The Dodge Charger and its Challenger sibling soldier on for the 2019 model year with yet a new round of updates.
For the Charger, Dodge has very much focused on the SRT Hellcat flagship. The super muscle sedan sticks with an eight-speed automatic and that 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 spitting out 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, but there’s revised styling to be had in addition to some new performance features.
The revised styling consists of a new grille with dual inlets that help feed cool air to the engine, and in terms of performance features there are some new items, some of them originally developed for the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon. These include the following:
- Launch Assist: Wheel speed sensors watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and, in milliseconds, modifies the engine torque to regain full grip.
- Line Lock: Engages front brakes to hold the car stationary while the rear pair are free for a burnout.
- After-Run Chiller: Keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after the engine is shut off.
- Torque Reserve: Closes a bypass valve to prefill the supercharger and manages fuel flow and spark advance to balance engine rpm and torque, thus generating a reserve of torque to be delivered upon acceleration from a standing stop.
The Launch Assist and Line Lock are also featured on the Charger R/T Scat Pack, which also benefits from a new Launch Control button on the dash. This feature coordinates the engine, transmission, driveline and suspension for optimal launches. Adaptive dampers can be added for improved handling, and carrying over from previous years is a 6.4-liter V-8 with 485 hp and 475 lb-ft. The regular Charger R/T isn’t ignored as it benefits from sport-tuned suspension. Its engine is a 5.7-liter V-8 with 370 hp and 395 lb-ft on tap.
Also available on the cars are a satin black hood option, Brass Monkey 20-inch forged wheels, and on the Charger SRT Hellcat an Alcantara interior package.
The final change on the 2019 Charger that’s worth a mention is a split between the base models into rear-wheel-drive Charger GT and Charger SXT, and all-wheel-drive Charger SXT AWD designations. All three feature a 3.6-liter V-6, although the Charger GT and Charger SXT AWD are slightly more powerful with their 300 hp and 264 lb-ft versus the Charger SXT’s 292 hp and 260 lb-ft. New to the list of options are Houndstooth cloth sport seats, caramel Nappa leather, and a black accent package.
The 2019 updates to the Charger and Challenger are to tide things over until Dodge finally implements a full redesign for the cars. The last we heard is that the redesigns aren’t due until 2021. Earlier in June, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Dodge parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, told Motor Authority that the redesigned cars may stick with the current-gen platform, albeit a heavily updated version. Previously it was thought that the cars might adopt a platform from either Alfa Romeo or Maserati.
Sales of the 2019 Charger and Challenger commence this fall.