Since its debut in 2008, fans of the Dodge Challenger have been begging for a convertible version of the popular muscle car. There have been traces of the fact that Dodge was originally planning a convertible variant of the coupe as early as the launch of the modern Challenger when a prototype was caught being hauled to a local scrap yard to be destroyed. Fast forward to the car going in its 13th year of production, and there is still no sign of a drop-top Challenger.
However, there have been several dealers, and aftermarket companies who have custom made various Challenger convertibles. One dealer in Charlotte, North Carolina has been getting a lot of press lately with a certain 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody on their lot. Keffer Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has an amazing Destroyer Grey R/T Scat Pack Widebody with an aftermarket convertible kit for a sticker price of $57,995 US. Considering the car initially had a sticker of $48,085 US, that’s a fair price for the convertible option in our minds.
But what about the Challenger going into the future? A recent article from Muscle Cars & Trucks, had them speaking to Dodge Challenger Brand Manager Keven Hellman stating there has to be a “business case” for such a vehicle. However, according to MoparInsiders.com sources, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has been planning for a convertible variant of the next-generation Dodge Challenger for quite some time.
Back in 2015, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram dealers were invited by FCA to a dealer event in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the event, all phones were confiscated, and the company showed off several of its new vehicles that were in the works at the time. This included the Dodge Challenger ADR (which later became the Challenger SRT Demon), the 2018 Jeep Wrangler (JL), the 2019 Ram 1500, and two other models that were still in clay form. One was the next-generation Dodge Charger, and the other was a mockup for the Dodge “Barracuda,” a Challenger convertible.
Now while the company was pedaling the name “Barracuda” around, it was in order to get feedback from the dealer body. While the Plymouth brand was discontinued in 2001, the Barracuda was the sister car to the Challenger in the early 1970s on the E-Body platform. The Dodge brand hasn’t had a convertible model since the fourth-generation (GEN IV) Dodge Viper that ended production in 2010.
Our sources have stated that an upcoming convertible would not be coming for another few years, probably not until the 2023 model year. This, of course, would be based on the all-new next-generation Dodge Challenger, which has been pushed back to a late 2022 launch along with its Dodge Charger sibling. The reason for the push back has been related to reconfiguration of the company’s assembly plants and the fact that the Brampton Assembly Plant will receive a much-needed update around late 2021 and early 2022.
Until then, Challenger fans will have to resort to the aftermarket. But rest assured that Dodge has some surprises up their sleeves for when the next-generation Challenger arrives.