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Dodge Ditching Family Car Image for Steroid-Induced Muscle

Well, not steroids. Let's call it supercharging.

Just a few years ago, not long after Fiat took over control of Chrysler, many were wondering about the future of the Dodge brand. Was there even a future, or would it be best to let it go like Chrysler previously did with Plymouth? Many pondered that Alfa Romeo could fill the performance void and Fiat would take over the family car part. Obviously neither of these things are happening, but one thing is for certain: Dodge is getting out of the family car business. The first clear sign?

Its Dodge Grand Caravan, the minivan that kicked off that segment, will soon be a goner. The Avenger/Stratus? Also both gone (and for the best). The new and true stars of the current Dodge lineup? Charger and Challenger. And now both can be had with that absolutely glorious 6.2-liter supercharged V8 Hellcat, busting out 707 horsepower. The Charger Hellcat is now officially the world’s fastest production sedan. Dodge is "the best-kept secret in the house," according to FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne. "There’s a lot more work that needs to be done,” he continued. "But there is a unique place in the American mind for Dodge. And we need to satisfy that need."

However, Dodge’s new product direction poses some risks. For example, if gas prices dramatically increase or if the economy tanks again, then performance cars such as these won’t be in high demand. But so far, so good. Along with the refreshed Durango, these three models have mass appeal, from Generations X and Y to Millennials. So what’s next for Dodge? Performance makeovers for the Dart and Journey.

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