Any concerns over a late release for the refreshed Dodge Charger have been laid to rest. The full-size sedan is indeed coming as a 2011 model and boasts a handful of key alterations short of its planned full redesign.
Beneath the Charger's expansive hood, the main news is the arrival of the corporate 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 for the base SE and mid-level Rallye trims -- ditching the underpowered and unloved 2.7- and 3.5-liter six-cylinders in the process. Final power specifications haven't been disclosed, but the new V-6 is rated at 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque in other Chrysler applications. The 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 returns to the R/T model with FuelSaver Technology, the trade name for the Hemi's cylinder-deactivation feature.
So far there has been no mention by Dodge of transmission options for the updated Charger, but we're assuming the ancient four-speed automatic will be ditched, leaving the five-speed auto as the only option until Chrysler can get its future plans in place. The automaker's rumored eight-speed auto and dual-clutch transmissions cannot get here fast enough.
Another missing piece of the puzzle is the SRT model, which was also left off the press release. But given Dodge's performance-based focus, we're betting something is right around the corner.
The R/T model, depicted here, is adorned with five-spoke 19-inch wheels and a new stance. The Charger R/T can be had with an active all-wheel drive system that is capable of depriving the front drive shafts of engine torque as necessary, depending on road conditions. The result is a setup that can also bump overall fuel economy by up to five percent, conditions permitting.