Future Cars: 2018 Dodge Challenger Visits…Weight Loss Camp

New Camaro – recently unveiled; new Mustang – on sale; new Challenger – well not quite yet. Why, you might ask? Dodge’s muscle coupe gained a fairly recent MY2015 refresh which saw the introduction of the thunderous Hellcat model and many other improvements, however it was too early in its lifecycle for an all-new makeover.

Nevertheless, in the year 2018, we’re tipped to see an all-new Challenger emerge; and being one for complete impatience, I’ve decided to pull out the digital crayons to sketch up what it may look like.

Firstly, a confession: I never really liked the Challenger when it was released back in 2008 – it looked fat, ponderous and relied too heavily on its 1970’s ancestor in terms of styling. Yet with subtle changes for MY2015, it grew on me; becoming slightly modern in the right areas whilst retaining that original classic style.

As with the current Challenger, inspiration for this study also came from the first generation car. However to move the game forward, greater emphasis has been to make it look more athletic, toned and lighter.

Carry-over cues still linger around the front; however, the whole effect is more sculptured with mask-like character lines defining the front fenders and headlights, leading down into the lower intake. The bumper has an ‘upward’ overbite that eats into the grille – similar to that of the current Charger sedan. ‘Halo ring’ LED headlights are retained for that defining sinister glow.

Side bodywork is dominated by an upper scallop that starts within the front fender, flowing back into the rear haunches adorning it with that toned character missing from the out-going coupe.

According to Chrysler’s 5-year plan, the next-generation Challenger should sit upon an all-new platform. Whether or not the new underpinnings will be global and shared with Alfa Romeo remains to be seen; one thing we can expect is a vast trimming of the out-going car’s hefty weight to make it more competitive with Chevy’s Camaro and Ford’s Mustang.

Presently, power is fed to the rear wheels via either a 3.8-liter Pentastar V6 or a selection of Hemi V8s, including, the mighty 707hp Hellcat. Expect these powertrains to have been tweaked by the time 2018 rolls around, coupled to a revised 8-speed auto. As for another Hellcat model? – yes please!

Finally, what direction would you prefer the next Challenger to go: retro, or an all-new futuristic design – tell us your thoughts in the discussion area below.

By Josh Byrnes

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops.com / Josh Byrnes

Photo Gallery

  • dsad

    The front looks good

  • Six_Tymes

    I like a lot.

  • shiv

    this is just a charger coupe…not a challenger…

  • yourmanistaken

    call i can see is camaro

  • Andrewthecarguy

    Not bad, as long as it there is weight loss

    • Danielle

      I said the same thing about your mother …

      • Jj Flex

        Lol!

  • dumblikeyou2

    Camaro much?

    • Six_Tymes

      true, much camaro.

    • Kash

      seriously it looks like they used the new camaro as the base for the render.

  • XP512600

    This looks like crap! I hope they don’t do this! Ford already ruined the Mustang and Chevy ruined the Camaro not Dodge too!

    • hearsetrax

      I agree 100% ….. too many mutants in the gene pool for certain

      • XP512600

        Ford was keeping with the traditional look of the Mustang in he mid 2000’s. The Mustang then looked like a grown up mustang from the 60’s. But now they ruined it. The 2016 Camaro looks like crap and Chevy is breaking away from it’s original Camaro styling. I hope Dodge doesn’t follow the trend of ugly cars.

        • Hell the new Camaro doesn’t even have the “Corvette” style tail lights anymore. The back of the camaro looks like a malibu with a wing.

        • SonicSouz

          *Facepalm* You have got to be kidding me… I hope you realize that the new Camaro and Mustang models look closer to their respective 1st generation ancestors than their 3rd and 4th generation counterparts. They have ruined nothing and haven’t broken away from anything especially Chevy. If anything, the 2016 Camaro didn’t change enough.

          Times change and if one doesn’t want to accept that, he gets left behind in the past. Car manufactures cannot afford to keep making the same car without updating the styling to keep up with times.

        • Glenn McKeon

          If you think the older mustang was nicer. You havent got a clue what a nice looks like

      • Jj Flex

        I agree! They ruined the pony! Don’t ruin the challenger!! I’m on a waiting list for the hellcat but I like the style right now as is!

        • matteos80

          New Mustang is the best looking one since the 60’s. It is also the best one, period.

