The latest 2015 Ford Mustang continues to dominate sales in the sport coupe segment, while the newly-redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Camaro continues to steal headlines. That leaves one true 2-door muscle car due for a big redesign: the Dodge Challenger. We've all heard and seen the 707-hp Hellcat version ripping though the gears at local dragstrips and highways via YouTube, but no amount of motor can make up for an aging chassis, and the product planner and engineers at Dodge are fully aware of it.
New 4th Generation Coupe
The answer is coming, albeit in two years. Dodge is hard at work developing a new 4th-gen coupe, and since it's still a ways away, no concrete information has officially been confirmed. What we do know is that the new Challenger will debut in July of 2018 and will feature a host of new styling cues on both the interior and exterior of the model. And yes, SRT variants will be available, possibly as soon as 10 - 12 months after the initial release.
And even more intriguing is the possible resurrection of the Barracuda nameplate.
In terms of engine combos, no credible information has been announced. But we can wish for a Ferrari-inspired 6-cylinder mill with at least 350 horsepower. That said, Dodge will have to really work hard at getting the engine to perform with low-grade 87-Octane fuel. The current model years of the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger all function admirably with the lower octane fuel, but the higher compression ratios needed to improve response and torque might necessitate either revised fuel mapping and/or a higher-octane fuel requirement.
A strict diet might also need to be employed, as the the Challenger tips the scales at a lofty 3,834 pounds--308 pounds more than the Mustang and 115 pounds more than the 2015 Camaro. Look for more aluminum and maybe even carbon fiber for the 2018 Challenger. Cadillac and Ford are already employing the materials to allow for big weight reductions in some of their current and future models like the CT6 sedan and F-150, respectively.
Pricing should check in right around $28,595 for the base model while higher-horsepower variants like the Hellcat (if they choose to continue with it) will probably fall right under $65k.
Look for the the 2018 Dodge Challenger to hit dealer lots on or around July of 2018.