06.26.16 - 2016 Dodge Charger

Changes Coming for the Charger

Some of us like change and others don’t at all. As we see the Dodge Charger right now we can admire the fact that it’s a heavy and powerful car that has been trusted by law enforcement officials around the country as well as being the four door power monster that carries the Hellcat engine. Does this car need to change? That truly depends upon which side of the argument you may fall on and what you think this car is supposed to be. Let’s argue this one from both sides and see what we come up with.

For the Change

FCA has announced the Charger as it stands now on the LX platform will receive a refresh in 2019 and then it will be completely changed for the next generation. As FCA is no longer part of Daimler-Benz, this platform needs to be removed from the Charger and it will ride on a sleeker and more sophisticated Giorgio platform from Alfa Romeo. This will make for a car that is certainly more stylish and overall more attractive for us to admire and enjoy on any road. This could be a great change for the Charger.

Another difference will be a massive weight savings that will take place. The current version of the Charger weighs in at nearly 4,000 pounds and the next version will top off at only 3,500. This 500 pound weight savings along with the new engine that will be installed will help keep the Charger at the top of the list of great sports sedans to drive. The new engine is to be a four-cylinder model that will have twin turbocharger and deliver close to 300 horsepower. This is the engine that is currently being developed for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

Against the Change

A lighter and smaller Charger was on the roads in the 1980s and it was nothing more than a boring sedan. While most of the sedan of that time were ordinary and boring, a change to bring that particular look and feel back to this car would be a huge mistake. Driving a Charger in its current form gives us a heavy and wonderful car to drive that is capable of nearly everything we want from the car including turning it into a battering ram. The style and space of the current Charger make it feel nearly like a luxury car when in our hands.

With FCA moving away from smaller sedans, how could changing the Charger in this way make sense? Where will the Hellcat or even SRT models fit in as the engine bay is certain to be too small for these version of the performance models we see today. This change will take way a platform that performs like a sport luxury model and be replaced with one we haven’t experienced yet. Will this leave us only with the Challenger as the lone performance model from Dodge, especially since the Viper will be off the market soon as well?

As you can see there are arguments to be had on either side of this discussion. The Charger became a car we wanted to love when it made its way to the market in 2005, but it has grown long in the tooth. This dramatic change might bode well for FCA, but it could also speed certain doom for the Charger and make it a car that no longer is one we want to buy. With the power of the four-cylinder engine in front wheel drive we might just come to love this new car, or we may look at it like it’s a high powered version of a car that should be something more and once was, but is no longer the car we want it to be.

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