Dodge's Road Ahead: Fewer Models, More Focus
As Dodge prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, it will begin to pare down some model offerings and reposition itself as the performance-oriented division of Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA). The 5-year plan for the brand includes losing the Avenger mid-size sedan and Grand Caravan minivan after this year, regaining the Viper as well as the SRT variants of the Charger and Challenger as FCA disbands the sales unit formed around the Street and Racing Technology engineering group.
Core products remaining in the Dodge lineup include the Charger and Challenger, both of which are being refreshed for the 2015 model year, the Durango (with a 2017 refresh in store) and Journey SUVs and the compact Dart. Dodge will also add a front-drive subcompact hatch and sedan below the Dart to the model mix in 2018 as well as an all-new Journey replacement in 2016. An all-new Challenger and Charger will follow a year later in 2017.
While the SRT sales division goes away, the number of SRT models under the Dodge nameplate will grow. In 2016, all-new Dodge Dart SRT will bow, followed the next year by an all-new Journey SRT model. SRT variants of the redesigned Charger and Challenger are expected in 2018. And while Viper production is on hiatus, a refreshed version of the V10 2-seater is promised in July of next year.
Powertrain offerings will also be expanded. Dodge will continue to offer a turbocharged 1.4-liter and 2.5-liter normally aspirated 4-cylinder engines, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and the 5.7- and 6.4-liter normally aspirated Hemi V8. That family will be joined by a new supercharged version of a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 known as the Hellcat engine.
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