By on May 30, 2016

2015 Dodge Charger V6 AWD Rallye (2 of 13)

The venerable rear-drive LX platform will soldier on underneath the Dodge Charger into the next decade, according to sources close to the company.

A platform swap planned for late 2018 won’t come until after 2020, with a styling refresh serving to stretch the lifespan of the current generation, a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles insider told Automotive News.

When the Dodge Charger eventually switches to a modified Alfa Romeo Giulia platform, expect a big weight reduction (up to 500 pounds) and a twin-turbocharged “Hurricane” four cylinder in the engine mix. That mill, bound for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, is said to make in the area of 300 horsepower.

This report is the first mention of the engine being a twin-turbo unit.

FCA’s 2014–2018 product plan showed the Dodge Charger and Challenger’s current generation ending in late 2018, but that plan clearly wasn’t set in stone. Last year, reports surfaced of the automaker’s plans to delay the introduction of several new models, including the LX platform full-sizers.

The current generation of the Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 dates to 2011, with the last styling refresh coming in 2014. The LX platform carried all models since their birth.

It seems that debt-laden FCA wants to squeeze as much life out of its products as it can. Last week, a report said the Dodge Grand Caravan, slated for extinction in 2017, would live until 2019.

Panic reportedly broke out earlier this month at FCA’s aging Brampton, Ontario assembly plant after CEO Sergio Marchionne mused that the next-generation 300 could use a Chrysler Pacifica platform. The source cited by Automotive News didn’t mention the 300, however — just the Charger.

When it eventually shows up, reports say the next-generation Charger might resemble the 1999 Charger R/T concept car. That design study sported coupe-like styling more closely aligned with the model’s heritage.

[Image: ©2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

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65 Comments on “All-New Dodge Charger Won’t Come Until After 2020: Report...”

  • avatar

    This is all vaporware talk… Sergio will be on an Italian beach in a sweater vest and a speedo then, bragging to an unimpressed model about how he fleeced out his 8 digit golden parachute. LX platform will soldier on as the new Panther.

    • 0 avatar

      My thought too. 21st century (sic.) panther chassis. With myriad component relations to a long forgotten Mercedes.

      But to be fair the Toyota Camry is rolling on the same platform since 2002 and on the same wheelbase since 2006 (3 body styles). This will change whenever Toyota’s supercomputer so says.

      • 0 avatar

        The Camry is actually a derivative of the 1991 Camry. The current gen Corolla actually has a much more pure blood line, I think the 4 speed automatic in the current Corolla is the same unit from 1991.

        But they’ll both move to TNGA soon and some experts think that the Corolla and Camry are on the same platform already but they don’t share many parts.

    • 0 avatar

      So Sergio’s grand plan is to cut the company’s only small/midsize sedans from an already product starved line-up to make room for thirsty SUV’s and crossovers they still don’t even produce, whose success is based entirely upon continuing low gas prices, and take the one bright spot in their line up and leave it on the vine to rot until they eventually replace it with a forgettable FWD sedan. Does that basically sum it up? This guy is a total idiot.

  • avatar

    There is NOTHING wrong with the LX platform.

    They could save money by keeping the LX platform and simply using the money to improve the interior and the engine efficiency/ power.

    As long as the Charger is a “big car”, that looks menacing, for not a lot of money it will sell just fine.

    • 0 avatar

      There not a lot wrong with the LX. Needs to be lighter is the only thing that a refresh can’t take care of. FCA does have other more pressing places it needs to allocate its limited resources. Now that new Wrangler is soon to be released and the Pacifica is out, they need to focus on getting competitive small and mid-sized CUVs to market. While I’d like to see a lighter LX, the line is not a big seller and the old chassis is competitive (the advantage of selling in a market others have abandoned). A newer offering here will not result enough increased sales to cover the cost.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        If FCA spent money developing a lighter weight aluminum block V8, those weight savings would apply across all their desirable products. Makes the Hemi versions of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Ram 1500 better.