          • Jj Flex

            It’s a nice looking car. It just doesn’t speak mustang. It’s more sporty/luxury looking then muscle. I prefer the aggressive look. Just my opinion, I’m not trying to sway yours. I have the car that I want and I’m not concerned with what everyone else wants. Some people get excited buying a used mini van, I’m just not one of those types of people.

    • Glenn McKeon

      New mustang is the nicest one since eleanor

  • Craig

    I think maybe the Challenger will become a victim of its identity. It will remain as it is for the next few years. And then die off. Perhaps then the ‘Cuda will be introduced as a much lighter replacement.

    • Deadpool Water

      In regards to your Cuda comment. The same was said about the Chrysler Imperial taking over the 300C but it never happened. I would, however, love to see a Cuda remake.

      • Craig

        I don’t remember talk of the Imperial replacing the 300C. [And I own a 300C so my ears perk up whenever there is Chrysler news]

        • Deadpool Water

          Yeah I remember reading about it in ’04-05

    • Auto Motive

      Come on man. Didn’t you ever take business 101 in college? What drives any business model? The consumer and their buying habits. What makes Mustang and Camaro the number 1 and 2 pony cars sold every month with the challenger trailing by thousands? Money with profits continues to fill the coffers of both Ford and GM and next up will be the redesign of the Challenger and Charger to compete.

      • Craig

        Not the Challenger.

  • uberlaff

    I’d like to see the new one be even more retro like a 1970-ish challenger. Evolve the current design with a slimmer (vertically) front and rear plus a lower roofline.

    The 2015 refresh is much better than the previous but still feels too big. Just keep evolving the current design to be sportier and classic.

  • Whatever they do they need to shave about 1,000 pounds.

    • Deadpool Water

      Huh? The Challenger is only 200 pds heavier than the Charger. You sound foolish.

      • Skip West

        The Charger weighs more……… I have both of them and then some.

    • Danielle

      The V8 Challenger is only 260 lbs heavier than the Mustang and the new Camaro is said to be a couple hundred pounds lighter this year as well … But considering that the HEMI is producing 70-80 hp more than the Mustang it all balances out in the end.. I would happily give up 200 lbs for the much nice and larger back seat and trunk that the Challenger has! The Mustangs and Camaros look nothing like a muscle car anymore.. I will stick with the Challenger because the muscle car look is what is important …

  • diehard

    As in the Camaro, the high belt line kills its potentially good looks. And the large wheels (20″) don’t help.

    • Skip West

      Number 1 in looks and power is the Challenger, next will be the Charger, then the Camaro SS and Z28, the Mustang is not even in the running, unless you get Hennessey or Shelby to build it.

  • diehard

    I think it looks worse than the Charger. Probably because the lower roof line amplifies the ugly high belt line.

  • MultiKdizzle

    It’s time to drop the retro game. Dodge must design something that will look current in the 2020s.

    • MoparJoel

      Then call it something else, the Challenger is going in the wrong direction need to be more retro. I don’t care for the newer ones minus the Hellcat. the first ones were and still are the best looking cars on the road. power increases are always welcomed though.

    • Danielle

      The retro “game” is what makes it in a class of its own and I will never buy something that looks like a Honda or Toyota and try calling it a muscle car..

  • psiqtas

    Looks bad…cr*p – not an muscle anymore!

    • XP512600

      Agreed!

  • JM Franklin

    Now THAT’S an improvement!

  • Rick Alexander

    I like the design, but not as the next Challenger. Personally, I was hoping Fiat&Chrysler would revive the Cuda. Bring the car down to the new Camaro like proportions, use some weight saving materials, offer a high output gas sipping 6 cylinder as an option, and call it a day!

  • MoparJoel

    That looks like shit…we dont need another Camaro or Mustang on the road we need a Challenger. This does not look Mopar it looks like the other two trying to play to the Japanese market. Cheap and dull.

  • vbondjr1

    Oh God please don’t the Challenger looks fine just loose the weight. I can see that the best looking muscle car is about to come to a tragic and terrible end. This is sad

    • Danielle

      Yep.. A couple light weight body panels and it can lose the 300 lbs or so that it needs .. But honestly, I do not mind the few hundred extra lbs knowing that I have a much nicer/larger back seat and trunk!

