2007 Dodge Challenger
Although it may be released the following year, the 2007 Dodge Challenger is set to be the rebirth of the legendary 1970 collectors’ edition.
The head of Chrysler announced in July 2006 that the Challenger was finally coming back to market after a nearly 35-year absence, due to popular demand. On display at the Detroit Auto Show, the 2007 Challenger concept had a 425 horsepower 6.1 liter Hemi engine, enabling 0 to 60 speed in just 4.5 seconds. Its top speed is 174 mph. It’s not clear if the Challenger will be available during 2007 or 2008, although the Dodge website seems to indicate the latter.
The 1970 Dodge Challenger is without a doubt the most sought after model by diehard collectors, so the redesign bears heavily on that year’s first Challenger model. It’s not a recreation, but rather a sizeable improvement. The 1970 version had a long front overhang with the wheels hidden away under it, while the 2007 Dodge Challenger two-door coupe gets the proportions right.
The 2007 Challenger has a 116-inch wheelbase, which makes it six inches longer than the 1970 model. It is also wider by two inches. With its longer wheelbase it really is a comfortable four-seater. Critics of the original model say seating four wasn’t so great. Its five-spoke chrome wheels are 20 inches in the front and 21 in the back. They are set flush to the body, not hidden away like in the previous version.
Bumpers on the 2007 Dodge Challenger are the same color as the body. All glass is flush to the body and no moldings are used. The side view accent line is higher up on the body, compared to the 1970 model, and runs horizontally through the fender and door, rising before it gets to the rear wheels, which of course are an inch higher than the front wheels.
The seats in the 2007 Challenger are a vast improvement over the 1970 model as well. The instrument gauge holes are designed so that it appears you are looking right into the engine cylinders.
The 2007 Challenger has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a pistol-grip floor shifter for the six-speed manual transmission. The hood is a recreation with its twin diagonal scoops now fitted with butterfly valve intakes.
Challenger production ended in April, 1974 with over 188,000 models sold. They currently hold a seven per cent market share, with a 22 per cent share in the minivan market, 16 per cent of the truck market and five per cent of the car market. The company is looking at the 2007 Challenger as a major component in increasing its car market share, although they have a tough battle ahead.
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