With Ford having (finally) blessed the Mustang with an independent rear suspension and Chevrolet switching its Camaro to a platform shared with the Euro-inspired Cadillac ATS, it looks like Dodge is ready to bring its Challenger muscle car into the 21st century.
Rumour has it the Challenger’s 707 hp Hellcat variant will live on into a second-generation of modern-day Mopar muscle car, which will be based on a platform shared with the Alfa Romeo Giulia sport sedan. While they’re at it, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles seems set to take the Hellcat’s performance up a notch to something like 750 hp.
But while that high-po trim will live on, the Challenger line has to start somewhere, and that may well be a car powered by the turbocharged “Hurricane” four-cylinder rumoured to be on the way for the next-generation Jeep Wrangler.
And the idea of a Giulia-based Challenger seems more realistic given the four-door Charger is also being readied for a redesign based around that Alfa sedan.
If FCA’s most American of cars do end up sharing DNA with the Giulia, expect the Challenger and its Charger sibling to be a bit smaller than they are now. Many modern platforms are highly scalable to underpin vehicles of a variety of sizes, the Giulia’s 4,639-mm overall length and 2,820-mm wheelbase are notably tidier than those of the Challenger and Charger, and that would probably influence the size of the new muscle cars. Those two ride on wheelbases of 2,950 and 3,052 mm respectively, while their tip-to-tail measurements are 5,027 and 5,040 mm.
We would also count on both of the Dodge models getting the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 505 hp/443 lb-ft V6 engine for certain trims, along with that turbo four, but don’t worry: it’s a safe bet V8 engines will remain in the picture for the Hellcat and other top performance versions.
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