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Defiance Dodge Charger: the television car

by Jennifer Harrington

In the upcoming SyFy television show Defiance, set 30-40 years into the future (and premiering on April 15, 2013), humans and aliens work on their coexistence on Earth. The show, produced by Universal Studios, is set in Defiance, a town on the border between the humans and aliens. A fixture of the show is a modified 2013 Dodge Charger, which premiered at the 2013 Chicago auto show and was on display at the New York auto show.

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Universal Studios presented the idea to Dodge to feature the Charger in the show. Dodge's agency Universal McCann partnered together with NBC Universal Cable Entertainment's Ad Sales department.

Dodge and SyFy have had a great relationship in the past; Dodge was offered the opportunity before other makes, like Ford and Chevrolet. Dodge had previously worked with SyFy for shows such as Ghost Hunters and 31 Days of Halloween. Defiance was in development for five years and is the first to have a videogame simultaneously developed to allow interaction between the two.

"One of the great milestones of the partnership occurred during the 2012 Defiance Digital Press Tour, where [the] Dodge team got a first-hand look at the sheer scale of the sets and how organic the Charger had become to the mythology and story building of Defiance," Michael Engleman, EVP of Marketing for SyFy, said.

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The show's vehicles are used for Defiance's law enforcement, explaining the vehicles' appearances. Weight was not an issue with the Charger's modifications; the front and rear tubes are metal. "Rust" and other modifications were added for effect. Tougher tires, a heavier frame, roll bars, and a "Petrohop" (supercharged hybrid) engine were also added to match the Defiance character. Other than the cosmetic modifications, the Charger is stock.

"Dodge was very involved in the entire modification process," Mark Malmstead, Dodge brand media manager, said. "They provided a lot of creative input, reviewed and approved all final renderings before going to production."

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The Charger makes its appearances in episodes six through nine of the series, and will be Joshua Nolan's (Grant Bowler) vehicle. Nolan, the protagonist, is a local lawman in the town.

No other Chrysler vehicles will be showcased in the show or in the Trion Worlds-produced videogame. A Dodge Challenger is featured in the videogame as an exclusive free item for those who pre-order it.

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The SyFy channel's investment was reported to be $100 million, for the game and TV series combined. AdWeek said Dodge's Mark Mamstead liked seeing the Dodge fitted with oversized tires and weaponry. The series includes a Dodge dealership, albeit a burned-out one, and various Dodges. According to Syfy's president, Defiance is neither a video game with a TV spinoff, nor a TV series with a tied-in game, but an integrated whole.

Thanks, Jared Kindestin. Note: allpar first reported this story on January 10, 2013.

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