CARS.COM — The Dodge Challenger has been the pony car choice if your needs require more backseat room or trunk space. Now it might be your Snow Belt choice as well.
Automotive News (subscription required) reports that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ muscle coupe
will offer a V-6 all-wheel-drive model for 2017 called the GT AWD. Also coming sometime in 2017, it says, is an aggressive flared-fender, Hellcat-powered, rear-wheel-drive version called the Challenger ADR. A request for comment from FCA was not immediately answered. We already know the Challenger gets a heritage-inspired T/A model for 2017.
The aging Challenger, now competing with new versions of the rival Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, is expected to get a svelte redesign in 2018, along with the sibling Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, that will be based on the lighter new FCA platform for larger vehicles that underpins the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Until then, the Challenger will have to soldier on with updates, such as the all-wheel-drive option, and some buzz-generating special editions and variants, such as the Challenger T/A and ADR. The Challenger still held its own, particularly on the street, versus its newer rivals this year in Cars.com’s Muscle Car Challenge comparing V-8 and small-engine models.
The Automotive News report offered no further details on the Challenger’s all-wheel drive, but it’s likely that it will be a version of the rear system used in FCA’s Charger and 300 sedans. While the report indicates the all-wheel-drive option will be limited to the V-6 models, as it is with the consumer versions of the Charger and 300, all-wheel drive with a Hemi V-8 is offered for the police pursuit vehicle model of the Charger. And FCA did show a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8-powered Challenger GT AWD concept at the 2015 SEMA aftermarket trade show.
The Dodge lineup will shrink and otherwise be little changed for 2017, with Dart and Viper going away, the Journey crossover having minor tweaks, the Charger getting a revival of the Daytona version and the big Durango SUV getting a light refresh. The Grand Caravan line, still a last-generation FCA minivan sold next to the new Chrysler Pacifica, continues for 2017 with lower prices or more standard equipment.