By on September 6, 2016

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT 392

The Dodge Challenger is well known for fouling empty parking lots with smoke-belching burnouts, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles clearly feels its muscle coupe needs four-wheel traction.

Horsepower lovers in northern climes are likely celebrating the news (reported by Automotive News) that the Challenger will gain an all-wheel-drive variant.

According to the publication’s product update, FCA will market a Challenger GT AWD this fall, followed by a specialized version of its 707-horsepower Hellcat next year. That beast will be a wide-bodied, Hellcat-powered model called the Challenger ADR, likely designed for track use.

Adding all-wheel drive to the Challenger could mean new buyers for FCA’s aging pony car, which is struggling to hold its market share.

FCA’s product pipeline still shows the Dodge Charger and Challenger moving to the slimmed-down Alfa Romeo Giulia platform in 2018. The platform swap sees the two models drop significant weight (up to 500 pounds) while gaining a redesign. There’s the potential for a turbocharged four-cylinder base engine.

The Dodge Barracuda, a two-door convertible based on the Challenger, will bow in 2021.

A new look for the Chrysler 300 is a ways off, with a redesign tentatively scheduled for 2020. By not being included in the 2018 update of its LX platform cousins, the 300’s future is far more uncertain. There’s a chance that a future 300 will borrow the front-wheel-drive platform from the Chrysler Pacifica minivan — a possibility hinted at earlier this year by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

(Update: the original version of this story reported that the Challenger Hellcat would receive an all-wheel drive version, which is incorrect. The text and headline has been changed to reflect this.)

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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32 Comments on “Dodge Challenger Gains All-Wheel Drive this Fall...”


  • avatar
    dal20402

    So the muffin top of ponycars will gain even more weight. I’m so excited!

  • avatar
    Hemi

    This will be interesting. Will this cause rwd hellcat prices to drop?

    I traded in from a 13 Charger RT AWD to a Scatpack. I loved the AWD system on that car. You could toggle between rwd and awd, was a beast in the snow and handled nicely.

  • avatar

    I have never seen the point in this personally. But having said that I know a few people that have claimed they would buy an AWD muscle car if it existed. One guy I know wants one for his wife she currently has a Charger SRT8 for a summer car and a 10 year old Ram 2500 cummins for her winter beater (he told me he doesn’t feel safe having her drive RWD in the winter) He has mentioned several times he wish they Made AWD SRT challengers and Chargers so he could gain some garage space.
    It will be interesting to see how it sells, if it was available as an option I might check it especially if I could get a GT AWD 392 with a manual.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      You buddy is a quote unquote car guy who apparently needs to learn about winter tires.

      • 0 avatar

        He knows he’s pretty type A. It’s his old truck it lives with Brigestone Blizzak winter tires on it in the garage waiting for bad weather. He just thinks she needs winter tires and 4wd. He drives a new loaded silverado crew cab and swaps between bridgstone winter tires and General all terrains in the summer.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      So, he feels his wife is “safer” with an old, live axle diesel pickup with 10% of it’s weight over the rear wheels, no stability control, a locked center diff, and perhaps a limited slip in the rear stiff enough for a heavily loaded bed. Makes sense….. not!

      With modern snow tires, even the old pre-differential, one wheel drive cars would likely be just a-ok in the winter for most people, but talk about taking 4wd badging on the back out of context. And believing the hype.

      • 0 avatar

        I know a 3/4 ton 4wd isn’t ideal but I’ve driven plenty in the snow. When you engage 4wd with all the weight over the front axle they do very well. My concern would be over the part time case. I always wait too long to pull it in. But really when their engaged in bad weather with good tires 4wd is pretty good. If your going slow stability control isn’t that big of a concern etc.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    I wonder if it will be an E-LSD? One could only assume American Axle, Magna or Chrysler will be the only supplier to provide a robust enough of a solution for the PTU of this thing.

    Could be the Borg BW44-47.

  • avatar
    Chi-One

    Let me be the first to say it:
    HELLCAT!!
    :)

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Sergio needs to get his ac together WRT Chrysler. The eponymous marque of the company needs a more clearly defined mission and product line.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    In the ongoing arms race on who can compensate for more by the amount of power under the hood, an AWD Challenger makes things pretty darn interesting.

    Question is ADDED WEIGHT + AWD = FASTER or SAME 0-60 time. Should also help with handling.

    Raises other questions like will the AWD system be able to take the HP and torque, or will they have to detune slightly. It seems on paper AWD could get the Hellcat under 3 seconds 0-60 – on paper.*

    * Aware that at least one test got a stock Hellcat on street legal rubber to 60 in 2.9 seconds – seen times of 2.9 to 3.5 published for the 60 MPH run, and consistently burning through the quarter-mile in the 10s.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Helluva idea…and I wonder why it took so long, considering the Challenger’s platform has spawned all kinds of AWD 300s and Chargers.

