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History of Dodge Charger

History of Dodge Charger

The Dodge Charger is one of Dodge’s oldest and most famous creations. It is in its seventh generation and doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon.  

The Charger has been built in various sizes and on three different platforms. What started as a subcompact hatchback eventually transformed into a full-size sedan, a muscle car, a luxury coupe and into the current version of a four-door sedan. 

First Generation: 1966–1967    

The very first Charger was introduced in 1966. It had a fastback body design with two doors and four bucket seats. This Charger shared components with another amazing vehicle, the Coronet. 

The Coronet also used the same platform as the Charger - the Chrysler B. The base engine for this vehicle was a 5.2L V8 engine. Also, it had a 3-speed automatic transmission with optional automatic transmission. 

The Charger was also available with a Hemi V8 engine. The sales for this model did not hit the roof as expected. 

Second Generation: 1968–1970 

In 1068, the Charger was redesigned, and only 35,000 units were to be sold. The demand for this model was so high, Dodge ended up selling 96,100 Chargers. This was also based on the Chrysler B platform and included various cosmetic changes. 

These included rounded tail lights, an undivided grill, and hidden headlights. Although the powertrains were the same as the 1967 model, the engine was a 3.7L slant-6. The 1968 Charger was not used in NASCAR races. However, a new Charger 500 model was introduced in 1969, and it came to be known as Charger Daytona.

Third Generation: 1971–1974

The 1971 model was the third-generation Charger. The Chrysler B platform was used again. However, a few modifications were made to meet safety and emission regulations. Some of the cosmetic changes included a split grill, ducktail spoiler, and semi-fastback rear windows. 

The introduction of the Dodge Coronet two-door model boosted the sales of the third-generation.

Fourth Generation: 1975–1978

The fourth generation Charger was introduced in 1975, and the B body continued. This generation saw Dodge attempting to enter the luxury car market, and many changes were made to the body. In 1978, Dodge introduced Magnum to its lineup. This was a fourth-generation Charger Daytona, and stripes ran along the car’s length.

Fifth Generation: 1982–1987

Somewhere in the late 1981s and early 1982s, Charger returned as an FWD hatchback coupe. It was equipped with a three-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. This model was similar to the Dodge Omni 024 model, albeit slightly larger. 

The 1982 Charger featured a 2.2L SOHC engine and also a 2.2L turbocharged SOHC. The turbo engine was only available with a manual transmission. 1984 saw the introduction of the Shelby Charger, and a turbo version was available that produced 142 hp and 160 lb-ft of torque. 1985 and 1986 saw similar models being introduced with upgraded electronics.

Sixth Generation: 2006–2010 (LX)

After a gap of almost 20 years, the Charger was reintroduced with its 2006 model. It was based on the Chrysler LX platform and was a four-door sedan. It was available in various trims and, for the first time, the Charger was available with a V6 engine and AWD. The basic model featured a 2.7L V6 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Seventh Generation (LD): 2011–present

The Charger came back stronger in 2011 with new interior and exterior improvements. The 2011 model came with a 3.6L Pentastar engine that delivered 292 hp. 

What’s Next?

Dodge announced that although the Hemi V8 Charger was quite successful, it would be retiring after the release of the 2023 model. Would this bring an end to the Charger legacy, or will there be another surprise in store? Only time will tell.

Categories: Dodge