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Challenger muscle car is go

2006-07-03 10:17

Chrysler has confirmed on Saturday that the Dodge Challenger concept is due for production

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group said Saturday that it will reintroduce the Challenger in 2008. The announcement was made shortly before the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

"We haven't seen this kind of spontaneous, passionate response to a car since we unveiled the Dodge Viper concept in 1989," Chrysler Group President Tom LaSorda said in a news release. "But it's easy to see what people like about the Dodge Challenger.

"It's bold, powerful and capable. It's a modern take on one of the most iconic muscle cars and sets a new standard for pure pony car performance."

The new Challenger will feature the long bonnet, short boot, wide stance and two-door coupe body style shared by the first generation of Challengers, which were produced from 1970 to 1974. About 188 600 Challengers were sold during that time.

A Dodge challenger concept, based on a 1970 model and updated with a 6.1-liter, 315kW Hemi engine, was displayed in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

"Our product development system allows us to quickly turn concepts into high-quality production vehicles," said Eric Ridenour, Chrysler's chief operating officer, who planned to drive a new Challenger at Daytona on Saturday.

"We're justifiably proud of our speed to market, and Dodge Challenger is the latest example of our focus on getting gotta-have-it vehicles to our customers."

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