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Dodge design chief says next-generation Challenger, Charger to retain retro designs

Like their corporate cousin, the Jeep Wrangler, the Dodge Charger and Challenger boast almost unapologetically retro-inspired styling. This, according to Dodge, Chrysler, and SRT design chief Mark Trostle, isn’t a bug. It’s a feature. 

“I think part of the success of the Challenger and Charger, which is phenomenal, is the magic of their designs. I wouldn’t want to ruin something that’s been so successful for us,” Trostle said in an interview published Tuesday on Muscle Cars Trucks.

The trick will be adapting that styling to those cars’ successors, which will in all likelihood be smaller than the models they are slated to replace.

Trostle said Dodge’s muscle cars “give people goosebumps,” and he wants to combine the elements that make the current cars so appealing with challenges such as fuel economy and aerodynamics to be creative and “do something different.”

While former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne indicated that the next generation of both models may ride on an evolution of their current architecture, Manley made it clear that there is only so much that can be done with the existing LX platform before regulatory constraints force a change in direction.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley has said on the record that the future of Mopar muscle is electric. While increasingly large-displacement V-8s and superchargers have almost certainly made significant contributions to the continued sales success of Dodge’s big muscle cars, FCA’s designers think there’s more to it than that.

New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way,” Manley told The Detroit News in January. “And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles.”

On a smaller, lighter platform (such as the rear-wheel drive Giorgio architecture that underpins the Alpha Romeo Giulia sedan), an electrified powertrain could more than surpass the performance of a traditional V-8—even one with a big honkin’ supercharger bolted to it.

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