By on March 20, 2019

Rampant speculation surrounds the Dodge Charger and the possibility it might eventually receive the same wide-body treatment applied to the Challenger SRT Hellcat and R/T Scat Pack. Last month, Mopar enthusiasts, claiming insider knowledge, said Dodge would have sedan versions ready for the 2020 model year.

It wasn’t much to go on, but the automaker recently confirmed there will be a concept Charger on display at California’s Spring Fest this weekend, following the appearance of an online video showing a camouflaged SRT sedan cruising around Southfield, Michigan. 

The video, shared by multiple outlets, shows a Challenger playing host to panels that appear to contain room for a wide-body kit. MoparInsiders previously claimed such a vehicle was rumored to debut at California’s Spring Fest this weekend, and CarBuzz confirmed it after asking the manufacturer for clarification about the mystery model in the brief clip.

“We are taking a Charger design concept to Spring Fest (this upcoming weekend) to gauge feedback from the huge Dodge Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 enthusiast base that attends the California event each year. Other than that, we don’t have anything to announce,” explained a company spokesperson.

From MoparInsiders:

Here is what we know thus far about the upcoming 2020 Dodge Charger Widebody models. First is they will feature drastically different looking front and rear fascias. The new dual-snorkel grille for 2019, will be redesigned just for the widebody cars and will feature smaller intakes lower in the corners of the upper grille. Both front and rear fascias had to be radically redesigned to incorporate the Charger body lines with the new widebody fender flares.

While the fender flares are there, we never get a great look at the front of the vehicle. The rear also doesn’t look quite so “drastically different” as we would have expected. But the fact that Dodge is telling us to just wait and see what comes to Spring Fest makes us believe the car’s a legitimate prototype for whatever Dodge is sending to the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, CA this weekend.

[Image: FCA]

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13 Comments on “Dodge Charger Concept Debuts This Weekend...”

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I honestly don’t think a Charger needs any more power than the 370bhp in the R/T.

    I returned my rented 2018 Charger RT on Friday–after a week with it. While the exhaust note and power was really fun for first day or two, I must admit I was very happy to get back into my own 2015 Mazda6. The exhaust was a bit drone-y for highway cruise, and when a few cylinders went into deactivated mode, I felt the chassis vibrate and the exhaust note sputter. While I liked the decent highway fuel economy, the MDS(multi-displacement-system?) activation was unpleasant. Engaging “Sport” mode disables MDS, but it also locks out top gear.

    Overall, the Charger felt ponderous as a DD. The doors are heavy. The dashboard is enormous, too big, too high. The trunk lid is a bit awkward to grab when closing–the grab handle is backward. The driver seat lacked lumbar adjustment, and the bottom seat cushion was a tad too firm for my fat ass.

    I found the Charger a fun rental, with a great drivetrain, but I would not want to drive one every day. A widebody kit and more power would not change my impression in the least.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m renting a Charger R/T at the moment also! It’s certainly large enough to accommodate my out-of-town relatives and high enough off the ground to be eye-to-eye with many trucklets.

      According to on-board readout I’ve been getting 30 MPG during long 70 MPH highway stints. This looks about right when judging from the fuel gauge, too. I found that the car kind of drones in 4-cylinder mode, but at least the transition between 4 and 8 doesn’t surge or anything like that.

      Coming from my Gen 1 Porsche Cayman S, the 450 foot/pound Charger has way better torque-to-weight ratio, but a bit less power-to-weight ratio. From a standstill, the car is a wild ride, as tire squealing is as simple as putting your right foot 1/2 of the way down when taking off from a stop. Full throttle at 60 MPH gives wonderful noises and great (but not overwhelming) thrust. I’d guess that more power at 60 MPH in a rental car on public streets would be a very bad idea.

      As a daily driver… I’d much rather have the Chrysler 300C (my previous rental and in the same rental class). The R/T’s V8 noises get tiresome. I prefer the 300C’s seats, controls, overall interior, and ride. Overwhelming the R/T’s tires is fun for a short time, but controlling the car around town isn’t easy due to the torque coupled with the hyper-sensitive accelerator pedal.

      On my 90-minute trip to Monterey Bay, I found the seat sill comfortable (just barely). However, the pedal position wasn’t quite right for me; I felt I had to keep my right foot tilted back too far. That’s probably a matter of adjusting things.

    • 0 avatar

      No, it doesn’t need any more power than an R/T has, but it’s very nice that you can get it if you want it. Sport mode doesn’t lock out top gear, you just weren’t going fast enough to get it into D7/8. I recently traded a Challenger R/T for an R/T Scatpack. One drive in a 6.4l Charger or Challenger was enough to get me thinking about buying one. I would take any Charger/Challenger/300 over anything Mazda has ever made in the last 30 years.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Indeed, we all have our “thing” about what makes a car desireable. How wonderful there are so many manufactures and so many models to choose from. These are great times to be an auto enthusiast.

  • avatar

    *Another* Dodge Charger variant? Zzzzzzzzzz…

  • avatar

    They need to update the styling

  • avatar

    FCA has nice concept. I mean, the cars they build could be great only they are not. Every their product not built in Italy has serious build issues. Panels don’t match. Gaps are ridiculous. I am talking about both, interior and exterior. This is REALLY bad when new cars look like they’ve been in the collision and then reassembled by some body shop. And then, we know that their parts bin is not of higher quality…

  • avatar

    Milk that cash cow, FCA. Milk it!

  • avatar

    Allpar has some better pictures.

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