and most interior features so the modern Challenger is almost a 2-door version of the Charger with its own unique name and sheet metal. With this new Challenger, Mopar lovers finally had their chance to buy a “proper muscle car” which would compete with the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro (which didn’t exist when the Challenger was introduced). The people who hated the fact that the Charger is a 4-door large sedan were stifled by the Challenger…and by the test of time.

However, over the past few weeks I have seen more and more people online demanding that the next generation Dodge Charger – expected to arrive for the 2015 or 2016 model year – be offered as a coupe. I have news for those folks…it isnt going to happen because Chrysler doesn’t need to build a 2-door Charger. Back in the 1970s, it wasn’t a problem to have more than one rear wheel drive, 2-door performance car because that was the way of the industry back then. In 1971, Dodge actually had 4 2-door rear wheel drive sporty coupes including the Charger, the Challenger, the Dart and the Demon – plus the collection of closely related cars from the Plymouth brand like the Duster, the Roadrunner, the GTX, the Satellite, the Barracuda and the Valiant. Back in those days, there were far fewer differences from one model to the next so it wasn’t a problem to have all of those 2-door performance friendly coupes in the same corporate lineup. However, things have changed greatly and the modern auto industry really doesn’t leave room for multiple cars that would essentially compete with each other. A modern Dodge Charger Coupe would be nothing more than a Dodge Challenger with a Charger-esque front and rear end; creating inter-brand competition. Modern automakers have gone to great lengths to eliminate inter-brand competition which is why there is no Lincoln version of the Ford Mustang and why the entire Pontiac brand was killed off. This is also why one of the two Chrysler Group minivans will be killed off in the next few years…much like the Dodge Avenger.

Since there is really no way to clearly differentiate between a modern Dodge Charger Coupe and a modern Dodge Challenger, there is no place for a Charger Coupe in the modern Dodge lineup. Because of that, Mopar fans demanding a 2-door Charger should either get their head out of the 70s and be happy that they can buy the Challenger or they can go to some other brand that offers multiple similarly related rear wheel drive coupes. Oh wait…they can’t go somewhere else for a choice of performance coupes because no other company offers that either. For the same reason that Ford doesn’t offer a car similar to the Mustang and for the same reason that GM killed off the Pontiac Firebird – Dodge won’t be offering a Charger Coupe anytime soon without the demise of the Challenger.

The modern Dodge Charger is an incredible high performance sedan and the modern Dodge Challenger is an awesome muscle car in the truest sense of the phrase. Mopar fans should be happy that they have the most diverse choice of performance cars (soon to be rivaled by the Chevrolet SS Performance Sedan and the Camaro) and stop whining about wanting a Charger Coupe. The Charger is awesome…the Challenger is awesome. Be happy with the options that you have as you have more cars to pick from if you want to go very fast than do GM or Ford fans.