      • vbondjr1

        lol, they are by far the most comfortable muscle cars ever

  • Tom

    Camaro, Mustang, Challenger…all good looking cars. The only thing stopping me from buying one is the RWD setup. I no longer do donut burnouts in parking lots. What I need is an AWD setup for the rainy and snowy days up here in the midwest. At least make AWD an option.

    • Deadpool Water

      The Challenger is to be driven on nice days ONLY. It’s to be parked during rain and snow days 👍

    • John S.

      The new Mustang has three driving modes, one of which is Snow. And, yes, it works. I drive mine all year, in the Dakota’s, Wyoming and Minnesota. It is a “production” car, not a million dollar piece of museum art. I have had mine for almost a year, and enjoy driving it every day, even in the snow.

      • Timbits20

        You know, you just reminded me of my ’86 200SX Turbo. The first winter I drove it, one night it just decided to slowly spin in traffic. I had to brace the car against the curb to keep it straight… yeah I didn’t know what the hell I was doing then and one of my tires was low. In any event, I got smarter fast and eventually bought proper snow tires (I could only afford them for the drive wheels) and packed a couple of 40 KG (IIRC) bags of road salt under the back hatch and over the drive wheels. I live in Toronto and in the “storm of the century” back in February of 99, I was unstoppable.

  • Alu James

    CLASSIC all the way, a muscle car mustn’t look like a toyota

  • William Wayne

    It looks like a Camaro. Not a bad looking car – but it’s not a Challenger.

  • Rick N. Backer

    It should be a slightly updated version of the 70-74 Barracuda body style.

  • Deadpool Water

    Looks like camaro yuck! Dodge needs to keep the current body style – thats what sets it apart from the other muscle cars. And by no means does the Challenger “need to catch up to mustang and camaro.” It’s the other way around. The Challenger looks much better on the road and most would agree. It’s a muscle car and it should be big and gaudy.

  • Auto Motive

    Nicely styled keeping the retro look and not changing what buyers want. Ford and GM continue to keep the timeless styling of both pony cars to retain the power of the consumer buying habits. Very similar to keeping the C7 corvette in fold to the young at heart old timers like myself. If FCA lets us the buyers of future muscle cars in their lineup that the all new hellcats will get a complete redesign I just may hold off to consider one. Time is running short as age is catching up so its a future ZL1, GT500 (if auto if offered), Hellcat charger or just maybe a Z06.

  • Jay

    Article is full of contradictions…..”2008 looked fat, ponderous and relied too heavily on its 1970’s ancestor in terms of styling.” (But somehow the 2015 doesn’t?)…….

    “MY2015, it grew on me; becoming slightly modern in the right areas whilst retaining that original classic style” (And the 2008 somehow didn’t?)…….

    “it was too early in its lifecycle for an all-new makeover.” (What? it’s 2015)

    Challeger should go! most popular company name against most popular name….Mustang/ Camaro/ Charger…..Ford and Chevy get it….Challenger name is not in that league, Charger should be low,lean and mean like a bugatti veyron…..

    Charger has more styling cues than the plain Challenger, which makes modernizing and evolving the Charger much easier…..

  • Danielle

    Nope.. Not digging it.. Keep it looking like a muscle car and don’t pussy up like the Camaro and Mustang engineers did..

  • ratatrap

    Definitely retro.maintaining the six speed manual gearbox, with a gate shifter. The engines would be better with a four valve per cylinder set up. Lightness is welcome, provided the comfortable seating for three grown up rear passengers is maintained. Front memory seats can be another good addition. It would do the car justice if steering feel can have more feedback. Mimicking modern European
    sportscars

  • What_Tha

    That front end looks too busy. Like a Caliber, a Camaro and the current challenger got thrown in a blender and this is what it spat out.

  • Jerry Hightower

    If it looks like this it just got uglier!

  • UGH… I swear to GAWD I was about to pull the trigger on a Scat Pack- 6spd Challenger. I was really hoping Dodge would leave well enough alone. A little tweak here, a little chrome thingy there… but stick with the basic design. I mean, with all the “reboots” the Challenger was the only one that I pause and go “oh that’s the “new” one”…. This Camaro wanna be, crap is going to force me to buy that STI I’ve always wanted.

  • Alex

    I definitely prefer the retro design.

