The Dodge Charger is an American automobile manufactured by the Dodge division of Chrysler. 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. Sometimes associated with a performance model in the Dodge range; the Charger nameplate has also adorned subcompact hatchbacks, full-sized sedans, and personal luxury coupes.
The three main iterations of Dodge Chargers were a mid-sized (B-body) two-door car from 1966 to 1978, a subcompact (L-body) car from 1983 to 1987, and the (LX and LD) full-sized 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, the Ramcharger, was used for the truck-based vehicle.
The name Charger was also used in Brazil as performance model based on the Dart (A-Body) between 1970 and 1980.
- 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
- 1966–1978 Dodge Charger (B-body): a rear wheel drive coupe
- 1970–1980 Dodge Charger: Brazilian version based on the Dodge Dart, with a higher-compression 318 V8 engine
- 1983–1987 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 Coronet. 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. Over the years it received 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 came out during 1971 during the implementation of stricter 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 Charger was the Chrysler Cordoba with a new grill and other small changes. This was Dodge's down-sizing attempt during the fuel crisis and consumer demand for smaller vehicles during the mid-1970s.
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–present
After 19 years, Dodge reintroduced the Charger in 2006 in a new form. This generation is available only as a four-door sedan. A smaller V6 engine with a four-speed automatic was made standard the following year for the SE models. The 2011 made year featured a new body with a redesigned fascia and hood section, sculptured bodysides, full-width taillights, and revised interiors with a new dashboard.
- 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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