        • 0 avatar

          A lighter block might help with reducing front suspension warranty claims and non-warranty work. There’s a lot I like about the LX platform but the front suspension bits are often early wear & tear on the 4 door LX models.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t think the hemi is long for this world. It may live on in the trucks but I don’t see it staying in the cars with the next platform. So an AL block could be beneficial, I am not sure they want to make that investment with everything else they need to do.

      • 0 avatar

        Not sure what planet you’re living on, but the Renegade, 500x,and Cherokee are quite competitive (in fact the Renegade is the hottest selling subcompact SUV there is). They just need power train tweaks, and I have no doubt that a Hurricane variant is destined to go under their hoods.

        • 0 avatar

          Money on an aluminum hemi would be money well spent. On the SUV CUV front yes they are selling ok. But they need to keep investment up so they don’t lose sales.

          Through April 2016 YTD sales have been:

          RAV4 106K
          CR-V 100K
          Escape 95K
          Rogue 92K
          Explorer 86K
          Equinox 80K
          Cherokee 67K
          skip 6 others
          Patriot 39K
          Skip 5 more
          Renegade 31K
          Compass 29K

          They definitely need to investing here if they want to keep making money. Large RWD cars are nice but they don’t pay the bills and the current LXs are fine.

          • 0 avatar

            Oh wow how pathetic is that? Why not name the models your skipping? And why not leave the subcompact Renegade out of your compact SUV list, and put at at the top of the subcompact list instead, ahead of the Subaru Crosstrek and Honda HR-V where it actually is? Instead of manipulating things to justify your twisted desire to Hemi all the things?

          • 0 avatar

            “Oh wow how pathetic is that? Why not name the models your skipping? And why not leave the subcompact Renegade out of your compact SUV list, and put at at the top of the subcompact list instead, ahead of the Subaru Crosstrek and Honda HR-V where it actually is? Instead of manipulating things to justify your twisted desire to Hemi all the things?”

            I didn’t think the ones I left out added to the argument. I don’t really follow the CUV or SUV market so I don’t know what competes with what. I’m not a hemi fan boy. I’m looking at where FCA can get the biggest bank for their investment dollar. They should not be spending money on LX cars since these are not where the money is. An Aluminum Hemi can be used to improve MPG throughout their pick-up, large SUV and LX. The money returned would be from the higher MPG of the trucks. As far as chassis they should be spending the money on small and mid-size CUVs since there seems to be more money available there then in car platforms.

            As the the rest of the SUVs/CUVs, incase anyone is really interested.
            Toyota RAV4 100K
            Honda CR-V 100K
            FordEscape 95K
            Nissan Rogue 92K
            Ford Explorer 87K
            Chevy Equinox 80K
            Jeep Cherokee 67K
            Jeep Grand Cherokee 65K
            Jeep Wrangler 60K
            Toyota Highlander 54K
            Subaru Forester 53K
            Subaru Outback 51K
            Ford Edge 47K
            Honda Pilot 40K
            Jeep Patriot 39K
            Chevy Traverse 39K
            Toyota 4Runner 35K
            Kia Sorento 35K
            Lexus RX 32K
            Mazda CX-5 32K
            Jeep Renegade 32K
            GMC Terrain 31K
            Dodge Journey 31K
            Jeep Compass 30K
            Hyundai Tucson 28K
            Nissan Pathfinder 28K
            Chevrolet Tahoe 28K
            Nissan Murano 28K
            Subaru Crosstrek 27K
            Dodge Durango 26K
            GMC Acadia 26K
            Kia Sportage 25K
            Hyundai Santa Fe 24K
            Buick Encore 24K
            Honda HR-V 22K
            Chevrolet Trax 18K
            Acura RDX 18K
            Buick Enclave 17K
            Acura MDX 17K
            Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class & M-Class 17K
            Cadillac SRX 16K
            Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class & GLK-Class 15K
            Ford Expedition 15K
            Lexus NX 15K
            Chevrolet Suburban 15K
            BMW X5 14K
            Volkswagen Tiguan 13K
            Audi Q5 13K
            BMW X3 13K
            Infiniti QX60 12K
            GMC Yukon 12K
            Cadillac Escalade 11K
            Volvo XC90 11K
            Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 10K
            Lincoln MKX 10K
            Audi Q7 9K
            GMC Yukon XL 9K
            Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 9K
            Mitsubishi Outlander 9K
            Ford Flex 8K
            Lincoln MKC 8K
            BMW X1 8K
            Nissan Juke 8K
            Lexus GX460 7K
            Land Rover Range Rover Sport 7K
            Mercedes-Benz GL-Class & GLS-Class 7K
            Mazda CX-3 6K
            Land Rover Range Rover 6K
            Porsche Cayenne 5K
            Porsche Macan 5K
            Infiniti QX50 5K
            Land Rover Discovery Sport 5K
            Volvo XC60 5K
            Infiniti QX80 5K
            Fiat 500X 5K
            Audi Q3 5K
            Land Rover LR4 4K
            Toyota Sequoia 4K
            Lincoln Navigator 4K
            Nissan Armada 4K
            Mini Countryman 4K
            Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 3K
            BMW X6 2K
            Infiniti QX70 2K
            Lexus LX570 2K
            BMW X4 2K
            Lincoln MKT 2K
            Volkswagen Touareg 2K

