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Dodge unveils crisp new Charger

Super-Charger: Dodge's flagship sedan wraps an all-new bodyshell around a second-generation chassis.

Next Dodge Charger emerges in the US and remains a chance for Australia

19 Oct 2010

IT EMERGED in heavy police disguise late last month before being put to the test alongside Holden’s Caprice cop-car export hope in Michigan field trials, and now Chrysler has revealed the redesigned 2011 Dodge Charger R/T in all its unbridled glory.

No, Dodge’s all-new sports sedan flagship has not been confirmed for right-hand drive production, but Chrysler export chief Mike Manley would not rule out a RHD version of the redesigned Charger at the recent Paris motor show and Chrysler Australia and its affiliates in other RHD markets continue to fight for the cause.

Due to go on sale in North America this year alongside an all-new Chrysler 300 large sedan, which won’t be seen in Australia until 2012, the 2011 Charger appears with a tough new look that’s perhaps even more faithful to the design of the original Charger than the 2005-2010 model was.

41 center imageAs the first undisguised images of a bright red R/T confirm, the new Charger’s exterior – which Chrysler says was inspired by the iconic second-generation Charger from the 1960s – comes with a lower aluminium bonnet (with bulging centre section and dual ‘scallops’), faster windscreen, angrier back-swept headlights and a more aggressive take on Dodge’s bold split-crosshair grille.

Apart from large body-side scallops there’s a new interpretation of the Charger’s full-length horizontal “coke bottle” or “double-diamond” body-side styling theme designed to create a tapering silhouette and “contemporary fastback four-door coupe proportions”, while new tail-lights incorporates 164 LEDs forming a signature “racetrack” graphic.

Chrysler has already confirmed the availability of its new 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 (which E85 ethanol-compatible for police fleets) for SE and Rallye variants and an upgraded version of the company’s legendary 5.7-litre HEMI V8 – with four-cylinder mode FuelSaver technology - for top-shelf R/T models.

At least the latter should be offered with ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission, once again with the option of either rear-drive or all-wheel drive configurations, the latter incorporating “a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle disconnect system to improve fuel economy by up to five per cent”. AWD R/Ts will come with larger 19-inch polished alloy wheels.

Chrysler says the 2011 Charger rides a “new second-generation E-segment rear-wheel drive architecture” with new suspension tuning and geometry that maintains the model’s reputation as “one of the best driving sedans in the world”.

No official images of the redesigned interior have been revealed, but Chrysler says it features “world-class” premium soft-touch materials throughout, a new thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel, the choice of four colour combinations and the car-maker’s Uconnect Touch infotainment system with Garmin navigation.

A dual-pane acoustic windscreen is said to capitalise on the top-notch structural rigidity of the new Charger’s rear-drive monocoque chassis, as part of Chrysler’s aim to deliver “a level of quality, capability and refinement that rivals the very best European, Asian and North American E-segment sedans”.

Also helping to give the Charger interior sound quality that is said to match “the best in the E-segment” is body-cavity silencing foam, under-flush roll-framed doors with triple seals and acoustic wheel-well liners.

Other new technology includes adaptive cruise control, a collision warning system, a blind-spot warning system, rear cross-traffic detection and a reversing camera.

To be built at Chrysler’s Brampton assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, the new Charger is claimed to feature more than 65 safety and security features, including electronic stability control (ESC) with “segment-exclusive” Ready Alert Braking and Rainy Day Brake Support, and keyless entry and starting.

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