What Is Going On With This Dodge Charger Prototype?

AWD Badging? R/T Wheels?

One of our spy photographers caught this Dodge Charger doing some testing around the FCA US Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan recently. What caught our eye about this car, is the fact that it has the new for 2018 “4” badging on the trunk. The “4” represents All-Wheel Drive (AWD) on the 2018 models. You might think that it isn’t anything special. Dodge has been making AWD models since 2006. However, this one is wearing a set of standard Charger R/T wheels.

Charger Prototype Test Vehicle (Real Fast Fotography)

Charger AWD models have to wear a different size of wheel than the R/T model. Because the offset for the wheels is different, the AWD tire is narrower than its RWD counterpart. Because of the different axle sizes and hubs used for the AWD system, the Charger RWD tires would stick out of the fenders on the AWD models.

Charger Prototype Test Vehicle (Real Fast Fotography)

Dodge eliminated the R/T AWD model from the lineup in 2015, however the Pentastar V6 AWD models are still available. Dodge had said that the R/T AWD model, only made up a fraction of AWD sales and made since to get rid of. However as an owner of two R/T AWD cars, I see tons of them on the road here in Southeastern Michigan. This decision upset  a lot of Charger R/T AWD owners and potential owners, who now had to settle for the Pentastar AWD models. The Pentastar V6 is an amazing engine, but it isn’t a HEMI.

Many people (myself included), think of the modern-day Charger as a great daily driver that happens to be a muscle car. When you live in the snow belt, the AWD system on the 2013 to 2014 Charger R/T AWDs were great all around performance sedans. Didn’t matter if it was on dry pavement, rain-soaked highways or snow-covered gravel roads; the AWD system with the HEMIs were amazing machines.

Charger Prototype Test Vehicle (Real Fast Fotography)

You can still get the HEMI with the AWD system in the Charger Pursuit patrol cars. Those cars still use the old 5-speed automatic transmissions. Unfortunately, that set up is only available for law enforcement fleets.

This specific car in photos can not be an AWD model for a few reasons. The AWD cars have an inch lift which is noticeably visable over the RWD cars. The brake caliper layout is different on the RWD versus the AWD setup as well. This car shows the RWD brake layout.

Charger Prototype Test Vehicle (Real Fast Fotography)

It has been rumored, but not yet confirmed by Dodge that the Challenger will get a GT RWD model for 2019. Currently all GT models in the Charger and Challenger lineups are AWD models. Could this be a test mule for a Charger GT RWD? This could be in fact a Charger GT RWD model. Guess we will find out later this year.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the 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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