        • 0 avatar
          Holden Miecranc

          Love the avatar, npaladin2000

          • 0 avatar

            Thank you. :) My dream car is a WRC-ified AMC Eagle SX/4. Looks like I might have to settle for a Abarth-ified 500x though, unless FCA goes to a different nostalgia well.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s starting to show its age in crash tests, especially the newer more demanding small overlap test.

      The NA Hemi forgoes technologies that could increase its efficiency and performance, such as direct injection.

      With exception of the rare SRT models, the LX cars are a lot of flash… they are the kinds of cars that attract “sub-prime” new car buyers like only Mitsubishi knows how.

      • 0 avatar

        I see nothing wrong with keeping the platform around. It’s proven and dependable. The only thing I can think of is to maybe stretch it to add more rear seat space.

      • 0 avatar

        It would only take re-engineering the front crash structure to fix the small overlap performance. As I’m not involved in that line of work, I couldn’t say how much that would cost.

        • 0 avatar

          The biggest problem with the small overlap test is that it mostly misses front crash strcture, and goes straight for the suspension and into the A-pillar. If it is enough to rework the front suspension so that the front wheel doesn’t hit the bottom of the A-pillar (like it did in my old CR-V, luckily the guy who hit us had a smaller car) and goes to the side instead, that is potentially an easy fix, but if it means strengthening the the A-pillar, and whole passenger compartment it will most likely be expensive.

  • avatar

    Good. There is nothing wrong with the LX platform. They are nice cars and FCA doesn’t have the money to waste on replacements.

    If they were going to do anything, perhaps use some thinner higher strength steel or aluminum suspension and panel parts to lower the weight a bit, but the real need is to get volume up, which can be achieved by lowering the MSRP prices to compete against midsizers and offering the 10/100,000 warrantee.

    The 200 (with the ridiculously short wheelbase) and the dart are flops. If I want a largish sedan, why would I pay extra for a v6 Charger when I can go get a Fusion, Accord, or Elantra for thousands less?

    Of course, the r/t and above is a different ball-game but those don’t sell in appreciable numbers anyways and are competing in a different bracket.

  • avatar

    If it’s gonna come from some crappy Fiat platform, then leave this one, you just gotta concentrate on improving power-trains and driving dynamics, and for god’s sake, tweak the body too.

  • avatar

    The LX platform seems to be doing well, in a field of very limited full size RWD cars.
    I think a modest investment can put in a new 8 or 10 speed auto tranny and direct injection hemi. Camry seemed to have dealt with the overlap crash tests with the 2015.5 model and CRV dealt with it in the most recent refresh, so I think that Chrysler engineers should be able to handle this, especially with a RWD platform. I don’t think that a huge investment in a new platform will pay off in an era of falling sales of full size cars.

  • avatar

    Who knows….maybe they’ll milk it for 30 years, like Ford did with the Panther platform…or even the Fox platform.
    I mean if they can restyle it over and over, of course!

