To paraphrase Mark Twain, “rumors of the Dodge Challenger’s demise
may be greatly exaggerated.” Despite the anticipated introduction of the SRT Barracuda
(perhaps the worst-kept secret in Auburn Hills), it now appears that Dodge may not be killing off the Challenger after all.
Focusing on what Dodge brand head Reid Bigland defines as “affordable performance,” Automotive News
(subscription required) reports that the automaker will add launch control to its Challenger (keeping up with the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang) for 2013, before launching an all-new Challenger in 2015.
As is the case with the next Mustang and the next Camaro, expect the 2015 Challenger to benefit from a bit of platform downsizing. Word is that some three inches will be cut from the car’s wheelbase, which would still require the Challenger to shop at the Big & Tall store, especially if the other pony cars get smaller in upcoming redesigns.
The 2015 Challenger will reportedly share a platform with a new car from SRT, the aforementioned Barracuda. Engine choices for the Barracuda could include a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8
, which would give SRT a product to counter the Ford Shelby GT500 and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Depending upon how Dodge positions (and updates) the Challenger
, such a two-car strategy may make sense. When it comes to track days, the Dodge isn’t our pony car of choice, creating an opportunity for the rumored Barracuda.
On the other hand, when a trip involves covering a lot of miles in a short amount of time, it’s the Challenger’s keys we fight for over the Mustang and Camaro. Make one a legitimate sports car and the other a GT, and there may be room for both in the lineup.