2008 Dodge Challenger

Posted on by 17

The Chrysler group stole the scene on the opening day of the 2006 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit when it revealed the Dodge Challenger Concept car.

Tasked with the enviable assignment of developing a hot-looking performance coupe using Chrysler’s advanced rear-wheel drive LX platform and its fabled Hemi engine, the designers explored a variety of options, eventually gravitating to the idea of reinventing the highly-collectible Dodge Challenger.

Eager to begin, the designers drew up a “short list “of the essential attributes of a muscle car: distinctly American; mega horsepower; pure, minimal, signature lines; aggressive air-grabbing grille; and bold colors and graphics.

“Challenger draws upon the initial 1970 model as the icon of the series,” said Tom Tremont, Vice President – Advanced Vehicle Design. “The 1970 model is the most sought after by collectors. But instead of merely recreating that car, the designers endeavored to build a Challenger most people see in their mind’s eye — a vehicle without the imperfections like the old car’s tucked-under wheels, long front overhang and imperfect fits. As with all pleasurable memories, you remember the good and screen out the bad.

“We wanted the concept car to evoke all those sweet memories … everything you thought the Challenger was, and more.”

“During the development of the concept car,” says Micheal Castiglione, principal exterior designer, “we brought an actual 1970 Challenger into the studio. For me, that car symbolizes the most passionate era of automotive design.”

Being key to the image, getting the right proportions was critical. The Challenger concept sits on a 116-inch wheelbase, six inches longer than the original. But its width is two inches greater, giving the concept car a squat, tougher, more purposeful persona.

The signature side view accent line — designers call it the “thrust” line — is higher up on the body, running horizontal through the fender and door and kicking up just forward of the rear wheel.

In section the upper and lower body surfaces intersect and fall away along this line, which has just a whisper of the original car’s coved surfacing.

“We wanted to stay pure,” said Castiglione, “with simple, minimal line work, but with everything just right.”

The five-spoke chrome wheels — 20-inch, front; 21-inch, rear — are set flush with the bodyside, giving the car the powerful muscular stance of a prizefighter eager to challenge the world. Wheel openings are drawn tightly against the tires, with the rearward edges trailing off. To emphasize the iconic muscularity, the designers added plan view “hip” to the rear quarters.

One of the key characteristics of the original car the designers wanted to retain was the exceptionally wide look of both the front and back ends. To achieve this the designers increased both the front and rear tracks to 64 and 65 inches respectively, wider than the LX, wider even than the 1970 model. To realize the long horizontal hood the designers deemed essential, the front overhang was also increased.

Both the hood and the deck lid of the Challenger concept vehicle are higher than the 1970 in order to lift and “present” the front and rear themes. The front end features the signature Dodge crossbar grille and four headlamps deeply recessed into the iconic car-wide horizontal cavity. Diagonally staggered in plan view, the outboard lamps are set forward, the “six-shooter” inboard lamps slightly rearward. At the rear, the car-wide cavity motif is repeated, encompassing a full-width neon-lit taillamp. Both the grille and the front and rear lamps are set into carbon-fiber surrounds. Like the original, slim rectangular side marker lamps define the ends of the car.

Bumpers are clean (no guards), body-color and flush with the body. “This is something we would have loved to do on the original Challenger,” said Jeff Godshall, who was a young designer in the Dodge Exterior studio when the first Challenger was created, “but the technology just wasn’t there. With the Challenger concept, however, the Pacifica Studio designers are able to realize what we wanted in our perfect world.”

The hood reprises the original Challenger “performance hood” and its twin diagonal scoops, now with functional butterfly-valve intakes. Designed to showcase the modern techniques used in fabricating the car, what look like painted racing stripes are actually the exposed carbon fiber of the hood material.

The Challenger concept is a genuine four-passenger car. “You can sit up in the back seat,” said Castiglione. Compared to the original, the greenhouse is longer, the windshield and backlite faster, and the side glass narrower. All glass is set flush with the body without moldings, another touch the original designers could only wish for. The car is a genuine two-door hardtop — no B-pillar — with the belt line ramping up assertively at the quarter window just forward of the wide C-pillar.