    • 0 avatar

      the Panther was a BOF that they built the cars on top of, while the LX is more of a “set of dimensions” that define hardpoints such as A pillar to front wheel distance. They significantly upgraded the architecture with the 2011 refresh (they spend over a billion on that) and if necessary, could do it again in 2018-2020 range. At least that is what I’d do.

      The other option, is to make small incremental changes, cut the MSRP to position it against the current crop of large midsized sedans, and offer better warantees.

  • avatar

    A 1999 concept slated to be realized by 2020? That’s Soviet planning, improved!

  • avatar

    Every last penny seems to be going into the Guilia and the Levante. What else is FCA actually spending money on to bring to production? The Stelvio crossover? What else? The entire company can’t be supported by the next Wrangler and the new Pacifica. Are there prototypes of any other future FCA vehicles running around?

    • 0 avatar

      Development of the Giulia is over, the car has already been released elsewhere. Sure, their North American lineup could use more diversity, but as it stands, Jeep sales outside of the Wrangler are pretty strong, as are Ram’s trucks.

      • 0 avatar

        It makes perfect sense to concentrate on the most profitable segments, which are all CUVs these days. If Maserati and Alfa are going to be competitive in their segments they need crossovers.

    • 0 avatar

      The other vehicle I’ve seen spy shots of is a compact Jeep CUV to replace the Patriot/Compass. It looks like a shorter Cherokee with a more GC type nose, from the spy shots.

    • 0 avatar

      Stelvio and Levante most likely. I can’t see anything else coming from FCA that would justify significant expense. Are they that much in debt that they have trouble developing two models?

    • 0 avatar

      FCA’s profit margins are thin due to discounting, and much of their income goes to debt service. There’s not enough left over for developing multiple platforms, maybe one new car or a couple refreshes, and those are stretched over longer development periods than normal for the industry.

      They’re not “developing” much because they’re broke and in debt – that’s why Sergio is looking for a partner – but letting models wither on the vine before dropping them without a replacement is what Sergio did to Fiat’s European line. That doesn’t make the company very attractive, basically slowly strangling what he’s trying to sell off by depriving it of viable product.

  • avatar

    The current Charger already looks a lot like the 1999 concept. The shape of the windows, the belt line and the door scoops all look very similar to the concept

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    How hard is it to design a new, lighter chassis? The reluctance to go new makes me think management and the board just want to save pennies. Who knows? The relative stability the nation has enjoyed the last few years may go down the crapper next year. Maybe that’s why they’re sticking to penny-ante advances.

    I miss the old LH platform that was tossed about a decade ago. The cab-forward designs like the Chrysler Concorde were quite handsome and showed people that Mopar wasn’t necessarily an outfitter of overhauled K-cars. As I recall, the LH was dropped so the company could turn its production lines over to more SUV manufacture, which is where the serious profits were. In so doing, they lost a seriously nice car line.

    The LX line is still attractive but you cannot disguise its basic lard-bucket heaviness. I really like rumbling around in a Hemi, but the 14 mpg fuel “economy” — and worse — puts it on the back burner, no matter how muscular it looks. The only way to save the LX (for me) would be to outfit it with a good hearty diesel. Is this every going to happen?

    • 0 avatar

      The factory that built the LH cars did not switch to SUV production, it builds the LX cars.

      I certainly don’t “miss” the LH cars, they showed me that Chrysler’s quality was still $#¡ГГ¥ as it always was. I wasted untold thousands on repairing my Concorde, only to have it self-destruct. My Intrepid wasn’t much better, luckily I sold it before it had the chance to burn me as the Concorde did. And, I didn’t even have that God-awful 2.7L.

      • 0 avatar

        The LH quality reputation wasn’t anything to write home about, but neither was anything that came out from Ford, GM or Chrysler. Having 3 family members that were mechanics for Ford and GM their honest response was “nothing” that came out of the “Big 3” were going to be trouble free.

        I didn’t have many issues that others had with my 93 Intrepid, but I did adhere to a strict maintenance schedule. The only issue I had was the A/C failed which seemed to be a common occurrence and the C pillar appliques paint faded and peeled away.

