Inspired by the original Dodge Chargers of the 1960s, the heavily revised 2011 DodgeCharger sedan gains a number of new style and power train features.
Set to be in showrooms later this year, the 2011 Charger is immediately
recognizable but boasts many enhancements inside, outside and
underneath its more aggressive skin.
From the front, the cross hair grille returns, although the headlamps are more canted than before and the fascia tilts at a slightly more aggressive angle. The Charger's side profile is sleeker and more coupe-esque than the outgoing model and revised wheel designs look more upscale than before. Perhaps the biggest changes have been applied to the Charger's tail, where a full-width tail lamp arrangement visually links the Charger with both past Dodge models and the company's Dodge Challenger sibling.
Dodge calls the tail lamps a "racetrack" graphic when their 164 LEDs are illuminated. Below the tail lamps, new squared-off tailpipes exit a more finished-looking faux diffuser.
Dodge hasn't released interior images, but the automaker promises upgraded materials, Garmin navigation with Sirius Travel Link and the meaty corporate-wide three-spoke steering wheel that has arrived on nearly every new Chrysler product for 2011.
Several upscale options have been added to the Charger for 2011, including adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross path protection and a rear back up camera with grid lines.
Underneath it all
Although the Charger still rides on a Mercedes-Benz-derived platform, Dodge says that the architecture has been reengineered so much that it now considers it its "second generation" E-segment platform.
Both rear and all-wheel-drive will return, but base models eschew the outgoing 2.7 and 3.5-liter V6s for the "Pentastar" 3.6-liter unit seen in the 201 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Dodge hasn't released specifications, but we expect power output similar to the Jeep's 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. Look for a five-speed automatic transmission.
The automaker's 5.7-liter HEMI V8 will return, again with cylinder deactivation technology to save fuel.
Dodge is emphasizing its Charger R/T AWD, which comes with 19-inch wheels, the 5.7-liter V8 and a segment-exclusive active transfer case with front axle disconnect. Dodge says the front axle disconnect helps save 5 percent on fuel economy by utilizing only rear-wheel-drive unless additional traction is needed.
A Charger SRT8 powered by a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 will debut soon.
Look for the Brampton, Ontario-built Charger to arrive in showrooms during the fourth quarter of 2010. Pricing and more detailed specifications - not to mention interior photos - should arrive before then.
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