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Chargers to star in NASCAR
Revamped Dodge recalls its storied past; racing debut could create buzz for sedan
Brett Clanton
The Detroit News

A reborn version of Chrysler’s legendary Dodge Charger muscle car could be screaming around the high-walled turns of the Daytona 500 in February — at least one month before a street-ready Charger sedan lands in dealer showrooms. DaimlerChrysler AG’s Dodge division has submitted a new car design to NASCAR for the 2005 Nextel Cup racing season, and is expected to name it Charger.

Doing so would recall a storied past in motor sports for the Charger, which was banned from NASCAR racing in 1965 for using an unorthodox V-8 engine design known as the “Hemi,” only later to became a NASCAR racing champion. The racing debut could also create buzz for the mass-market Charger sedan that will be launched in the spring of 2005 and is another key vehicle for the Chrysler Group, which is struggling to return to profitability.

NASCAR racing is the nation’s second-biggest TV spectator sport, trailing only the National Football League, and has become an advertising gold mine for Detroit automakers, who rule the sport.

Mike Zizzo, a NASCAR spokesman, said the racing association and Dodge have been in talks about a new design since the spring of 2003. He said NASCAR will give Dodge final approval on the design by Sept. 1, assuming it passes a variety of safety and performance tests. That would make it ready to race in February’s Daytona 500, the official kickoff of NASCAR’s racing season.

The full-size (RWD, V8 powered) Charger, which will be sold as a four-door sedan, is a closer match to the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Monte Carlo — the only three other vehicles competing in NASCAR’s top-tier Nextel Cup next year.

Though the Ford Taurus is expected to be phased out in the next four years, Kennedy said “as long as Taurus is around, it will be our car.”

Pat Suhy, GM’s engineering group manager, said the Monte Carlo would not change for the 2005 racing season.

Dodge’s new design comes as NASCAR is pushing DaimlerChrysler, GM and Ford to build race cars that look more like the production cars they sell to the public. The move represents a return to a founding tenant of the 50-year-old sport.

FULL Article Here

 

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Wow that's a really nice pic. It looks like a GTO though. They are both bland. Good article as well. I agree that they should change the styling of the NASCAR cars to match the street cars more I mean the Monte Carlo in racing looks nothing like the one on the streets. Is that the first picture of it?
 

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no no, that's the charger concept car that was shown in like, what was it? 2000? 2001? something like that. i wouldn't mind if the actual thing looked a lot like that, but i think it will really be quite different. notice the rake of the windshield and the proportions on this car compared to like the 300C. i believe i read that the new charger is on the same platform as the 300, so i think it'll look a bit different from what is pictured here. but this is pure speculation on my part, if anyone has more info please share.
 

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The Charger pictured is the concept Charger done before the Germans took over. I believe Tom Gale had a heavy hand in it as he loved older MoPar muscle cars. I saw the car, and although it had the essence of the old coke bottle Charger, it was just not quite right for me. BTW, rumor has it that former GM exec Robert Eaton pushed for the four doors when it was designed from the start to be a 2 door coupe. I really don't know for sure, but you never know with him.

3eb has it right. The sweeping style and rake of the windshield are typical styling items from the old Chrysler.

I imagine the upcoming Charger will be more sleek than its brickline cousins - the 300 and Magnum. Whether or not it resembles a Charger is another story. Who knows with the Germans.
 

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This may be the begining of another Muscle Car era.

(BTW Sabbr, Im a Ford customer and its because of them Im a racing fan. I guess Im part of that 1% you know of.)
 

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wow, so this means that they wont HAVE TO USE THE INTREPID?????????????
 

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That's the '99 Charger concept, and the production car will probably look nothing like it. Ward's auto reports that pilot production of the Charger has already begun, if that's true DC is doing a great job of keeping it under wraps. No spy shots out there at all, not even a camo shot or a designer's sketch, NOTHING!
 

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Originally posted by GM_Guy81@Jul 19 2004, 07:22 PM
wow, so this means that they wont HAVE TO USE THE INTREPID?????????????
Uhh, they use Stratuses now....

They look better than the Intrepid did, too. I don't want it to change! They just got a new car this year anyways. Kinda dumb to do it a second year in a row...too much R&D $$$
 

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uhh...no they don't use stratus's now. it's still an intrepid. Nascar just gave them a new grille this year, but it's still an intrepid.

also, as AJR said, i'm sure the charger will be much sleeker than the 300C/magnum. those cars are so boxy that even Nascar couldn't invent and aerodynamic racecar out of them. i like the look of the 99 charger concept, something similar would be nice i think. we'll have to wait and see. i think the 4 doors really isn't a bad idea, the concept, for example, looks well enough like a coupe...it looks very sporty and aggressive, yet it has 4 doors to make it very useable and practical for everyday driving and families. as long as the performance and styling are there, i don't understand why anyone would complain about it...but i'm sure many still will.
 