    • 0 avatar

      Unless your talking about the limited production Hellcat, which even then I doubt is that bad, I would be very interested in knowing where this 14MPG Charger is at? The Pedestrian 5.7L V8s do fine on fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar

      I averaged 21 going back and forth to work in my 14 R/T and got 26 mpg on highway trips. The worst mpg I ever got was in 19 during the winter. Now have a 16 Scat Pack and the mpg is very close to the 5.7. Very good mpg in my opinion.
      If the V8 leaves these cars I will never buy another.

  • avatar

    FCA’s plan for the new Charger sounds vaguely familiar…Take the Mustang…Build a new one with all the styling cues on the Pinto chassis, with a four-banger and an optional six…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    You will see this vehicle gradually decline. FCA/Chrysler is up to a decade behind Ford and GM by the looks of things.

    FCA just doesn’t have the money to develop product any quicker.

    FCA will concentrate more on Jeep and Ram with investing. That’s were the dosh is for them.

    • 0 avatar

      Even Jeep and Ram were robbed to invest in Alfa and Maserati though. The JGC getting pushed back was a HUGE deal, especially since it’s also supposed to underpin a new Grand Wagoneer to give Jeep a 3 row CUV/SUV to compete against Tahoe/Q7/GLS/etc. (at least in theory for the latter ones). And I don’t think there’s any word of a new Ram pickup on the horizon, is there?

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The LX cars have been in production for over 10 years, sufficient time for Chrysler to have a good grip on the shortcomings that mire them at the bottom of the influential Consumer Reports’ reliability ratings. Applying coin to improving quality would pay handsome dividends.

    • 0 avatar

      10 years ago the cars didn’t have anything they had today. Everything from the engines to the axles are not interchangeable to what is being produced today.

  • avatar
    formula m

    They are funnelling money out of jeep/dodge/Chrysler to make Alfa great again. How do you think Sergio took over leadership. He made lots of promises to the old Italian’s in order to be made CEO. Then used his understanding of how things worked around Southern Ontario while attending University across from Detroit to see how the government will pay them just for the privilege of keeping jobs in place.

  • avatar

    The Charger’s niche is it is a super sized car, and RWD. Buy one with a six and you have a “real car”, not some FWD box for the same price. OK, you get a Chrysler product, but there is always a sacrifice.

    I saw Alfas at the NY Auto Show. They were nice, and could sit along side BMW and Jag…and the booth babes were super hot….like 99.9% hot.

    The chances of those Alfas being offered for sale any time soon are the same as my chances with booth babe.

    What we are seeing is a pump and dump with FCA. My local lot is filled with 200’s and trucks…the pipeline is stuffed.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually I spent some time talking with those “booth babes.” Normally I’m always one to quip about hood ornaments at car shows but those particular ladies seemed quite knowledgeable about their products as well as cars in general. I was pretty impressed. And I both attend and work a lot of trade shows.

  • avatar

    All they have to change to sell me one is offer a 6MT.

    Or Chevy could add a folding rear seat to the SS.

    V8, RWD, 6MT, 4 doors, fold down rear seat — sold today!

  • avatar

    There is not going to be a new Dodge anything. Dodge will fade away. Whomever buys Jeep/Ram in a year or two won’t have anything to do with Chrysler or Dodge part of the company. And they will just go away

    • 0 avatar

      They seem to be spending alot on Dodge branding lately I think their current troubled brand is Chrysler

      • 0 avatar

        I think they finally realized they have to pivot from their original plan, Chrysler wasn’t going to do well as a Chevy/Ford. And I’m not sure FCA needs a Chevy/Ford to begin with anyway. They’ve never been competitive in the “regular car” markets. Maybe they need to be more like a Mazda or a Subaru, define a niche and then just own it.

  • avatar

    I had a Challenger rental last week in IND. 650 miles zig zagging all over on sales calls.
    32 MPG
    Fast car.
    Nice Auto trans.
    Good standard Stereo.
    Wonderful Rear drive dynamics.


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