The Dodge Challenger in its current form will soon be retired. Supply chain issues delayed the release of the final edition model that was supposed to debut at SEMA this year. Once the swan anthem of the current generation sports car is sung, its successor will take its place with a fully electric powertrain. Things could have been very different for the Challenger, somewhere around 2013-2015 when the sports car was completely refreshed but kept its original platform.
The current Challenger uses the old Chrysler LC architecture from 2008 and when around the middle of the previous decade the executives at the brand decided it was time for a refresh, the Giorgio Alfa Romeo platform came as an option. Dodge was under the ownership of Fiat Chrysler Automobile at the time and the company had access to the technology from its Italian counterparts.
In the latest episode of Autoline Network Podcast, Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis tells the story of how a rear-wheel-drive Giorgio platform was offered to prop up the new Dodge Challenger. Unfortunately – perhaps for financial reasons and not just – the automaker decided to refresh the Challenger and keep it on the Chrysler platform for a few more years. The Challenger is still one of the best-selling sports cars in the United States despite its old bones, though imagine how great the new RWD platform will be.
“On the Giorgio platform, we will have a car that, frankly, will be lighter, will handle better,” Kuniskis said during the podcast. He also clarified that giving the Challenger a new platform would put the muscle car closer to Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro territory. “Those are great cars, those are fantastic cars, why would we want to fight them, in their sandbox? Let’s just stay in our sandbox, and be completely different from them, to the left when they are right, and try to have this space.”
The days of the current Challenger are set, that’s for sure. A new model will replace it in the next few years and car enthusiasts will most likely finally get what they’ve always asked for – a more agile Challenger and better handling. While it won’t have a screaming V8 under the hood, we know the switch to the new platform is for good.