2005 DETROIT: 2006 Dodge Charger

December 22, 2004
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0502 Naias 01+2006 Dodge Charger+front Side View
To the surprise of no one, Dodge is adding a sedan variant to its popular Magnum wagon, the long-roofed counterpart to the red-hot Chrysler 300. What may surprise you is that Dodge's sedan gets into own distinct sheetmetal rather than borrowing the 300's cubist design. Nor is the Charger's slightly forward-canted front end lifted from the Magnum. Seen in profile, the Charger's sloping windowline and kicked-up rear fender recall the iconic, late '60s Chargers. But while muscle-car era Chargers were always coupes, the new one is a four-door only-something that has fans of the early Chargers crying foul on the internet. Their protests are unlikely to get anywhere, however, as Chrysler design chief Trevor Creed says, "We had to ignore the screaming and shouting from people who said, 'Don't you know a Charger is a two-door.'" Adds PR supremo Jason Vines, "If you want a '69 Charger, you can buy one." So there. If you want an '06 Charger, you should know that it comes as either an SXT, with a 3.5-liter V-6, or an RT, with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8; both have a five-speed automatic sending power to the rear wheels. Unlike Chrysler, Dodge won't offer the 2.7-liter V-6 to retail customers, only fleet buyers. The Charger features a sportier suspension tune than the 300, and although it casts a similar shadow, it's an inch lower. It arrives in showrooms in early summer.
0502 Naias 02+2006 Dodge Charger+open Hood Front Side View
0502 Naias 03+2006 Dodge Charger+side View
0501 Naias+2006 Dodge Charger+front Interior View
0501 Naias+2006 Dodge Charger+rear Side View
0501 Naias+2006 Dodge Charger+rear Right View

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