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Comments

I'm not a big MOPAR fan (not sure what MOPAR means), but I thought the Challenger WAS a Charger coupe. So I agree with you.
If you don't know the difference between a challenger and a charger, then why are you here, they're totally different cars. And MOPAR is chrysler's parts service and customer care thing, particularly for performance parts.
That's right------------the new challenger is what I would buy, gorgeous 2 door coupe. A four door charger, has never appealed to me. Also-------------------i can't wait to see a new barracuda, on the road, if they do in fact produce it again!!
As the owner of '09 Challenger SRT (first year they offered manual), I disagree to a degree. I would say if the new platform comes to fruition (smaller lighter frame sharing with rear wheel drive Alpha Romeo), then the argument could be made. Two door Charger Option in addition to 4 door variety (longer wheel base/ more family friendly coupe) and Challenger (smaller back seats and still better than squeezing into the back of a Mazda RX7 -no seats- for those who have done that pressed under glass). If nothing else, Ma Mopar, should offer stick to stir the 4 door Charger with - compromise AND something to drive sales that would require significant retooling.
I agree with your statement about people being stuck in the 70's. I can't count the number of people who bitched bout the new Dart, saying it's a gutless wanna be car. I then had to say "have you ever driven a slant six Dart. Yeah!! Now there was a performance car. Then they'd say "The new Dart is an econo box." I'd say "That's exactly what the original Dart of the early 60's was meant to be." Then they would argue "Well back then you could get a high performance engine." I say "Oh what, a 200+ horse power 4 cylinder isn't high performance enough for you?" That pretty much shut them up. I would love to drive the high end Dart. With the HP engine, that thing would have some serious get up and go.
200+ hp? That's not high end horsepower, my moms minivan has more horsepower than that. Anything that has the name of the older cars should have at least 300hp. And an option for more with some trim line.
If you want 300 hp from a four cylinder that will cost you big time. And I seriously your mom's minivan has more than 200hp. If does, good for her. You do realize that a minivan will more than likely have a V6, right? Plus we're talking about a Dart. The Dart is meant to be an economy car, not a high end muscle car like the Hellcat. It's what the original art was back in the day, an econobox.
Sure the dart was an econo box with the slant six. For the sake of the argument the dart was also offered with a 440 in it as well. I really like the new muscle cars that look like the older ones. The camero, mustang, challenger are good examples or old and new. The dart looks like a ford focus. A real dart was rear wheel drive and with the big engine in it put the front wheels in the air. That was a muscle car! Front wheel drive little engine that's not true to the name. Also the 300 although it looks nothing like the old one is still true to what it was a luxury sedan. The charger does need a two door version. They already have the platform and I'd bet that some four door owners would love to get there hands on the new two door version. I myself would buy a two door charger if it looked as good as the 69. I won't be buying a four door charger because I do t like four door cars. I won't buy the challenger because it's not the charger. So I'll go for a mustang and maybe some day them stupid guys in suits will get their heads out their asses and figure out they are missing out on a lot of customers because they just don't offer what "the people" want.
amen to that the 69 was the best of the bunch. I'm 20 and think the old ones are cool but the new one is Meh could use 2 less doors. and a new grill.
They have been making 200 hp 4bangers for over 20 years.not fast.
Not one article has been written except here that people want a Charger coupe. Name a source on the internet where you received this revelation. You made this up. Allpar is the recognized on line site of all the news and rumors coming for the SRT branded vehicles. Not one article not one rumor was a coupe in a Charger platform. The truth is the SRT branded Cuda or Avenger coupe will be arriving in 2016. Smaller lighter and more powerful with the hemi hellcat supercharged engine.
Let's see, where to start... Firstly there is no such thing as a "four door dodge charger". There never will be. Dodge can call their cars anything they want, it won't change perception. Secondly, the challenger of the '70s was a lot shorter car lengthwise than the charger, as is today's version, yet like today's version the two cars shared many parts including engines and transmissions . I don't think anyone wants a shorter smaller version of the current sedan with two doors. We want a car the same size (longer) with two doors. Thus the new challenger IS NOT the charger coupe. I own a '69 charger and it is almost 8 inches longer than the current sedan.....but has two doors. Dodge originally said they never intended to build a muscle car, they just used "charger" based on consumer name recognition surveys. Yet....they are using every muscle car related thing they can to market this car. Talk about two-faced.... They also said there wasn't a market for two door cars anymore, yet challenger sales continue to be higher than predictions every year (and how many mustangs have been sold since 2005?....) Lastly, almost every person I have argued with on car forums about this has stated the sedan is great because it's more convenient and and family friendly and that they didn't buy it for a muscle car........yet they've spent thousands of dollars putting mods on they're car to 1) make it faster and 2) to make it look more like '68 to '70 charger........gee....I wonder why......
Won't build a 2 door charger? Won't buy a charger. Too bad the designers have brain washed you folks into thinking a 4 door car is sporty. Never was and never will be. Buy the way, that BS look of a slab side car. Door height of the original challenger is about 4" lower than the new version. Charger, Camaro, and Mustang starting to go the same direction. It's a shame. Good thing about what was done is we now have seats and drive trains to remove from crap 4 door styling and retro into real class vehicles.
Dodge makes the biggest piles of crap. I would never let a loved one buy or drive one. I'm old school having had a super bee as a kid. With that being said I still like them to a certain degree. I love the challenger and think it's an absolute shame they don't make a two door. They could sell plenty and it won't look like a challenger. Nothing looks like a challenger.
Problem l see here is.. yea its best selling.. but how many more would have been sold to people that wanted 2 doors?.. a car over the curb is a car over the curb.. Seems odd that they resist creating something that would be cheaper to build.. and still sell for the same money... especially if its desired by some customers.. In an industry that saves millions by removing 1 screw or clip from a car..l would think removing 2 doors and all the parts associated with them would be a no brainer.. something tells me there's another reason... Tell me after they made up the 2 door body pressings it wouldn't be cheaper to create a 2 door body?..almost 100% of the parts from the 4 door could be bolted to the body that already has far less metal in it..= Savings to produce.. Coupes are more personalized..not many 4 door ( whatever car you want to use) were hot rodded/ Modified compared to the 2 doors in the past..Their lighter weight and sleeker looks is what made the difference.. And of course your not very inclined to modify a Family car..and that's what a 4 door is no matter how fast it is..especily while its new And that's the crux right there.. They are selling 500HP but its a family car with lots of governors and limiters on it and its driven like a minivan by most owners.. and that what the powers that be want... its safer that way.. But it sure looks the part ..till you see the other door handels.. And one other thing.. why does the front not look as racy as the back?.. From the rear.. Chargers are awsome looking cars especily with those cool tail lights on..!
The 2015 Mustang with the 2.3L EcoBoost can be a JUNIOR-GRADE Lincoln. It's almost like the Cadillac ATS 2.0T coupe, which is more than basically a Camaro in Caddy suit.
Then, get rid of the Challener and offer a 2-door Charger. That way a Charger Daytona can follow later.
1. The Pontiac brand wasn't "killed off" to "eliminate inter-brand competition", it was retired, along with several other GM brands as part of their bankruptcy restructuring. 2. When you so assertively that "there won't be a 2-door Charger", do you have a source at Chrysler to confirm that? Or is it simply your opinion?
4dr chargers are designed for police depts....families that want a sport type vehicle with kids...2dr dodge chargers are meant for people that don't want that image.........its called variety....an American idea
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I get it that the USA needs to limit the number of options they offer to the public. Too many choices waters down the market especially with so many foreign choices. That being said lets not kid ourselves either. The new Dodge charger is ugly and is a poor example of what a great muscle car should look like. The only reason the new Challenger is so good is because it follows in the footsteps of the great 64 1/2 to 72 Body styles. After that it went down hill fast. Having owned a 1968 charger I can tell you that the body lines of that car were epic. The new car does not express the beauty and muscle of that time and people that like the car do not understand the MOPAR heritage. Please DODGE fix the Charger. 2 door or 4 start by getting rid of the ugly front grill that looks ok on a truck but has no place on a car. Make the body look strong and sexy at the same time. Until then you are throwing your great heritage away. Thumbs up on the challenger. Not a great car but you got the body right.