  • avatar
    Zoom

    Let’s hope it doesn’t have the increased ride height of the AWD Charger and 300.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Always interesting to read the leaks. I just wonder sometimes what pipe they’re coming out of, or maybe what pipe the recipients are smoking…

    I’ll let the B&B decide what’s truth, what’s fiction, and what’s the result of AN’s staff taking too many hits on their extra day off.

  • avatar

    Alfa Romeo Giulia…uh huh.

    I saw one at the car show. Interesting, more a 3 series competitor. Other than the 99th percentile booth babes, nothing to see here.

    FCA is pimping out the hardware as best they can. Alfas ? Uh Huh, and Unicorns, and clowns puking rainbows

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    They should also consider installing a diesel. The 3.-0 V6 in the Grand Cherokee is rated 21/30 mpg by the EPA, and I got around 24 mpg just slogging around town. On highway, it seemed to do better than 30. Anyway, that was in a Jeep and it seemed to be healthy enough.
    I wouldn’t mind the looks of the Challenger in a more sensible package. While I really liked the 392 Hemi I drove for a week years ago, its thirst was extreme. Also, like a few dozen million other Americans, I live in snow country.
    Yeah, the Challenger is already a heavy car, and a diesel/AWD version would be no ballerina. But it would look good! And you’d feel good in it! Better than you would in a Camry, anyway. Or even an Avalon.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This sorta reminds me of how AMC didn’t have any money, but would add trims and 4×4 to things and POOF! New cars!

    -The 300 and Charger are already overdue for an update, and now they are to wait four more years?
    -The Challenger is overdue, and it’s getting AWD to make it a bit heavier? It won’t even chirp tires with V6 and an automatic, which is what most of them are anyway.
    -No more 200 and Dart, so there’s two more things gone.
    -Durango can’t be long for this world, when the new Grand Wagoneer comes around (if ever).

    And then when the 300 does get updated, its going to go FWD and compete with what… the other large FWD items of vague luxury like the MKS, RLX and Avalon? Yeah, good plan!

    At least they’ve got lots of Alfas and new Fiat models to sell! Oh…

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      It does kinda stink of desperation, don’t it?

      The elephant in the room, the one no one’s talking about, is Jeep. Jeep and its curse. ANOTHER satchel of brands, pulled down by the Cursed Marque of Toledo!

      Think of how, once Kaiser-Frazer bought Willys-Overland, slow sales killed the remaining Kaisers – including the Darren roadster. Of course the Aero-Willys was dead-car rolling; but two more brands, Kaiser and Frazer, were soon gone.

      Then, AMC still had fantasies of succeeding. Buy Jeep, instead of updating their Javelin…and watch everything else implode to dust. New Matador…crash. Pacer…lame and outrun. Gremlin, mutated by Federal standards to where even teenaged girls didn’t like it.

      Jeep setting sales records.

      Enter Renault. The Renault 9 was a sales and critical winner in Europe. Assembled in AMC plants, it was first dubbed the Appliance – and then was disowned as a fragile POS. Which it was.

      Chrysler to the rescue. Lido was brilliant in buying Jeep and its management – it saved him from the consequences of his bad ideas. But the Curse followed…his last bad act was to make Eaton his successor. And Eaton was looking for a payday…

      Daimler-Benz. Telling how, in the end, DaimlerChrysler had market valuation LOWER than Daimler-Benz before the covert purchase/sham merger; and how Daimler value shot UP once they gave Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep AWAY.

      Cerberus. They haven’t survived as a venture-capital company by making bad buys; but Chrysler was really one for the books.

      Now Fiat. The foreign White Knight, which now looks like a sick old European in its soiled white cravat, sucking the life out of…yup, Jeep.

      This is one of Sergio Sweaterman’s last frantic acts. Jeep sells…must be the FOUR WHEEL DRIVE!

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Did you read or just skim over?

      “FCA’s product pipeline still shows the Dodge Charger and Challenger moving to the slimmed-down Alfa Romeo Giulia platform in 2018.”

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Yes, I saw the Challenger is moving to a new platform in two more years. I don’t see how that invalidates my point – it’s already overdue, and an AWD offering in V6 guise isn’t going to help much.

        Also, I don’t think moving the cheaper Charger to an Alfa platform which is undoubtedly more expensive makes much sense when you’re separating it from the 300.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    The key here is the AWD is only with the V6. Nothing to write home about IMHO.

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