The Dodge Charger is an American automobile marketed by the Dodge division of Chrysler and manufactured in Canada by American manufacturer Chrysler Group LLC. First used on a show car in 1964, there have been several different production vehicles, built on three different platforms and sizes, all bearing the Charger nameplate. The Charger nameplate has been used with subcompact hatchbacks, full-sized sedans, and personal luxury coupes.
The three main iterations of Dodge Chargers were a mid-size (B-body) two-door car (1966-78), a subcompact (L-body) car (1983-87), and the (LX and LD) full-size platform four-door sedans built since 2006.
The name was also carried by a 1999 concept car that differed substantially from the Charger eventually placed into production for the 2006 model year. A similar name plate, the Ramcharger, was used for the truck-based vehicle.
- Model years of Chargers
- 1964 Dodge Charger (concept): a roadster-style show car based on the Dodge Polara
- 1965 Dodge Charger 273: a limited production option package for the Dart GT
- 1966–78 Dodge Charger (B-body): a rear wheel drive coupe
- 1970–80 Dodge Charger: Brazilian version based on the Dodge Dart, with a higher-compression 318 V8 engine
- 1983–87 Dodge Charger (L-body): a front wheel drive subcompact hatchback
- 1999 Dodge Charger (concept): a rear wheel drive concept car
- 2006–present: Dodge Charger (LX): several model and trim versions of a rear wheel drive four-door sedan
First generation: 1966–1967
The Dodge Charger was introduced in the fall of 1965. The new Charger was a two-door fastback version Coronet built on Chrysler B platform. The base engine was a 318 cu in (5.2 L) V8 with a three-speed floor shifter. Larger and more powerful engines were also available. Sales were low.
Second generation: 1968–1970
The Charger was redesigned for 1968, and sales increased. Based on the Chrysler B platform, the model years received various cosmetic changes to the exterior and interior including: an undivided grill, rounded tail lights, and hidden headlights. The powertrains were the same as the ones used in the 1967 Charger. The model was not successful in stock car racing such as NASCAR. A more aerodynamic shape formed the Charger 500 model that became the basis for the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona.
Third generation: 1971–1974
The third generation Charger was introduced for the 1971 model year. Chrysler's B platform was modified to meet new emissions and safety regulations. Available in six different packages with cosmetic changes that include: a split grill, semi fastback rear window, and a ducktail spoiler. The 1973 and 1974 Chargers were very similar to the 1971 with minor differences in the grill and headlamps. The increase in sales was mostly due to the elimination of the Dodge Coronet, which meant Dodge offered the two-door intermediate-size body style only as the Charger.
Fourth generation: 1975–1977
The 1975 model year Charger was a badge engineered version of the Chrysler Cordoba coupe with a different grille and other small changes. Still using Chrysler's B platform, the new Charger was Dodge's attempt at moving the model into the growing personal luxury car market segment, and as consumer demand increased for smaller-sized vehicles after the 1973 oil crisis.
Fifth generation: 1982–1987
The Charger returned in 1982 as a subcompact hatchback coupe with front-wheel-drive, and a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. This economy-type model was similar to the Dodge Omni 024, but with a slightly larger engine. The Charger was available with the NA 2.2l SOHC or a turbocharged 2.2l SOHC engine. Both engines could be specified with either transmission. A Shelby Charger was offered starting in 1983, with a turbo version available in 1984 producing 148 horsepower (110 kW) at 5600 rpm and 160 pound-feet (220 N·m) of torque at 3200 rpm. The engine was not intercooled and used a small t3 Garrett turbo. In 1985, the electronics were updated but power output was the same. In 1986, the electronics were further updated.
Sixth generation: 2006–2010
After 19 years, Dodge reintroduced the Charger in 2006 in a new form. This generation is available only as a four-door sedan. For 2006, the Dodge Charger is available in SE, SXT, R/T, R/T with Road/Track Performance Group, and Daytona R/T versions.
The Charger SE has the V-6 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission with "AutoStick" manual shifting feature, 17-inch wheels, air conditioning, all-speed traction control, as well as ABS and electronic stability control, a CD player, tilt and telescoping steering column, power locks/mirrors/windows, and remote keyless entry.
