Chrysler has assured that the 2017 model year will spawn a Challenger not just a Barracuda as earlier reports indicated, this was stated many times lastly by Ralph Gillies at Chrysler’s Statement in the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
Further in-depth reports from the buff books and various rumor mills have suggested that the new car would lose its current pudgy platform architecture for a new modified version that would help the Challenger escape some of its excess girth, wheelbase and poundage, The current Challenger is based on Chrysler’s LX platform, which is derived from the W210 E-class Mercedes (1996-2002) with much of its components first appearing in the 1982 W201 (190E) era.
This new platform is said to be known as “LA” and the first thing we’d be willing to bet anything against is that it’ll allow the 2015+ Dodge Challenger to utilize the formidable ZF 8-speed automatic transmission which is slowly being rolled out to the current Hemi cars Chrysler offers. The various rumbling also go on to say that the car will lose approximately 3 inches of wheelbase, which would actually bring it to the same basic footprint as the current Chevy Camaro. This move, if true of course, would indicate that the Challenger will not be giving up its spot as the big muscle tourer, as the Camaro (and Mustang) will both be shrinking from their current wheelbases for their next generation. Basically all three of them will be stepping down a notch in size.
With the Challenger sizing down to a 113″ wheelbase, it would also lose some length, currently its 198″ long, while the camaro is 190″ long, so a quick possibility is that they shaved 4″ off the front and 4″ off the back. One rumor we heard was that the new 2015 Dodge Challenger has the same size interior as the current car but has a smaller trunk, so this would all essentially make sense in a perfect world.
The next thing we can speculate on is the weight loss of the new car, again the rumor mill expects around 300lbs to go missing on the 2017 Challenger but that number could be a little conservative. The new 2014 Maserati Quattroporte (part of the Fiat-Chrysler Empire) manages to weigh a staggering 900lbs LESS than its competitor the Mercedes Benz S-class AMG (4100lbs to 5000lbs). The Quattroporte uses a version (a big version, 207″) of the new Corporate RWD platform architecture with many weight saving tricks and most of that technology will likely find its way to the LA platform the 2015 Challenger will be getting.
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All in all, we expect the 2017 Dodge Challenger to be a little bit smaller and built for its platform this time, not built around its platform like the current car. With a starting point like that we can only assume this car will have even more styling features from the 1970 Challenger without all the mid-section like the current car. It’ll also have a fantastic interior with the 8.4″ touchscreen, 7″ in-dash digital TFT screen and other features we can’t wait to see.
Engines will likely be the same as you get now, 3.6L Pentastar SE, 5.7L Hemi R/T, 6.4L Hemi SRT and the upcoming HellCat 6.2L Supercharged Hemi with 8-speed rev-matching automatics and the tried and true Tremec TR6060 6-speed manuals across the board with the V8′s.
The Barracuda is expected to be released earlier, more than eight inches shorter than the Current Challenger and will have a wheelbase reduced by six inches, just like the Ford Mustang. It will shed off 160kg over the current Challenger.
The Barracuda will likely get three engine options; a 2.4 liter inline-four force-fed Tigershark, a direct-injected version of the Pentastar V6 3.6 liter and a direct-injected HEMI V8 topped with some extra power. The multi-link layout for the suspension may be retained, but with a different geometry.
the SRT Barracuda is most likely the Mopar response to the Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ & Scion FR-S trio as they proven to be successful, even Chevy wants a piece of that Cake
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