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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If the 1999 Dodge Charger R/T Concept car is going to be put into production and raced in NASCAR, then you are my best friend. In 1970, I was fortunate to witness Richard Petty taking the checkered flag at Dover Downs in a winged Plymouth Superbird. It and many other MOPAR victories and innovations have kept me in the Chrysler faithful all of these years. I'd go out and buy the 1999 Dodge Charger R/T concept car as soon as it hit the showroom floor.

On the other hand, if the ugly Mustang II/Pontiac Fiero look-alike that appeared in a recent issue of Popular Hot Rod is going to be passed off as the next Dodge Charger, then I will have to take my business to another automaker.

Also, this smacks of a bait & switch routine. First, you show us the outstanding 1999 Charger concept, then bust us in the chops with something that looks as if it was poorly chiseled from a solid block of iron with a rusty screwdriver.

Popular Hot Rod spoke of the Mustang II/Fiero look-alike as being tailored to a 300C/Magnum frame. Supposedly, it's nose is a spinoff of the 300C which will be a dated design by the time this counterfeit Charger goes into production.

To design cars like the original Chargers and contort it to fit on an existing platform to save some bucks is ludicrous. It would be losing its original identity, appeal and all of the things that made the 60's & 70's Chargers an icon.

Remember the winged 1969 Dodge Daytona? Well, it was an aerodynamic 200+ MPH thoroughbred on the NASCAR circuit. Years later, in an unbelievable and apparent attempt to make some quick bucks, Chrysler slapped the heralded Daytona name on a four banger that had the mystique & pedigree of a neutered Yugo.

It would be better to save the Charger name for a worthy heir to its name and history. If Chrysler does otherwise, all that it'll do is tick off once loyal customers and possibly hoodwink a handful of naive youngsters sporting their learners permits. Instead Chrysler could call this new vehicle the icecream truck, or the shoebox, or something more suitable to emphasize its aerodynamic prowess.

If a Ferrari nameplate suddenly appeared on a Ford Pinto look-alike there would be justified and widespread outrage. Encouragingly, none of the commercial airlines have yet opted to paint the name SR-71 Blackbird, along with a Skunkworks logo, on its jets.

P.S. I had stopped watching NASCAR when Chrysler left the sport a couple of decades ago. I returned to watching NASCAR when Chrysler brought the appealing Dodge Intrepid (I own one) to racing. If Dodge tries to pass off the Mustang II/Fiero revamp as a Charger, I will spend my Sunday afternoons on the golf course instead, but I won't be driving a Chrysler product to get there. That’s how strongly I feel about this.

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I don't think there's been any official word from DCX on what the Charger will look like. The employees parading around the '99 concept to various shows keep saying the new Charger will look like the '99 but that's not an "official word from DCX" either.

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A Chrysler official told Autoweek magazine that the car would "look nothing like" the 300 or the Magnum. They did not want models which were clones that just shared different trim pieces. They referred to this as "badge engineering" in the article. Autoweek is generally a pretty good industry source.

This is why the Car and Driver pictures don't make too much sense.

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Here's the article for reference. By the way, I have heard on another forum that Dodge has told all of its teams that in the NHRA that they will no longer be racing the Stratus which is being phased out. Dodge has told those teams that it will be racing the Charger. Whats the big deal? The NHRA only allows variants of production COUPES to run.

"However, we will not do badge engineering anymore. You will not see a Dodge version" that shares sheet metal with the Chrysler 300."

Dodge set to revive Charger name for new rear-wheel drive sedan
RICK KRANZ | Automotive News
Posted Date: 3/8/04

Dodge will add a full-sized rear-wheel-drive sedan to its lineup next year, company sources said.

The car draws inspiration from the Dodge Charger muscle car of the late 1960s, said a person familiar with the program who spoke on condition that he not be identified. He said the car likely will be called the Charger.

Spokesman Jason Vines declined comment, citing the company's policy not to talk about future products.

Sources said the sedan will be developed off the automaker's rwd LX platform, which is shared by the 2005 Chrysler 300 sedan and the Dodge Magnum wagon.

At the Geneva auto show last week, Trevor Creed, Chrysler group's chief designer, hinted that such a vehicle was planned.

"We will be looking at a very sporty version of this platform for Dodge," he said.

"However, we will not do badge engineering anymore. You will not see a Dodge version" that shares sheet metal with the Chrysler 300.

He added: "You've got to have a four-door, (but) there's no market for a coupe."

The 300 and Magnum go on sale this spring. They share about 20 percent of their parts, in terms of value, with the Mercedes-Benz C and E classes.

The 340-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is the centerpiece of the LX models. While the Magnum has drawn favorable comments from the automotive press, some Dodge dealers are worried about marketing a wagon without a full-sized family sedan.

Intrepid production ended last summer, and dealers have been pressing the automaker for a sedan.

The Dodge sedan will be the third derivative based on the LX platform. At least one other LX derivative is planned, said a Chrysler group insider. In Chrysler parlance, LX derivatives are defined as models with extensive sheet metal differences.

Meanwhile, the company is studying whether to develop a police package for one of the LX cars. Representatives of the California Highway Patrol and Michigan State Police have driven a car with the package, said Burke Brown, chief engineer for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum.

"It is a natural, isn't it? We'll talk about that in a while," said Brown, who was interviewed last month at a Chrysler press event in Palm Springs, Calif. The law enforcement agencies "have shown intense interest in what we are doing with the chassis."

While awd will be optional on the LX cars, he said neither agency has shown interest in that option.
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