Chrysler To Build Only 5,000 2008 Dodge Challengers

 by Anthony Fontanelle

The launch of the 2008 Dodge Challenge is fast approaching and details of the car are slowly leaking out. According to Automotive News, Dodge plans to roll out the Challenger in two phases. A 5,000-car limited-run 2008 Challenger SRT will be unveiled at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show in February. The SRT version will be equipped with the 6.1-liter Hemi mated to a five-speed automatic.

2010 Hemi Challenger R/T

2010 Challenger Hemi R/T

The Challenger will be made in limited numbers on the same line as the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, and the Dodge Magnum in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. The flexible manufacturing system permits the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Commander to be built on the same line, as well as the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass, and the Jeep Patriot, end-to-end. This serves as a replacement to the batch production method.

For the 2009 model year, Dodge will expand the Challenger lineup to cover both 6.1- and 5.7-liter Hemi versions. The models will be showcased at the 2008 New York Auto Show in March. A six-speed manual will be added. Aside from the reliable Dodge shocks and other auto accessories, the automaker plans to add a dual-clutch transmission to the car. The automaker will be increasing the Challenger's production output to 30,000-35,000 cars in 2009, continued the report.

In January 2006, Dodge unveiled the Challenger Concept at the same venue that saw the debut of Ford's Concept Mustang three years prior - the North American International Auto Show. A relatively long hood and Chrysler's idiosyncratic gangster window line flow into broadened and raised rear haunches, barely housing huge 21-inch wheels, and black stripes of unpainted carbon fiber run the length of the vehicle's body. There is no denying it - the upcoming Challenger looked positively superior when the sheet is whisked off.

Soon after the launch, Inside Line visited Chrysler's Pacifica Design Studio in Carlsbad, California, where the 2008 Dodge Challenger Concept was designed. "Early on, we just tried to capture 'Mopar' in the designs," Mike Castiglione told Inside Line. "We tried to capture the beveled edges that were uniquely Mopar back in the muscle car days. If you look at an old Challenger or Charger, the lines have a snap to them. Once we figured that out, then we got more focused."

Two Challenger Concepts were manufactured, both powered by the popular 6.1-liter Hemi V8. The first was the stunning orange Challenger Concept designed to be a street car that produces 425hp. The second concept is the 525-hp flat-black Challenger Super-stock concept which knocks off 11.0-second quarter-mile runs.

According to the automaker, the concept cars are based on a shortened Dodge Charger platform and are topped with carbon fiber bodies. To stress, both are real runners. Unlike all other American domestic sport coupes, the new Challenger is a true two-door hardtop, with no B-pillar. Recent spy photographs of production test mule Challengers have revealed the presence of a B-pillar, but it is as yet unclear as to whether actual production models will contain the B-pillar.

Late to arrive in the performance car arena, the 2008 Dodge Challenger is esteemed to smash into it big time.

About the Author: Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

Article Source: Oct 30 2007

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