The Dodge Challenger Concept and the Chevrolet Camaro Concept represented the 2 major reveals at the recent North American International Auto Show.
Dodge got a 24-hour jump on General Motors by revealing the Challenger on the first day of the show. Set amongst some examples of the original 1970’s models, a bright orange Challenger was unwrapped for the world to see.
The overall look of the vehicle was quite amazing, in that it appeared to be a refreshed version of the original 30 year old model, in essence a true historical homage to the Challenger of old. Exterior treatment aside, under the bulging and rolling steel panels, the Challenger is all new with the platform coming from the widely used but equally highly praised LX platform, shared with the Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum and Charger.
The shared platform means that the Challenger deserves respect right out of the gate, as the Chrysler LX chassis is one of the most refined and responsive utilized by any domestic manufacturer. Chrysler has already shown that the LX underpinnings can handle the horsepower generated by the legendary hopped up Hemi performance engines, with the 6.1 litre SRT8 models, pumping out 425 horses and 420 lb/ft of torque.
The rear-wheel-drive Challenger has a common wheelbase measurement with the 300, however the overall length of the Challenger is slightly longer. The new rendition is also 6 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the original Challenger.
After viewing all the recent retro inspired “concepts”, it suddenly dawned on me that Detroit was stepping in to catch that nostalgic wave that shifts from decade to decade with each generation. In the 80’s and 90’s collectors sought out the prized vehicles from their youth, driving prices of vehicles from the 50’s and 60’s respectively, upward. Detroit has jumped into the 70’s flood of nostalgia and hopes to bleed interest away from vintage models, towards these shiny new tokens of the glory days gone by.
Look for the Challenger to debut as an early 2008 model. Bring it on!