According to sources the Challenger will be phased out and replaced by the Cuda. Like the Dart the Cuda will have a new and not so retro design. I hope the Chally stays but unless sales pick up I don't think it will. Yes a manual transmission will help sales but they need to somehow get the price lowered and more compatable with the Mustang and Camaro. Truthfully, I think it's a little late for that. Giles and Fiat have already made the decission to scrap the Chally for the next gen. I'm not happy about the alfa dart and I'm def not looking for an alfa Cuda. And I'm not hating or trying to flame here, I'm just saying, they"ve known for some time their transmission platforms sucked. Like I said, it's a liitle late... thinking and teasing new concepts will not help matters.
I personally would prefer a manual in any vehicle, even my Town & Country. But Americans buy so few manuals that it is not worth the millions of dollars a manufacturer has to spend on factory tooling and EPA certification for every different powertrain combo.
'05 Town & Country (work) '06 Santa Fe (wife's)
With the manual already available in the 5.7L R/T and 6.4L SRT, there is not a lot of engineering needed to put a 5 or 6 speed behind the Pentastar V6. It would boost sales that the base model manual trans Mustang is stealing away.
As for the new Dart, I like it and it is needed to get Chrysler into the booming small car market. I do like our Caliber and it gets 35.6mpg on the highway with a 2.0/CVTs trans combo. It is plenty roomy as well.
The Dart will be getting about 40mpg and will compete with the Focus/Cruze segment.
Back on topic, I wouldn't buy a V6 powered Chally. I would love an SRT8 6-speed myself, but I would probably settle for a R/T Classic with a 6-speed. I prefer the manual transmission in a performance car. And much like my 88 5.0 LX Mustang (5-speed), it would not be a daily driver. If It were my only vehicle and I had a daily commute with stop and go traffic, then I would probably go with an auto trans.