By Patrick Rall
While no details about the car itself have been offered, SRT boss Ralph Gilles has confirmed that the next generation Dodge Challenger will make its grand debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show roughly one year from now. Based on the timing of a late March or early April 2014 debut of the next gen Challenger, I would guess that we can expect it to be a 2015 model year vehicle that would arrive in showrooms sometime during the spring or early summer of 2014 – shortly after making the Big Apple debut.
While speaking with some writers from Motor Trend about their questionable tests between the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and the new SRT Viper, the discussion turned from the ZR1-killing Viper TA to the future of the Dodge Challenger – specifically in reference to the newly released Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Even though the current Dodge Challenger SRT8 will comfortably compete with the Chevrolet Camaro SS, the 470 horsepower Challenger falls well short of the 580 horsepower Camaro ZL1 and the lightweight, 505 horsepower Camaro Z/28. Luckily, SRT has something planned to handle that very problem in the next generation Challenger.
“The Challenger is about to go under the knife…it’s actually under the knife as we speak,” said Ralph Gilles. “We’re doing a lot to [the Challenger] and were going to come with an answer for [the Camaro Z/28] and for our friends at Ford. This time next year, you will see exactly what I am talking about”.
For those unsure, “this time next year” refers to the 2014 New York International Auto Show as the 2013 NYIAS is going on right now so with that comment, we can surmise that the next generation 2015 Dodge Challenger will make its debut in the Big Apple in 2014. This is disappointing to those of us (read: me) who had hoped to see the next gen Challenger debut in the Motor City but no matter what it debuts – a new Challenger designed to better compete with the likes of the Camaro Z/28 and the higher end Ford Mustang will be a welcomed addition to the lineup.
Nothing is known about the 2015 Dodge Challenger shy of the expected debut date and the fact that the Chrysler engineers are planning to make it more competitive with the premium Camaro and Mustang. There have long been rumors that the next SRT Challenger would be powered by the supercharged “Hellcat” Hemi with power output reaching well into the 600hp range but right now, those are nothing more than hopeful rumors.
Should any other information surface on the 2015 Challenger between now and next March, you can be sure to find it right here on DodgeForum.com.