The Charger SXT (3.5L V6) adds machined-face aluminum wheels, a 60/40-split folding rear seat with center armrest, eight-way power adjustment for the driver's seat, a 276-watt Boston Acoustics audio system, cargo net, chrome grille surround, fog lamps, power mirrors, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Charger R/T features the 5.7L Hemi V8 with a multiple-displacement system that allows it to save fuel by running on only four cylinders when cruising. It also comes with 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, dual exhaust pipes, heated mirrors, leather seats, and what Dodge calls a performance braking system.
The Charger SRT8 with a 6.1L Hemi adds an eight-way power front passenger seat, automatic climate control, special grille and rear spoiler, body-color interior trim, special front fascia and engine cover, larger exhaust tips, performance steering gear, heated front seats with perforated suede inserts, power-adjustable pedals, and special colors and exterior trim. Optional features include a Road/Track package with 10 additional horsepower from the Hemi engine, GPS navigation system, 322-watt audio system, sunroof, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Seventh generation: 2011- Present
The Charger was redesigned for the 2011 model year using a re-engineered version of the Chrysler LX platform. The design was intended to be reminiscent of the Chargers of the 1960s and 70s and the taillights harken back to that era, as do the new stamped hood and side panels. This generation is available with V6 and V8 engines, 5-speed and 8-speed automatic transmissions, as well as all wheel drive (AWD).
Beginning in 2012, the Charger became available with the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine/transmission combo allows the Charger to accelerate from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds while achieving 31 MPG on the highway. These Pentastar V6 0-60 times equal those of the pre-2008 Charger's HEMI V8 performance. A number of available performance packages allow the Pentastar V6 to create up to 300 horsepower and offer sport mode performance calibration with paddle shifters. The R/T package features a 5.7 liter HEMI V8 with 370 horsepower, and the top of the line SRT-8 offers a HEMI V8 6.4L engine with 470 horsepower.
In 2014, the Charger was released in a 100th Anniversary trim (100th Anniversary Edition). This trim, available on both the Charger and Dodge Challenger, was released to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Dodge brand, which was founded in 1914. The trim features granite metallic grille surround as well as 20-inch granite pocket wheels on both the SXT and R/T models, as well as exclusive leather interiors, exclusive splash screens on infotainment displays, and exclusive exterior badging, among other unique features.
Seventh Generation Refresh For 2015 [dated info]
Unveiled at the 2014 New York Auto Show, the 2015 Dodge Charger received a substantial makeover, the most noticeable change coming in the new front grille and rounded led headlights. Retaining its Coke bottle styling Dodge claims to have reworked just about every panel on the car; made to look leaner and more athletic than its previous look while keeping the same dimensions.
Dodge is reported to have used the 1969 Charger as its inspiration for the remodelling. The engines will be the 370 horsepower (280 kW) Chrysler 5.7 liter Hemi V8 and the 292 horsepower (218 kW) 3.6 liter V6; the V6 model is EPA-rated at 31MPG or 7.6L/100 km which is reckoned by the manufacturer to be the best in its class. The only transmission will be the Chrysler eight-speed automatic, coupled with optional all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system will automatically remove drive to the front axle when not required, giving an improvement in fuel economy. The new electronic gearshift with optional paddle shift gives fast shift times of as little as 0.25 seconds in sport mode.
The reworked interior includes new materials for the door, console and dash panels, a new steering wheel and seats, and a wide range of trim packages with both leather and cloth seating on offer.
Charger SRT Hellcat
The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat was revealed on 13 August 2014 prior to being shown at the Woodward Dream Cruise. It includes the same 707 hp, 650 lb-ft., supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 present in the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Despite being heavier, it has a top speed of 204 mph (328.3 km/h), a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds, and a 1/4 mile time of 11.0 seconds. The Charger Hellcat features a redesigned front fascia with a larger lower grille similar to the current generation Dodge Viper. The car is expected to go on sale in Q1 2015 at a starting price similar to that of the Challenger Hellcat.
- Dodge Charger Daytona – the name given to three different modified Dodge Chargers built on the B-body and LX platforms.
- Super Bee
- Shelby Charger
- 1971–1976 Chrysler Valiant Charger – short wheelbase Valiant coupe produced by Chrysler Australia
- The General Lee – Dodge Charger used in the television series The Dukes of Hazzard
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