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Throwback Thursday: The History Of The Modern Challenger (Part 1):

We Go Over The Modern Challenger From Concept, To Launch...

In creating the new Dodge Challenger concept car the designers at Chrysler Group’s West Coast Pacifica Studio knew they had a rich heritage to draw upon. They also knew they had an obligation to “get it right.”

January 8th, 2006, Dodge introduces the 2006 Dodge Challenger Concept car. This would have shocked the world except for the fact that a hunter stumbled across a photoshoot for the Challenger concept a few months prior. Ford had recently debuted a retro inspired Mustang to great fanfare for 2005 and had the rear wheel drive sport coupe market almost all to themselves. The Chevrolet Camaro ceased production in 2002 and GM was selling the Pontiac GTO which was imported from Australia and sold in limited numbers. Chrysler’s designers were tasked with creating a hot looking performance coupe based off of the then new LX platform underpinning the new Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum.

The designers explored a variety of options, eventually gravitating to “something” for the Dodge brand, appropriate given Dodges bold performance image. The idea of reinventing the highly collectible Challenger quickly came to mind. In creating the new Dodge Challenger concept car the designers at Chrysler Group’s West Coast Pacifica Studio knew they had a rich heritage to draw upon.

2006 Dodge Challenger Concept (FCA photo)

They also knew they had an obligation to “get it right.” Designers brought a 1970 Dodge Challenger into the design studio and began work on the 2006 concept car. The 1970 Dodge Challenger was chosen as inspiration because it is the most sought after Challenger by collectors, Chrysler’s designers didn’t want to just recreate the 1970 model, but wanted to fix all the imperfections of the originals. While the original Challengers had tucked under wheel wells, imperfect fits and a long front overhang, designers were able to eliminate those concessions in part due to modern technology.

Here is a series of interviews with Exterior Designer Michael Castiglione and Interior Designer Alan Barrington about what inspired them to create the 2006 Dodge Challenger Concept…

How The Idea Of The 2006 Dodge Challenger Concept Began…

Inspiration Of The Exterior…

Fine Tuning The Exterior…

Working With A Current Platform & Designing The Interior…

Fine Tuning The Interior Of The Challenger Concept…

Concept VS Production…

Stay tuned for Part #2, where we look at what pushed the Challenger R/T Concept into the production of the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 and 2009 Dodge Challenger lineup…

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Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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