So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Yesterday I drove the new Charger Hellcat Widebody Redeye Triple Felony Pitbull Edition. OK, I made the last part of that up. I was enthusing about it online and someone commented,
A showcase for the laziest kids in the engineering class.
Big—as the kids say nowadays—oof.
Read the full column on Hagerty.com:
"We'll keep selling the same sh*t and people will have no choice other than buy it, because the government will force all auto makers to be like us".
As long as people still allow the government to decide what they can or can't buy.
BTW USA used to be the world's #1 car buyer, now it's China. So americans better start making babies AND allowing in every single immigrant who wants to, otherwise you'll have to get used to 2.0 liter turbo literally everything.
I'd bet the engineers at Chrysler would love to do a new platform or two, but the list of company owners have only been interested in the prettiest girl in that school (Jeep) and to an extent, Ram trucks...for which I'm stumped for an alliteration. No damn money, no investment, just continued wringing of the towel for the last drops of water. And may Our Lord Of Internal Combustion soon rise to smite down the soulless EV transportation pods.
Anthony Bourdain once wrote that brunch menus were so diverse because no new money was spent on brunch. A chef had to use what was on hand for brunch.
The development of the Charger and Challenger in the last decade has followed a similar path. FCA hasn't had any extra money to redesign the Charger and Challenger because the company's real money-makers needed redesigns first, and Sergio Marchionne had a quixotic desire to see one last real Alfa Romeo. Dodge has had to get creative to keep the Charger and Challenger relevant, pulling in parts from the rest of the company. Thankfully those parts are great, from uConnect to the ZF 8-speed which also finds a home in BMWs and Aston Martins. While a Dodge Charger and a Nissan 370Z have platforms that are similarly aged, the Charger doesn't feel like a relic whereas the 370Z does. Finally, Dodge has done a good job marketing these cars. This is worth noting when Chevy has utterly failed at marketing the 6th-gen Camaro.
The one place where the Charger and Challenger really show their age is the interior. Yes, it's a far cry from the cost-cut to hell and back interiors of the first-gen cars. But it doesn't hold up against the Pacifica and Ram that exist in the same showroom, for the same money.
Sometimes I wonder what circulates inside your head. Everything from Pope to Setwright to Pink Floyd to fractured French in a column about cars. I'm glad you're able to stream it in a coherent fashion.
i've a neighbour who replaces his bramalea brute every six months or so. no idea how that's affordable. don't think he's in the writing trade and that these are loaners. he babies the machines, washing them every morning. we joke that he changes cars more often than his underwear. don't think he's indicative of the typical hellcat customer but rather a hardcore fan. and good for him.
I hope they never do a new platform until CARB pulls out the lawsuit. I am the owner of a 2014 Challenger SXT base, which has served me reliably for 120,000 miles. It is roomy, it good looking, 27 MPG (new ZF transmission does better), and I get a 0-60 time of 6.13, which beats the official 6.8, the backseat fits real people, the trunk fits a wheelchair. Everything in it has been perfectly reliable despite the mediocre fit and finish, and is by far the most interesting thing at the $22,000 price point. I LOVE my car and I hope Fiat-Chrysler keeps cranking these antisocial Dukes of Hazzard cars until the bitter end. I would recommend anyone buy one, which the caveat that your not buying Toyota and Honda quality, but you get what you pay for and then some.
Every time I get in an L platform vehicle I think, 'Why the heck do I not own one of these?'. Even the 3.6L 300 is a nice car to spend time in, and for a big, rear wheel drive car, knocks down excellent fuel economy. It's quiet, comfortable, handles well, etc.. The Grand Cherokee is the same way. Every time I drive a Wrangler I think 'Why would anyone want this, when they could have a Grand Cherokee?' Of course, they sell the heck out Wranglers. I guess Grand Cherokees sell well too, but most Americans make decisions based on egos vs. practicality or their real needs and wants. It's mainly just what the neighbor's think. It's the American way. I think the Challenger and Charger, especially SRT versions, are the odd juxtaposition. They impress the neighbor's, but folks who own them can't seem to get enough of them and love them. My issue with them, along with mustangs, is that every cruise night and car show I go to is full up with them. Good for FCA.
