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THE STORY OF THE DODGE CHALLENGER REFRESH THAT NEVER HAPPENED

They Didn’t Find It To Be A Purposeful Update

2015 2016 2017 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Manual Transmission
2015 Challenger Hellcat. Image via Dodge.

As part of the recent Livestream for Autoline After Hours, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis made an appearance not only to discuss the brand going electric but also to answer some questions from fans watching the stream and the panel for the show. One question that came up as part of the discussion was about an updated Dodge Challenger that was slated to come around the same time we got an update for the Charger (in 2015). It was a design change that was in the pipeline, but ultimately never saw the light of day.

The Refreshed Dodge Challenger That Never Came

The Dodge Charger got a significant design refresh for the 2015 model year, featuring new front and rear clips, new body lines, and an updated interior. Kuniskis noted that the Dodge Challenger was also do for a similar treatment, but Dodge ultimately decided not to mess with its design.

“It’s really tough to change the silhouette of the Challenger and come up with something better. So, yeah, we made some tweaks. We went from a ’70 to a ’71, and we changed some hoods and we changed some wheels, and we did the widebody.” Kuniskis stated. “But to actually change the silhouette of the car, we would have been spending money just for the sake of spending money, and we wouldn’t have ended up with something better.”

Tim Kunkiskis
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Even though the 2015 model year Dodge Challenger didn’t change things that drastically from the outside (though it did get a decent nip/tuck), the model year did introduce a high-performance variant that would send its rivals looking for answers: the 707 horsepower SRT Hellcat, priced from just $60,990 USD.

More radically, Dodge also came up with an updated Challenger proposal that “would have been revolutionary” that they showed off to dealers. As Kuniskis mentioned to MC&T during an interview at Dodge Speed Week, and reiterated on AAH, this “revolutionary” proposal would have been to put the next-generation Dodge Charger and Challenger on the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platform. This would have of course made the muscle car twins more like sports cars, and thus would have been too akin to the S550 Ford Mustang and sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. Based on Dodge’s success with the LX platform cars, and how the market has shrank upon the advent of off-road performance vehicles, this strategy probably wouldn’t have been as successful as sticking with the formula we see today.

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, Ford 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.

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