Dodge Charger Overview
For the last 50 years, the Dodge Charger has taken on many shapes: subcompact hatchback, luxury coupe, fastback muscle car, full-size sedan, and a four-door sports sedan. Despite times of difficulty, the Charger has risen as one of the most popular cars in its class. So sit back, adjust your mirrors, and buckle up. Today, we’re taking a look at the evolution of the legendary Dodge Charger through the years.
Dodge Charger Through the Years
1st Generation (1966-1967)
- The first Dodge Chargers were two-door fastbacks that featured 4 bucket seats.
- A 5.2L V8 was the base engine.
- These Chargers were nearly identical to the Dodge Coronet.
- The first gen Charger was very heavy, with a curb weight around 3,500 lbs.
- The 1966 Charger had a base price of $3,122.
2nd Generation (1968 – 1970)
- The 2nd generation featured a 2-part grille, hidden headlamps, and a blunt and muscular body presence.
- After little success in stock car racing, Dodge created the more aerodynamic Charger 500 and Charger Daytona.
- In 1969, Dodge reduced its base engine to a 3.7L 6-cylinder engine.
3rd Generation (1971 – 1974)
- Sales increased, largely due to the elimination of the Dodge Coronet.
- The platform was slightly modified to meet new emission and safety regulations.
- Six packages were available in the 3rd generation
- Cosmetic options included split grille, ducktail spoiler, and a semi fastback rear window.
4th Generation (1975 – 1977)
- Charger’s appearance evolved significantly, moving away from the body-wide grille to an upright, rectangular grille.
- The 4th Gen Dodge Charger was an attempt to move into the growing personal luxury car market.
- Born among the fuel-crisis of the mid ‘70s, this generation was one of the least successful, leading to the temporary disappearance of the Charger.
5th Generation (1982 – 1987)
- Born as the “Omni 024” in the ’79 model year, Dodge called this car the Omni Charger when fitted with the larger 2.2L 4-cylinder engine that produced around 84 hp.
- This car was a small hatchback coupe with FWD.
- The Omni 024 name died in the 1983 model year, and all of these cars were dubbed Dodge Chargers.
- Upon removal of the Omni 024 name, the base Charger transitioned to a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine that produced 62 hp.
- A 5-speed manual came standard, and a 3-speed automatic was optional.
- A Shelby Charger was available in 1983.
- While Shelby Chargers are still cherished by enthusiasts, most 5th gen Chargers were crushed or scrapped.
6th Generation (2006 – 2014)
- In 2006, Dodge tried to make amends with the Charger name yet again upon a Chrysler 300 platform.
- This 4-door RWD muscle car elicited mixed reactions.
- Initially, the base SE trim featured a 3.5L V6 engine that produced 250 hp, while the R/T trim featured a 5.7L Hemi V8 producing 340 hp.
- Dodge eventually added the Charger SRT8 model, powered by a 6.1L Hemi V8 producing an impressed 425 hp.
- The Charger Daytona R/T package added a spoiler, extra graphics, thick anti-roll bars, returned steering, increased power, and more.
- In 2007, Dodge offered a smaller 2.7L V6 that produced 190 hp.
- The Charger Super Bee became available in 2009, paying tribute to the Super Bee of the early ‘70s.
- In 2012, the 6.1L V8 engine was rated at 470 hp, and Dodge added an 8-speed auto tranny.
7th Generation (2015 – )
- After a long 6th generation run, Dodge updated the Charger in 2015 with clean and modern design cues.
- The huge engine lineup ranges from the base V6 to the insane Charger SRT Hellcat.
- The Hellcat engine is a 6.2L V8 that produces a jaw-dropping 707 hp.
- You can find features like an 8.4-inch screen, Uconnect infotainment, navigation, heated and cooled seats, WiFi, voice texting, USB, SD card slot, and more in modern Chargers.
- Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, lane departure warnings, rain-sensing wipers, forward collision alerts, and more.
Dodge Charger Owner Spotlight
“I own a 2006 Top Banana Daytona and a 2007 Sublime Daytona. They are great diving cars, very comfortable. They have both been great cars and reliable as well.” – Klint Edwards
“The one thing I tell people whenever they are modding their car is… make it your own.” – Brian Pottak, 2012 Dodge Charger V6
Dodge Charger Fast Facts
- Larry Fitzgerald, Tim McGraw, and Shaq have all owned Dodge Chargers.
- At a base price of $65,645, the 707 hp 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat costs about $93 for every 1 horsepower.
- The extremely famous General Lee was a 1969 Dodge Charger.