Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mentally Challenged

Dodge is bringing back the Challenger, with a new retro-styled concept car. It looks like they're correcting Dodge's wasted opportunity in re-inventing the kick-ass Charger as an overpowered family sedan, by taking Ford's strategy of re-creating the original car as faithfully as possible. Granted, I wouldn't have been able to recognize the original Challenger before now, but at its best, 1970 or so, it really captured the best of the spirit of seventies muscle cars.

The awesome new version does that, too, and manages to improve on the original in the process. And if I ever 1) can afford a car and 2) can bring myself to buy the horribly wasteful muscle car I want so badly, the production model in 2007 may give the Mustang some serious competition. Especially given what I've read about the Mustang's iffy quality control. Dodge/Chrysler seems like a pretty reliable brand these days, so Dodge's Challenger ought to do better than, say, NASA's.

It is a bit sad that Detroit has to take its cues from thirty-year-old designs to build a car with excitement and spirit, but that's better than building a car without any appeal at all.

Shame about, you know, the gas mileage, but I suppose that's part of the fun.


lyan! said...

It looks pretty cool, but I dislike the neuvo-rounded corners on what should be boxy. This one looks like if you got hit by it, you'd be bounced over towards some pillowy glen, versus the other which, if it didn't kill you, would leave a violent crease in your forehead enough to grate cheese off of. Now that's power!

Weird. My verification word was "momly."

Anonymous said...

I would definitely go Challenger over Mustang! Quality aside, Mustangs are commonplace. Even in the 70s, I bet the Challenger and its brother Plymouth Barracuda were cooler than the other pony cars like the Mustang and Camaro.

There's also something to be said for the Challenger's relatively short existence. Ford and Chevy kept marketing their muscle models when they had nothing to do with the original: awkward, "contemporary" styling and laughable horsepower that tarnished the coolness from the muscle era. I'm so glad that Dodge discontinued the Challenger before the awful styling of late 70s and early 80s took hold.

Kenny said...

You're right, Anonymous Commenter! Then it's settled: Come 2007, it's the Dodge Challenger for me!

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