Challenger to receive AWD model, wide-body Hellcat before 2019 redesign

Dodge Challenger GT AWD concept, 2015 SEMA show

Dodge is working on a redesign of its Challenger muscle car for 2019.

In the meantime, the long-in-the-tooth current model (it’s been on sale since 2008) will continue to receive updates.

For 2017 there’s a Challenger T/A that benefits from a few upgrades including some items borrowed from the high-performance Challenger SRT Hellcat. Admittedly this isn’t something to rave about but things are expected to heat up very soon.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), the 2017 Challenger lineup will be expanded as early as this fall with an all-wheel-drive Challenger GT AWD model. Previewed in concept form at the 2015 SEMA show, the Challenger GT AWD is expected to come with a wide-body kit and a 5.7-liter V-8. The Challenger’s more powerful V-8s have been ruled out due to torque constraints of the all-wheel-drive system, which is borrowed from the Charger.

Dodge Challenger GT AWD concept, 2015 SEMA show

And in calendar year 2017 we will reportedly see a wide-body version of the Challenger SRT Hellcat. The car is thought to be arriving as a 2018 model and with the new name Challenger ADR (American Drag Racer). The wide-body design will allow engineers to install much-needed wider rubber. We’ve also heard that output from the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 could be bumped beyond the current 707-horsepower rating.

The Challenger ADR is expected to be a final hurrah for the current Challenger before the redesigned model arrives. The new Challenger, which may end up being called a Barracuda, will benefit from the lighter, more dynamic Giorgio platform debuting in the Alfa Romeo Giulia. We hear weight savings could be as high as 500 pounds. A redesigned Charger will also use this platform.

This time around there will also be a convertible. According to Automotive News, it’s the convertible that will be called the Barracuda while the coupe will retain the Challenger name. Whatever the convertible is called, expect to see it launched for 2021.

What still isn’t clear is the fate of the current crop of Hemi V-8s, including the Hellcat. We’ve heard that they may be phased out with the introduction of the Giorgio-based models. Hopefully that isn’t the case.

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