By on May 9, 2018

2019 Charger

The Dodge Charger and its Challenger cousin have been stalwart models of the Dodge lineup since the 2006 model year, back when the place was still called DaimlerChrysler.

By the way, it’s been 20 years since that “merger of equals” (which it totally wasn’t) and Automotive News has a fantastic longform piece on the milestone with behind-the-scenes stories from people who lived to tell the tale. The description of a senior-level German lighting up a cigar while steamrolling the “no smoking” exhortations of the Chrysler contingent tells you all you need to know about who was really in charge at the time.

I digress. Now, about that 2019 Charger. It appears a four-door Hellcat will continue after all.

FCA last hit the Charger with a major refresh for the 2011 model year, a machine of which your author owns a 2012 copy and enjoys immensely. It’s one of the few machines that can fit my 6’6” frame in stretch-out comfort yet routinely still return better than 27 mpg from the 3.6-liter Pentastar and eight-speed ZF automatic.

The Charger’s corners were softened for 2015 with a mild exterior facelift in the form of massaged taillights and a set of headlamps that look like wraparound sunglasses. By design, this teaser image doesn’t tell us much, beyond a slimming of the grille, potential LED mascara on the lower edge of the headlamps, and maybe some sort of nostril intake on the outboard part of the grille – at least on the Hellcat shown here. Spy photos of the Hellcat Charger have also surfaced in recent days.

Dodge touts the Charger as “America’s only four-door muscle car” and, with the demise of Chevy’s super but obtusely-titled SS, your author thinks they have a point. The company makes it clear it thinks customers enjoy the car’s aggro appearance, calling the new front end “sinister” and boasting of its “visual width.”

These exterior refinements are obstinately a stop-gap measure until a new Charger comes along, whenever that may be. Product timelines at FCA change with the wind, after all. Right now, the car is set for a redesign by 2021 with a switch to the Giulia or Ghibli platform, depending on who you talk to. The Ghibli base, called the M157 (a shortened version of the M156 platform found in the Quattroporte), is currently the most widely spoken of rumour.

With Sergio on his way out the door, there is every reason in the world to think the new corporate helmsman (or woman) will bin those plans in favor of building all trucks or all SUVs or opening a polar bear-friendly bicycle factory. Hard to tell these days.

Dodge promises more details about the 2019 Charger in the coming months.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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25 Comments on “Charge It: Dodge Teases Facelifted 2019 Charger...”

  • avatar

    Unlike Ford, at least Chrysler is showing a little creativity in car design.
    When I observe what other car makers are doing I realize just how brain dead Ford motor company has become.

    • 0 avatar

      Can you tell us on the doll where Ford touched you?

    • 0 avatar

      The non-Fiat side of FCA is making bold, confident, strong, powerful, muscular, yet also refined, elegant and overall excellent vehicles now, better than Ford or GM (Guangzhou Motors), better than Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, and arguably, better than Audi, BMW, Mercedes and JLR, at present.

      That’s not an exaggeration.

      Go look at, and better yet, test drive, a faster, bolder versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Durango (SRT is bada$$), up level Charger, Challenger or 300C now, and I dare anyone to objectively proclaim that these vehicles don’t have not just swagger and presence, but that they don’t manage, at the same time, to be totally livable, daily useable, comfortable, powerful, well-executed, well-built mschines., and bargains in their respective categories.

      And then there is the revamped Wranglers, and grand slam new RAM.

      I would not be surprised to see FCA NA become supremely profitable, and steal large % of conquest market share from GM, Ford and the (increasingly BORING) imports overture next 4 years.

  • avatar

    “The description of a senior-level German lighting up a cigar while steamrolling the “no smoking” exhortations of the Chrysler contingent tells you all you need to know about who was really in charge at the time.”

    lol… I’ve been tempted to do that in an employee evaluation conference or two.

    So if they’re getting a refresh do we believe Sergio’s timeline for a all-new version in 2021? How long will this have to run to justify the expense of a refresh.

    BTW I’d be happy with the headlights from the Challenger grafted onto the Charger. Those Charger headlights/DRLs are pretty sweet.

