The American coupe is in good company.
Dodge hit a design home run when the Challenger was reborn back in 2008. Its exterior design has changed very little since, and that’s very much on purpose. We spoke with Mark Trostle, head of passenger and utility design for Fiat Chrysler, at Detroit and discussed one of his pride and joys, the Challenger.
"I look at the design aesthetic of the Jeep Wrangler and how it has evolved over time. But it has always looked the same essentially. Porsche 911 has done a very good job of that as well,” Trostle said. "That’s what we’re really proud of with the Challenger. It has continued to evolve. We haven’t had to throw the kitchen sink at it to reinvent the way the car looks,” Trostle added. "We do things to modernize the car, such as a new interior in 2015, versus having to make wholesale changes to it. I think that says a lot about the package of the car.”
For 2019, Dodge is releasing the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 Edition which comes with the familiar 6.4-liter V8 with 485 hp, a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds, and an 11.7-second quarter-mile time. According to Dodge, it’s the fastest naturally aspirated muscle car you can buy today. Remember, the Hellcat V8, found in the Challenger Redeye, is supercharged. And speaking of other engines, one of the other keys to the Challenger’s long-term success are its engine options; there’s something there for a variety of budgets and performance desires.
"We throw in different drivetrains that cater to a whole variety of people. That’s really the success of this car,” Trostle said. If you recall, 2018 was the best sales year ever for the Challenger with a total of just under 70,000 examples sold. So what does the future hold for the Challenger?
There are two obvious points: the design will evolve but will be unmistakably Challenger just like the 911 and Wrangler are never confused for anything else, and more than one drivetrain will be offered. The 911 has almost too many variants to count with several different flat-sixes, naturally aspirated and turbocharged, available. What the 911 is to Porsche, the Challenger is to Dodge. We can easily live with that.