The mighty Dodge Challenger is looking likely for an Australian launch as Fiat Chrysler looks to strengthen the Dodge brand locally.
Speaking to CarAdvice in Detroit, Fiat Chrysler Group Australia director of corporate affairs Karla Leach confirmed the Challenger was "under consideration" for Australia, and revealed the SRT variant would headline the range if the project gets the green light.
The current Dodge Challenger (pictured), built on the Chrysler LC platform, is only built in left-hand drive for the North American market. Nonetheless, given vehicles on a similar platform (Chrysler LX), such as the Chrysler 300, are available in right-hand drive, the process of the conversion may not be as difficult as it seems, if the current-generation model was to be launched here.
“Considering the growth and sales success that we’ve had, particularly in last two years, it’s much easier for us to have discussions about right-hand-drive [models] at the table, they can see potential in our market,” Leach told CarAdvice.
If the project gets the go ahead, which we suspect is rather likely, the Dodge Challenger will arrive around 2016, when the current model will be eight years old and likely due for a significant refresh if not replacement by an all-new model.
Industry sources have indicated that a new platform designed for future rear- and all-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo models may form the basis of the next-generation Dodge Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300, though it’s uncertain how soon that may take place.
The current Dodge Challenger, built in Ontario, Canada, is available with a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 and a 6.4-litre Hemi V8 in the SRT8 variant.
The potential arrival of the Challenger coupe will further strengthen the Dodge brand, with Leach also confirming the Dodge Durango SUV is under consideration for our market as well.
The Dodge Journey is the only vehicle in Australia currently wearing the American badge, even though Fiat is selling its own rebadged version (with different engine specifications) known as the Fiat Freemont.
The possible arrival of the Dodge Charger in 2016 would come hot on the heels of the Ford Mustang in 2015, potentially beginning a new era of American muscle cars in Australia.