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In Other Words, The Challenger Name Goes Back On The Bench

Dodge Challenger Super Stock

The Dodge Challenger quickly became an icon since its introduction in 1969. However, it had a short production run as by 1974, the muscle car market had essentially evaporated, and the Dodge Challenger was forced to tap out. It wasn’t until 2006 that the brand debuted a glorious Orange Pearl Challenger concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It resembled the reincarnation of the classic Challenger, spurring an era of retro-futurism that could also be seen in the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro concept from the same time period. Still, it was significantly larger than the original as it was built on the existing LX platform, meaning the frame was essentially a Dodge Charger with two less doors, and a wheelbase reduced by four inches.

2-Door Dodge Charger Means No New Challenger: Details

The iconic muscle car had a significantly longer production run than when it was first introduced, lasting from 2008 until its eventual death in 2023. During that time, Dodge offered several extraordinary powertrains for the muscle car, which went relatively unchanged since its arrival in the market in 2008. The updates it received were subtle, as the brand didn’t want to take away from the iconic styling. However, with the next-generation Dodge Charger having just been unveiled with both two-door and four-door configurations, the reign of the Challenger is once again at an end.

2024 Dodge Charger Daytona Scat Pack, shown in Redeye exterior color.

Luckily, the all-new Dodge Charger takes a step back from the previous styling, which had gradually lost its original, boxy, muscular appearance over the years, and returns to its roots with modern touches. The all-new Dodge Charger‘s design stands out with a pure widebody stance; the car presents a distillation of muscle car design through a modern muscular exterior that focuses on function, avoids excess, and subtly acknowledges inspiration from its predecessors’ clean, timeless lines. Fortunately, this new design means fans of the Challenger won’t be losing that iconic Dodge muscle car styling they have come to love; however, they will be losing the Challenger name.

That said, Dodge Chrysler FCA Stellantis maintains ownership of the Challenger trademark, and considering the sheer proportions of the new Charger, perhaps there is future opportunity to offer a sportier, slightly smaller coupe that’s reminiscent of the original “pony car” sub-segment from 60 years ago.

Before the Dodge Challenger was discontinued, it had a stature of 198-inches long and 76-inches wide, which was significant for a two-door car, but it worked. However, the 2024/2025 Dodge Charger goes out of its way to make the Challenger appear small. With an overall vehicle length of 206.6″ (8.6″ longer than the Challenger) and 84.3″ (8.3″ wider than the Challenger) it’s noticeably larger. And at over 5,800 lbs, the Charger Daytona EV far and away the heaviest “muscle car” we’ve ever seen. So, yeah, there’s definitely opportunity for Dodge to do something with that Challenger name, should they choose to do so.

SpeedKore Carbon-Fiber 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

One Comment

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  1. It really offers “little eye appeal” in all honesty. Slap any tag/badge on it and it could be any of a dozen other car brands. It also sounds like it might actually be too WIDE. The Challenger was plenty wide and now this car is 8.3″ even WIDER—REALLY??? Without an ICE Iam not interested.

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