  • avatar

    The location of that badge reminds me of the last time I was in a Dodge store. They had an SRT Charger on the floor, that was misbadged at the factory with a Scat Pack bee logo.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Didn’t a whole batch of Ram 1500s leave the factory labelled as HEMI models, when they were actually Pentastar-equipped?

      Still, that’s better than GM, who somehow neglected to install rear brake pads on Sonics across five entire months.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s still better than the days when you’d get a Buick with Oldsmobile hubcaps or some such.

        • 0 avatar

          Many years back I worked at a Ford dealer that got a Crown Vic equipped with a nice willow green cloth interior… and a burgundy steering wheel. With a Mercury badge.

          • 0 avatar

            I seem to recall that C&D’s review sample of the Tempo V6 came with mismatched front seat upholstery and a Mercury steering wheel. Might be misremembering the specific car.

        • 0 avatar

          I saw a 1965 Buick LeSabre at a local car show where all the trim on the one side of the interior was LeSabre, and all the trim on the other side was Wildcat.

  • avatar

    I cannot give Dodge/SRT/RAM enough credit…they are designing sexy cars that you can’t find anywhere else in the world…Unique AND desirable…

  • avatar

    Had a HEMI charger rental earlier this year. As someone who has owned miatas and GTIs, with some wheel time in Z3s and Boxsters… That charger had me smiling and laughing like a little kid. I absolutely loved that car.

    It’s been on the brain for potential future pick-up.

    If FCA can do a better job with the cylinder deactivation it would be damn near perfect. But I think with that throaty charger exhaust, the sound and vibration change when it goes to 4cyl mode is very noticeable to me.

    • 0 avatar

      GM does AFM very well. The switch between V8 and V4 in my C7 is almost imperceptible under most conditions….and that’s with a manual…

    • 0 avatar

      I also had a rental HEMI Charger, drove it from Raleigh to Atlanta, around Atlanta for 2 weeks, then back to Raleigh. Loved it. The cylinder deactivation was only really noticeable to me when I listened for it. Most of the time if it hadn’t been for the indicator on the dash I wouldn’t have noticed it. When I was approaching Atlanta and realized that this big V8 sedan had averaged 29 mpg for the trip from Raleigh, I was so impressed I couldn’t care less about the slight burble of the 4-cyl mode. A truly remarkable car.

  • avatar

    I think dodge were offering the Hellcat as leases for as little as $500 last year. Here’s to hoping they bring that back.

  • avatar

    Imagine if Bob Lutz had arrived at GM in time to save Oldsmobile. . .
    The Challenger that we all love (I have the 2016 Plum Crazy SXT Plus) would have a competitive RWD Olds 442 right now!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I would never buy an SRT or Hellcat, but I’d be interested in seeing the R/T.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I would not mind a new Magnum wagon or sport hatch. It might pull away some buyers who want more than a sedan but are not fond of and don’t need the bulk of CUV’s or SUV’s.

    • 0 avatar
      John Scott

      Hmmm…a Durango “coupe” might just work… And it’s something FCA would be more likely to build rather than a new Magnum wagon. Though a new Magnum wagon would be MY preference.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I could see a Durango “coupe” or a shortened one named Ramcharger.

  • avatar

    If I had the financial means to do so, I’d buy a Charger in a heartbeat. The mileage would be a bit under my needs (I’d like at least 35 mpg as my DD is 84 miles round trip), but if I could afford one the fuel cost wouldn’t be a big deal either most likely. In fact, I’d be driving one now if they had put the 99 concept into production. I thought that was a great iteration of what the Charger was to me.

    I’ve always bought used and with two exceptions they have always worked out well. I’ve wanted to see how far I could get a new car. All I’ve owned have been over 250k vehicles (the exceptions being the aforementioned 2). I figure I should be able to get a new one to a half million easy (came close with the 84 Shelby Charger which had 406K when I sold it). As it stands now, I’ll probably not get the chance as I’m soon to be 66 and I expect my time on the road will decrease as I get older.

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