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Dodge working on significant upgrade to current Challenger and Charger platform

by Patrick Rall on

While the Dodge brand wasn’t really addressed in today’s five year plan information from FCA, company head Sergio Marchionne did offer some comments on the future of the popular Challenger and Charger. We have long-expected that these two powerful cars would move onto a new variation of the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platform (the same chassis that underpins the Giulia), but Marchionne stated that the transition to an all-new platform is not immediately necessary.

“We may not necessarily have to go as far as the Giorgio architecture for Dodge as long as we are willing to commit to a significant upgrade to the current architecture to make it competitive. That’s something that’s already started,” Marchionne said. “Certainly by the time we finish with that architecture, you will not recognize its origins. We may maintain its bare-bones structure.”

In other words, the company might make massive changes to the current chassis platform, but in the short term, the shift to the Alfa platform isn’t necessary. Marchionne also went on to explain why the Giorgio platform is less-than-ideal for the next generation Dodge Challenger and Charger.

“The problem with Giorgio is from size and capability standpoint it reflects much more of a European performance requirement than it does the American heritage of Dodge.”

That is a somewhat vague statement, but consider this – the most powerful package currently relying on the Giorgio platform is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. That high performance sedan is powered by a twin turbocharged V6 that delivers 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. With the current Charger and Challenger lineup packing 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque in several different trim levels while offering 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque in the Hellcat models, the chassis of the Challenger and Charger is designed to handle far more power. Perhaps the current iteration of the Giorgio platform doesn’t handle the big power numbers well enough and with American consumers expecting big power – Hemi torque might be too much for the Italian platform.

The good news is that Marchionne made it clear that the development of the next generation Challenger and Charger is already underway, putting to rest the fading rumors of the end of the Dodge brand. Best of all, with the current chassis architecture proving to be so capable of handling all of that Hemi power, development of a new-and-improved Challenger and Charger with an even better version of the same platform could lead to all-new levels of Mopar performance.

While there will undoubtedly be those folks who criticize FCA for continuing with the “old Mercedes architecture”, the Dodge Challenger and Charger fall under the old saying “if it isn’t broken – don’t fix it.” With the Challenger and Charger both continuing to post strong sales numbers and performance numbers that put them atop or near the top of their respective segments, making an improvement on the current design might prove to be a better decision than forcing a change to an entirely new platform.

 

 

Unfortunately, Marchionne offered no time frame as to when the “new” Challenger and Charger would see the light of day, but with the current models entering their fifth model year in 2019, it shouldn’t be too long before one or both of the next-gen models is introduced.

Source: Motor Authority

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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