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Will there be an AWD Challenger?

by David Zatz on

Among the teaser photos posted of the SEMA concepts was this shot, which clearly reads (if you zoom in enough) “GT AWD.” The car is also quite clearly a Dodge Challenger, which is currently rear wheel drive.

Challenger GT AWD

There is no engineering reason we can see for the current Challenger to be restricted to rear wheel drive, since the car shares its powertrains (except a manual transmission) with the Dodge Charger, long available with all four wheels driven. In the past, all-wheel-drive has been an option for either V8s or V6s, albeit not with the powerful SRT engines.

The teaser photo of the GT AWD is for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, which starts tomorrow. However, manufacturers tend to bring many concept cars, most of which will never see production. As one example, Ford will have a four cylinder, 900 horsepower Mustang concept, built by an outside customizer, using almost no original internal engine parts, and almost certainly, if it is production intent, to have a short average lifespan. It is hard to make a concept car with special capabilities, but much, much harder to make a production car that way, as a proliferation of concept Jeeps shows.

Thus, the “GT AWD” may simply be an attention getter — or it may be a way for Dodge to gauge customer response to the idea. The parts are on the shelf — but getting them off the shelf and into the car is not cheap.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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