The 2011 Dodge Charger can go forwards and backwards at the same time, and that’s before it even starts to move. That’s forward because the 2011 Dodge Charger is all new from the wheels up but it’s styled to recall the second generation Charger from the ’60s, right down to the Coke bottle shape. And of course it’s got a Hemi.
On the other hand, the 2011 Dodge Charger has a new base engine, new chassis and suspension and a new all-wheel drive system.
Dodge says, however, that the new body isn’t just a pretty face. The product of “countless hours in the wind tunnel”, Dodge engineers lowered the hood line, dialed in a “fast.” more steeply raked windshield and radically raked back headlights, tightened wheel openings, lowered sills and gave it a race-car-like flat underbody. Note: No tunnel back rear window of the late Sixties, which had terrible drag on the superspeedways.
The taillights, however, will look familiar to those who remember the Sixties but lights will have a new forward to the future feature, 164 LEDs that give the 2011 Dodge Charger, according to Dodge, “its signature ‘racetrack’ graphic”.
Dodge says the 2011 Dodge Charger’s interior will be “an enthusiast office” and will have premium features, including soft touch surfaces–there’s a change–and a new thick-rimmed three-spoke Dodge steering wheel “for enhanced performance feel and grip.” Based on what we’ve seen from the Chrysler Group lately, we’ll take them at their word, at least until we can try it for ourselves.
New for 2011 is upgraded Uconnect Touch infotainment and convenience features, including Garmin navigation, dual-zone climate control and the ability to check fuel prices, the latter thanks to optional Sirius Travel Link.
Dodge says Charger engineers worked to tune the cabin for sound quality rather than eliminating sound altogether, isolating powertrain, road and wind noise, and using features that include a dual-pane acoustic windshield and front-door side glass (rear seat passengers are on their own, apparently). Cavity silencing foam, acoustic wheel-well liners and “under-flush roll-framed doors with triple seals” will also give the 2011 Dodge Charger what Dodge says is best in class in the E-segment.
We’ve driven the second-generation Dodge Charger from the Sixties and can affirm that it handled like that other automotive icon of the Sixties, the Fintstonemobile. The new (modern) second-generation E-segment rear-wheel drive architecture has re-designed the suspension (so much for the German-engineering of the first gen) that Dodge says will rival “the very best European, Asian and North American E-segment sedans.” We’ll see.
Engine selection for the new 2011 Dodge Charger SE and Charger Rallye includes the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, the double-overhead cam engine also used in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 2.7-liter V-6 is gone and so is the 3.5-liter single overhead cam, both used in the 2010 Charger. In the Grand Cherokee, the new engine is tuned to produce 280 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. There’s no word yet on how the new V-6 engine will be set up for the Charger.
The Hemi in the 2011 Dodge Charger R/T is the 5.7-liter V-8, rated at 368 horsepower in the 2010 Charger. Dodge’s announcement didn’t say anything about an SRT8 version of the 2011 Charger, but it seems improbable that Dodge wouldn’t use the 6.1-liter Hemi in its premier performance sedan.
The 2011 Dodge Charger R/T with all-wheel drive has a new drivetrain arrangement with an active transfer case and a front-axle disconnect system that Dodge says can improve fuel economy up to five percent. The system normally operates in rear-wheel drive mode until the four-wheel drive system is needed, at which time it kicks in automatically. The Charger R/T AWD will come with 19-inch wheels standard.
Standard on all trim levels of the 2011 Dodge Charger is “Keyless Enter-N-Go,” a proximity key system. Standard stability control include Something called Ready-alert Braking and Rainy Day Brake Support are part of the standard stability control. Optional for the first time on the Charger are adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection and a rear back-up camera for those times when the Dodge Charger must go backwards.
We’re really looking forward to the going forward part, however. Dodge made the announcement of the new 2011 on October 2, 2010. The 2011 Dodge Charger arrives in dealer showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2010.
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