Charge It: Dodge Teases Facelifted 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]
Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.
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