Excellent, and true. I have a 10 year old 300c and a 10 year old SRT8 challenger (Modified by Petty's Garage to be even more fun!) . They are fun , reliable and envied by most of the people I deal with. They seem to be stuck buying the 2.0 liter blobs that there partners want ( oh we should buy this, the neighbors have one) instead of getting what the like. I get lots of flak from the Mustang crowd at car shows, about how advanced Ford is and Mopar is not. I just smile as I have a GT500 but the dodge is way more fun and gets way more smiles.
These are well sorted cars that bring fun and value. I currently have four Lx cars floating around on my property. A 2017 300S V6, a 2006 300SRT, a 2005 300C 5.7L and just picked up a 2018 300C 5.7L.
The '17 is a driver that can average over 31mpg on the highway.
The SRT is my brother's street/strip toy
The '05 C is my endurance racing team's latest creation
And the 2018 I just bought to turn into a 392C since FCA no longer sells the 6.4L 300 in NAFTA.
They work great as tinker toy hot rods since there are so many parts combos that interchange. With the advent of the ultra high performance cars, as well as Dodge's increased participation in the police market, there are tons of genuine high performance parts to be found in factory cars.
For example, on the 2005 300C enduro car, we were able to retrofit the current Charger Pursuit brakes with very little hassle for a very cost effective, high performance brake upgrade. This thing will hang you off your belts at negative g while scrubbing off 110+mph lap after lap.
With the 2018 C, the 6.4L bolts right in place of the 5.7L and uses the same part number ECM. Just needs a flash and 2 wires run for the short runner intake valve. The SRT rear differential bolts in and accepts the axles etc.
Now that major aftermarket suppliers are supporting standalone engine management and swap hardware (ie Holley etc.), expect the Hemi platform to only gain in popularity.
A buddy of mine who is NOT a car guy called me the other week and was literally crying from laughing so hard - from the front seat of his rental car. Apparently he had an issue with the car he was to receive so the rental company swapped a 392 scat pack to make up for it....he bought one this week.
I can see the value in these cars. A friend traded an increasingly troublesome W140 S Class for a newish 300 a few years ago. The Mopar offered an equivalent driving experience at substantially lower running cost even with loan payments
Well if one was to really dig into the history of what went on you would learn very easily the Dodge deal was not lazy engineers. Stories like this on the web are what damage the history of cars and spreads false info.
#1 the Dodge RWD Platform is based on a Benz as it was brought to Dodge while they were owned by Daimler. This was cost savings. Daimler also refused to invest in small cars.
#2 Chrysler went broke and needed a new partner. Fiat came and invested in the trucks and jeep but refused to invest in much else. Sergio the man in the sweater took the profits to plow into his Italian models like Maserati and Alfa. He wanted to stretch out the RWD cars so he went back and let the engineers do what they drew up back in 2012 and add more power. This would let them still make some money on limited models but also sell a bunch of cheaper models under the Mustang and Camaro prices. Yes it was over weight and not as agile but it was cheaper.
#3 Sergio spun off Ferrari and was looking for a dance partner for FCA. He was nor going to spend more money on small cars as he hoped a partner would fill these needs. He tried to shot gun marry GM but they wanted nothing to do with FCA as only Jeep was of interest to them.
#4 Sergio had new RWD cars planned but he died. The Alfa it was based on never did well. Then Sergio Died.
#5 Then FCA was sold to Stellantis. They dumped everything ICE and are now focused on full BEV models and the Dodge will be a EV soon and the hemi no more.
If you take the true history into full context and the fact that the FCA Dodge engineers really had much more on the drawing boards than they were ever permitted to due in most part of the lack of money.
Some of the unfulfilled plans were just never achieved and it is amazing what their engineers did on such a limited budget. These car never added much to the bottom line but they kept the brand going.
Right now we are in the last days of the ICE pony cars. Camaro is leaving 23 Same For Dodge. Ford will hang a little longer but all will move to some kind of BEV and a couple may grow more doors. I just pray they change the names and these will not be the same cars as what they replace and leave the names for a later time and for at least an affordable coupe.
Please note I am not even a Dodge fan boy but I am sad to see what all they have been through. The plans were there just no real money. At least they did a lot with what they had and made a mark in history.