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With a wave of the green flag, Chrysler officials confirmed the most poorly kept secret in the auto... Read more »
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2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8

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With a wave of the green flag, Chrysler officials confirmed the most poorly kept secret in the auto industry.

 

“It’s a go,” proclaimed the automaker’s CEO Tom LaSorda as the Dodge Challenger show car rolled into view. A production version of the two-door prototype will screech into showrooms in early 2008 as an ’08 model, company officials announced at a press conference prior to the holiday weekend’s NASCAR race inDaytona, Fla.

 

The show car made its much-discussed debut at the Detroit auto show last January. Chrysler officials did little to disguise their interest in the business potential for the reborn muscle car, which will now enter an increasingly crowded segment that includes not only the Dodge Charger, but also the popular Ford Mustang. General Motors, meanwhile, is weighing heavily the possibilities for the Chevrolet Camaro concept, which was also unveiled at the Detroit show.

 

Like Ford’s offering, the Challenger is decidedly retro, borrowing heavily from the design of the classic 1970 Dodge muscle coupe. But Chrysler’s number-two executive, Eric Ridenour, suggested the ’08 Challenger is “not…a recreation. It’s a reinterpretation.”

 

Gas pains?

 

Vipers club.

Vipers club.

The timing of the announcement may have been meant to bask in the glory of NASCAR, America ’s most widely-followed race series, but it also came at a time when gasoline prices are running at near-record levels, and consumers are showing increasing interest in high-mileage products.
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