Exterior details one might expect, like a racing-type gas cap, hood tie-down pins, louvered backlite and bold bodyside striping, didn’t make the “cut,” the designers feeling such assorted bits would detract from the purity of the monochromatic body form. But tucked reassuringly under the rear bumper are the “gotta have” twin-rectangle pipes of the dual exhausts.

In contrast to the bright Orange Pearl exterior, the interior is a no-nonsense, “let’s-get-in-and-go” black relieved by satin silver accents and narrow orange bands on the seat backs. “Though the 1970 model was looked to for inspiration, we wanted to capture the memory of that car, but expressed in more contemporary surfaces, materials and textures,” said Alan Barrington, principal interior designer. As with the original car, the instrumental panel pad sits high, intersected on the driver’s side by a sculpted trapezoidal cluster containing three circular in-line analog gauge openings.

“We designed the in-your-face gauge holes to appear as if you are looking down into the engine cylinders with the head off,” relates Barrington. These are flanked outboard by a larger circular “gauge” that is actually a computer, allowing the driver to determine top overall speed, quarter-mile time and speed, and top speed for each of the gears.

With its thick, easy-grip rim, circular hub and pierced silver spokes, the leather-wrapped steering wheel evokes the original car’s “Tuff” wheel, as does the steering column “ribbing.” The floor console, its center surface tipped toward the driver, is fitted with a proper “pistol grip” shifter shaped just right to master the quick, crisp shifts possible with the six-speed manual “tranny.”

Inasmuch as the original Challenger was the first car to have injection-molded door trim panels (now common practice), the doors received special attention.

“We imagined that the door panel was a billet of aluminum covered with a dark rubberized material,” Barrington relates. “Then we cut into it to create a silver trapezoidal cove for the armrest.”

Although the flat-section bucket seats of the original Challenger didn’t offer much support for aggressive driving, the front seats in the Challenger concept car boast hefty bolsters much like those found on Dodge’s famed SRT SRT series cars. The trim covers’ horizontal pleats or “fales” provide just a hint of that “70’s” look.

Rethought, reworked, reproportioned and redesigned, the Challenger concept car offers iconic a HEMI-powered performance coupe derived from a classic American muscle car.


Features

Eager to begin, the designers drew up a "short list" of the essential attributes of a muscle car. They included the following criterions:

  • Distinctly American
  • Mega horsepower
  • Pure, minimal, signature lines
  • Aggressive air-grabbing grille
  • Bold colours and graphics

Engine

In relation to the first two criteria, a gas-guzzling 6.1-litre Hemi V8 provides the power, outputting 425 horsepower, or about 312kW. Torque, meanwhile, is equally as impressive, boasting 420 lb-ft of twist, which if multiplied by 1.3558 results in 570Nm of torque. The inside word is that new Dodge concept car will accelerate from standstill to 60mph (96km/h) in 4.5 seconds and should be able to reach about 174mph or 280km/h.

Interior

The interior of the Challenger homage is a no-nonsense, "let’s-get-in-and-go" black relieved by satin silver accents and narrow orange bands on the seat backs. "Though the 1970 model was looked to for inspiration, we wanted to capture the memory of that car, but expressed in more contemporary surfaces, materials and textures," said Alan Barrington, the man in charge of interior design for the concept.

As with the original car, the instrumental panel pad sits high, intersected on the driver’s side by a sculpted trapezoidal cluster containing three circular in-line analogue gauge openings."We designed the in-your-face gauge holes to appear as if you are looking down into the engine cylinders with the head off," relates Barrington. These are flanked outboard by a larger circular gauge that is actually a digital screen, allowing the driver to determine top overall speed, quarter-mile time and speed, and top speed for each of the gears.