  • Alex

    The retro look on the Challenger is the last of the retro themed muscle cars that emulate the styling from a generation of classic American muscle cars. The most true to its styling. When Dodge closes the door by ending that beautiful retro look, another generation of awesome classic styling vanishes as well. One great realization, is that the value of my Challenger will increase as these beauties disappear forever.

  • Laura

    Keep the hot 70s design!!”

    • Steve

      Yes absolutely don’t change nothing on the outside its perfect now

  • MagicDiligence

    Stop saying the Challenger needs to be more like the Mustang and Camaro. If you want to be Boy Racer, go buy one of those. If you want the essence of traditional American Muscle in a modern package, the Challenger is it. And I hope they keep it that way.

  • A RAB MONEY

    wow, if it looks like the pictures i may consider buying one

  • TrumpCrusader

    Waiting

  • HEYPHILLIP

    When ever I hear a automaker say lighter car that means to me a smaller looking lighter vehicle much like Chevy did in the 90’s to the impala SS they went from the 1994 to 1996 big impala to the smaller impala that looked nothing like the big Caprice and impala SS so if Dodge is headed that way with the Challenger there screwing with a decent car.All they have to do is keep the current body style with an all aluminium body to reduce weight.

  • TheBigGuy

    Futuristic one. Regardless, I’m more interested in the future Trackhawk.

  • Kerry

    Looks good. I would hope it is still slightly bigger than camaro and mustang maybe in between todays size and the Camaro with more aluminum and carbon fiber to reduce weight. I like the bigger trunk for trips, but would understand a little smaller. I would like to see maybe a 3800 pound V8 muscle car would be big improvement with better handling and brakes. But it must retain a lot of the old challenger style.

  • jjd5m

    Absolutely not.

  • Glenn McKeon

    God i hope this isnt what it looks like. Thus look like a chernobyl camaro

  • Gearz

    The front looks too much like the Camaro.. the sides make the car look like it was on a forced diet.. Thumbs down.

  • Alex Andrews

    For God’s sake don’t do what is pictured here to the Challenger, the retro styling is what gives it its charm and appeal! If you want to lighten it up, make it a little smaller and thinner (more like the original E-Body), and make it handle even better, then that’s fine, I’d applaud that. But I really hope they don’t pull a Ford or a Chevy and ruin the classic lines…granted the Camaro and Mustang now are a lot closer to their first generation counterparts but the Challenger came a lot closer to its origins than those two and really nailed it in 2015 and 2016.

  • Jesse Cadena

    The front is okay . But stick to the original please 2018

  • matteos80

    I really hope they don’t mess with the current styling. That is the reason to buy it. I’ve been waiting and waiting for a lighter version. No offense but your rendering is ugly as hell. If it looks like that I won’t be buying one.

  • Mark Skrine

    Bullshit! Changing the beltline and it’s no longer a Challenger. You need the beltline, front headlights and rear taillights to be remniscent of the lineage. The drawing is that of another Japanese nightmare that is the Camaro. There is no accounting for bad taste. Spend a few $$ on art lessons. The only thing all pony car fans can agree with is that Challenger got retro right, even Chevy and Ford purists admitted that in 2008. It hurt, but they had to admit it. I mean sales increasing year after year, the number of people who kept trading up and forward, awards for driver satisfaction. If you are going to do radical change than do it, but, call it something else. We will hang on to our Challengers. They age well and the sooner they change, the sooner rarer one’s will begin to go for big $$. Something that looks this good, is bound to. I mean…..come on, it’s a Hemi 🙂

  • FisherofTruth

    terrible. maybe as a new car it would be ok. but not as next challenger. so much wrong. jeesh

  • Joe Bleaux

    Challenger should retain SOME retro ties, if for no other reason than Camaro and Mustang severed theirs. I’d like to see Challenger remain a GT/muscle-car more so than a pony car. First, because I see no way that Dodge can beat Chevy and Ford at that game. Second, because there needs to be an American reasonably-priced monster horsepower cruiser on the market for those of us who like to go fast, but still want to do it in comfort.

  • Anthony Espinoza

    Mopar is going to kill it by making the Challenger lighter.but they must inform the public.in a way by not scaring them away.

  • Anthony Espinoza

    Why doesn’t Mopar make the AWD available in the SRT 8 Chrysler 300 model.whats the big deal.cost? Please give me some info on this craziness

  • Benjamin B.

    Chevy Camaro?

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