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There is no way in heck that the Charger looks like a GTOaroo. This car has character lines that don't show up in the picture and it actually looks like the cars that they are naming it after. I've followed this car closely and from what I've heard, both Ford and GM have plenty to worry about. As long as gas prices stay near where they are, DCX is fully committed to bringing a v8 legacy back to Chrysler ditching their wuss front wheel drive 4 banger reputation. What a shame DCX has found designers who can make Chryslers look like cars that would be fun to own and drive. We've had enough wimpy cars.

If the Charger stays close to what I've heard about it, there will be one of them in my driveway.
 

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Oh my, LaserWizard used the "F" word. We're not supposed to use that word around here, some people get testy. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Though the Ford Taurus is expected to be phased out in the next four years, Kennedy said “as long as Taurus is around, it will be our car.”
Yes, Taurus, the ultimate dream car of race and performance enthusiasts everywhere. Or was it the ultimate rental car? I can't recall. And so much like the RWD V8 coupe they drive on the roundy round.

Ridiculous. :rolleyes:

I hope GM would fire the guy who suggests that they run the Malibu Classic in NASCAR.
 

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So, the Charger will have two things in common with the NASCAR version (it's RWD and it has the same name), thus trumping both the Taurus and Monte Carlo (alike only in name). Am I supposed to care? So they're giving the generic Dodge NASCAR vehicle a different name... how will the NASCAR vehicle be different here? Oh, right, it won't.

I'm glad DCX is promoting their new muscle car entries and all, but aside from the fact that DCX is serious about the Charger, this article ranks just barely above cross-stiching articles as far as my interest level goes.
 

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Actually from Dodge's point of view, they are no longer driving Intrepids, they are driving Dodges.

This is why they replaced the eye light stickers with generic brand versions and revised the grill to reflect Dodge products. They didn't want to promote a car that was going to out of production.

-Z
 

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Ok... I just thought of something. The Taurus will be phased out by both the 500 and the now named "Fusion" aka Ford's Mazda6.
So if the 500 is moved up market....will that mean that a Mazda will be racing in NASCAR? Yeah, its a Ford from the badge, but look at this
Dodge will have a German car in NASCAR
Ford will have a Japanese car in NASCAR
And GM will have the only true "American" car in NASCAR.


Just a thought, and I would wish NASCAR would just go away.
 

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Originally posted by bigals87z28@Jul 20 2004, 04:21 AM
Ok... I just thought of something. The Taurus will be phased out by both the 500 and the now named "Fusion" aka Ford's Mazda6.
So if the 500 is moved up market....will that mean that a Mazda will be racing in NASCAR? Yeah, its a Ford from the badge, but look at this
Dodge will have a German car in NASCAR
Ford will have a Japanese car in NASCAR
And GM will have the only true "American" car in NASCAR.


Just a thought, and I would wish NASCAR would just go away.
Well Big Al, Toyota could enter into Nascar and then you would have:

Dodge representing Germany
Toyota representing Japan
Ford promoting some car - not the Mazda based cars, although I hear a Thunderbird coupe might come back for NASCAR.
and GM representing America.

What a great international show.
 

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Originally posted by bigals87z28@Jul 19 2004, 09:21 PM
Ok... I just thought of something.  The Taurus will be phased out by both the 500 and the now named "Fusion" aka Ford's Mazda6. 
So if the 500 is moved up market....will that mean that a Mazda will be racing in NASCAR?  Yeah, its a Ford from the badge, but look at this
Dodge will have a German car in NASCAR
Ford will have a Japanese car in NASCAR
And GM will have the only true "American" car in NASCAR. 


Just a thought, and I would wish NASCAR would just go away.
Don't jinx it! Before you know it GM will be using Saab in NASCAR! Ford named the Mazda 6 based, formerly-known-as Futura the Fusion? A so-so name I guess. I suppose it makes sense because Ford removes the Mazda logo from the 6 and "fuses" a blue oval to it in its place :D! Eh....okay, maybe not <_<.
 

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Nothing makes you shake in your boots more then Toyota's NASCAR Camry... :unsure:

If ford uses the 500 instead of the Fusion, then it will be a Sweedish car.
 
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