June 30, 2006Chrysler will announce on Saturday one of the worst kept secrets in the industry: that it will build a production version of the Dodge Challenger coupe, first unveiled at the 2006 Detroit auto show.
Details are still sketchy, but indications are Challenger will hit the market either late next year or sometime in 2008.
The Challenger concept sits on a shortened version of the LX platform that underpins the 300C, itself once a Mercedes E-Class. That platform holds up not only the 300C, but also the Dodge Magnum and Dodge Charger.
The concept uses the 6.1-liter, 425-hp SRT8 Hemi V8 mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Dodge lists 0 to 60 mph in the concept at 4.5 seconds and the quarter-mile in 13 seconds. Top speed is 174 mph.
Production of the vehicle makes good business sense, since Chrysler would save big bucks on development. And by slapping in an existing engine, as is the case here, the company would save even more bucks.