The Dodge Challenger captivates car enthusiasts with its speed, style and quality. Behind the global success, this USA classic muscle car also has a 50-year mark.
A brief introduction to the 50-year story of one of modern USA Classic muscle cars icons, the Dodge Challenger, the high-performance supercar, through its backdrop, the difficult times that led to its development and its future direction.
Slow onset and “early death” after 4 years
The original Challenger was born in 1970, shaped like a typical American muscle car, powerful, cheap and fuel-efficient. It also has some weird and intricate styling and other interesting elements. The original Challenger uses the base V6 and V8 engines, with a cylinder capacity of 7.2 liters and a maximum capacity of about 375 horsepower.
But Dodge started a little later. Before that, in 1964, Ford Mustang was born and quickly occupied a large market share in the muscle car segment in the US. Challenger was overshadowed not only by the “brother” that forced Dodge to change, but also by its rivals.
In 1972, a version of the Challenger Rally appeared with a distinctive “Sidmouth” design. Some call it a carriage because of its short, high-performance rear end based on the Barracuda E-Body platform. The Challenger’s distinguishing features are: The long bonnet, large tailgate, circular dual headlights and chrome grille set it apart from the rest.
Dodge in its early years
But the oil crisis of 1973 changed all that when a series of new emissions regulations in the United States looked like a double hit for cars with higher cylinder capacity. By 1974, many other muscle cars had been withdrawn from the market, including the Challenger.
The revival of the dodge challenger with the Japanese-American hybrid
In 1978, Dodge partnered with Japanese automaker Mitsubishi to revive the Challenger, producing front-wheel drive vehicles such as the Honda Prelude, Nissan 200SX, and Toyota Celica.
The Challenger is designed to be more luxurious, notably Dodge ditching the familiar gasoline-burning V8 in favor of a 1.6- or 2.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Many people think that this Challenger is not much different from the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda GSR.
It’s a good car with lots of improvements, but it doesn’t have much of the Challenger’s muscular American identity. This generation also lasted for a while, until 1983 “retired”.
Fifteen years later, in 2008, the third generation of the Dodge Challenger appeared, meeting the expectations of many and creating a real fad that the previous two generations did not have. The car looks modern yet powerful with its long bonnet, short rear and circular dual headlights.
The brand has gone through a development process full of ups and downs
Most importantly, the V8 engine block is back with incredible power. After that, a V6 engine block was also produced in parallel to reduce the cost of the car. This makes the Dodge Challenger more affordable for speed enthusiasts.
In 2011, the Challenger was refined yet again. This time, it has more accents, colors and engines that work better than the old generation. Dodge has “stuffed” into the car a number of safety modes, including Brake Assist, Emergency Brake Alert and Brake Assist in the rain. In addition, the electronic stability control system and hill start assist help make driving safer.
The interior is designed very high, equipped with leather seats and steering wheel and many technical utilities inside the cabin, making consumers feel this car is both powerful and safe.
Hellcat & Demon version brings a new breath to Dodge
Dodge launched the Challenger SRT Hellcat in 2015 and the Challenger SRT Demon in 2018. These two models showcased Dodge’s prowess to the world in a way never before seen in popular muscle cars and became models that had the highest sales in the US market.
Check out the typical American muscle. In 2018, the Challenger Demon produced 808 horsepower. In addition, the Demon version 2021 has a capacity of up to 840 horsepower. And the “junior” version of Daemon 2021 also easily produces 717 horsepower.
The muscle car power race in the USA is not over yet. And maybe Americans with strong personalities will always like this one. The future of Dodge could be hybrid or even electric for the Challenger. And despite switching to electric, it is certain that the Dodge Challenger will still be a USA classic muscle cars leading the trend.