The Dodge Charger has been re-designed for 2011, adding some much need attitude and some new power. The design brings back memories of the famed '69 Charger, but only when looking at it from the back. I happened to get a very good look as I followed a front-cladded white 2011 Charger down the 403 HWY not far from the Brampton, Ont., facility where it`s made.
As I looked at the released images from LA Auto Show, I noticed that the front grill remained very similar with the Dodge crosshair grill. The sides and hood have some sculpted scoops that appear to be all non-functional. The side profile is subtle enough to add some nice lines but the hood has way too many contours that interrupt the flow of the car. The back end is where you see the most change. This is a very good modern interpretation of the original, complete with LEDs that light up the reminiscent “racetrack" look that can be seen from far away. It was this detail that I first noticed as I broke out my iPhone to take some spy shots of my own. This back end looks best without the parts-bin whale tale spoiler that I saw on the LA Auto show version.
Adding to this is a refined interior, a new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 which puts out 292 hp, and the return of the 370-hp HEMI that is available with AWD. I'm still a little confused why Dodge didn't up the power to 305 hp like the Challenger V-6 or why AWD is not an available option on the R/T of the Challenger. They share the same platform and same engines, and a HEMI AWD Challenger would make a great all-season coupe, especially for those of us that live in all-season climates.
As far as the new Charger is concerned, I think it is one step closer to bringing back the nostalgia of the original even with two extra doors.