Exterior

Michael Castiglione was the principal exterior designer of the new concept car, and his job in creating a recognisable ’look’ for the modern day Challenger would have been daunting, but the results speak for themselves in this case. "During the development of the concept car," said Castiglione, "we brought an actual 1970 Challenger into the studio. For me, that car symbolises the most passionate era of automotive design."

The five-spoke chrome wheels 20-inch fronts; 21-inch rears are set flush with the bodyside, giving the car the powerful muscular stance of a prizefighter eager to challenge the world. Wheel openings are drawn tightly against the tyres, with the rearward edges trailing off.

The Challenger concept is a genuine four-passenger car: "You can sit up in the back seat," said Castiglione. Compared to the original, the greenhouse is longer, the windshield and backlite faster, and the side glass narrower. All glass is set flush with the body without moldings, another touch the original designers could only wish for.

Rethought, reworked, reproportioned and redesigned, the Challenger concept car offers iconic a Hemi-powered performance coupe derived from a classic American muscle car.


17 comments:

finally a new muscle car that looks like it’s classic counterpart. We will show people the true rulers of the road. MUSCLE ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is about time that Detroit got its head back into the game. I think that the Dodge Challenger and the Chevy Camaro with be huge hits. When the Challenger comes out I am going to buy one (with the HEMI of course). Then I am going to cruise around town and scare all those imports who think they are going to get in my way. AMERICAN MUSCLE all the way!!!!!

You gotta love This Dodge Challenger with Six speed manual 425 Horsepower.
420 Torque.
0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.
Top Speed 174mph.
6.1L Hemi Engine.
Awesome Car.

I say welcome back a great peice of muscle car history. I by far think it will supercied the new chargers and the pathetic mustangs and all that carry a great name but lowsy design and build. I think that anyone who really wants to celebrate the muscle car remakes of today should deffinitly consider this as a prime choice.

No doubt, this car is going to be a contender.

ya we need to bring the back

I owned a 1970 Challenger R/T with the 440 Six Pak. It was painted pearl white with a black interior. It had the Dana 375 rear end and a pistol grip 4 speed. That car got rubber off the tires at 90 mph shifting into 4th.
I will be buying the 2008 Challenger with the 425 hp HEMI. This car should be a MONSTER with all the new tech stuff and lighter frame. The old challenger was heavy with thos big block v8’s.
To bad Plymouth is gone, The Road Runner and the Cuda would be smash hits today.

Owned at 1970 Challenger and a 70 Road Runner when I was young and foolish. 2008 Challenger is SWEET !!!!!!!!

Finally!!!!
MOPAR is coming back meaner than ever, and once again we WILL RULE THE STREETS!!!! Chevy and Ford lovers will start having reoccuring nightmares of our rear tail lights dancing though their heads, and crying towels beside their beds!! Thank you Dodge for giving this woman a reason to hold her head high once again!!!

how soon can I order this car. I want a automatic with 4-11 gear ratio posi trac, and front and rear spoilers. It also must be black or yellow. NOT RED

Bring back the ROAD RUNNER!!

superbe voiture elle me fait penser a la toyota 1600st celica couper sport. Si vous avez plein de photos a menvoyer de la dodge challenger n ésité pas c est une superbe voiture d omage que je n ai pas les moyens sinon c est une voiture que j aurai acheter j espere que vous penserai a moi pour les photos et des commentaire en francais merci et bonne continuation a plus tard dans le temps

I don’t care how much it cost. This is a car that should be in all 50% of the remaining American’s in this country’s driveways.

I just heard about this great new website. It’s called Classic Cars & Used Vehicles, . They’ve got some really neat cars there too.

Now thats a car....Mustang(joke)....Camaro(yeah right).....DCX has the right thought process going on....

Yeahh finally some muscle car back in the US.... let’s enjoy our nice roads for a few last year before they put speed cameras and blax box in every cars !!!

Everybody was waiting for a car like this! A true dream!

*Registration is required to post in this forum

Back to top