What Does the Future Hold in Store for the Challenger
Possible Supercharged Challenger Caught Testing and Reports About Concurrent Challenger and Barracuda Model Runs
Since the Challenger adoring public first learned about Dodge’s plans to revive the ‘Cuda name, we’ve been expecting that the Barracuda’s arrival would also signify the final days of the Challenger. These thoughts have been reported on time and time again as Dodge, with plans to brand the new Cuda under their HEMI subset name, has worked on developing a new chassis, engine, and other components for the new vehicle. However, a new report by Automotive News and echoed by other publications seems to indicate that the future for the Challenger isn’t that bleak.
According to these reports, 2015 will see the new HEMI Barracuda, but will not necessarily mean the end of the Challenger. Accordingly, a new generation Challenger, which will use the Barracuda chassis as its base in an effort to shed weight and shorten the wheelbase, will also been seen at some point in 2015. Of course, what sort of vehicle the Challenger will be is still unknown. We know for a fact that the Barracuda is being developed to compete with the highest end performance Camaros and Mustangs, and will feature a Supercharged 6.2L V8 Engine, so it seems likely that the Challenger will remain as a direct competitor for the V6 and naturally aspirated V8 versions of the Camaro and Mustang. This will be more easily accomplished, also, by the weight savings and lowered vehicle stance that the new chassis will provide.
The biggest mystery left is what the 6.2L V8 engine in question will be. We don’t know for certain yet, but, recently a Challenger was caught testing what may be that very same engine. Seen with front fascia camo, this testing Challenger may be using the front camo bra to carefully hide Supercharger intake ports or different vehicle badging.
Currently, Dodge’s HEMI line includes both a 6.1L and a 6.4L engine, and while they could feasibly port either of these differently to reach the 6.2L point, it may make more sense for them to be developing a new engine. With new models releasing soon for both the Barracuda and Challenger (presumably), the PR business decision would be to produce a new engine that could utilize updated technology and be branded as all new. However, porting the 6.1L and updating it as a 6.2L engine, or down-tuning the 6.4L to the 6.2L size, would each be more affordable. If Dodge, and their subsidiary SRT, wish to continue competing with the Camaro and Mustang though, it seems that a new engine would be necessary. If this is the case, then, would the new engine be a HEMI? The verdict’s out on that one and until somebody sees one in person, or we get official word from Dodge themselves, we can’t be certain. One thing is certain, however: with the Barracuda moving in a more modern stylistic direction it will be nice to see Dodge retain a more retro-styled Challenger, and to then see each be smaller, lighter, and featuring a powerful new supercharged 6.2L V8 engine as their power plant.