What's the deal with the Challenger ?

About a year ago, I was under the impression that the Challenger would be available in Feb, March or April 2008 (at least in Canada).
There was even a Chrysler web-site that had a count-down to it's introduction.
There doesn't seem to be any buzz at all right now about this car.
Is it available anywhere?
In the US maybe? (if so, not sure why not Canada - we can afford it here much more than the average American I'm thinkin).
Is it true that they're only making it available as an SRT (ie some big V-8 version) ? If so, who's responsible for that bone-head decision?
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from their web site
PRESS RELEASE:
a.. Highly anticipated 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8® production begins at Brampton Assembly Plant b.. Employees, guests join Chrysler executive Vice President Frank Ewasyshyn for festivities c.. Manufacturing expertise contributes to product quality d.. Modern muscle car offers best of past, present Auburn Hills, Mich., May 8, 2008 - Chrysler LLC today celebrated the production launch of one of the industry's most highly anticipated vehicles-the all-new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8®. Dodge Challenger is back in Chrysler's line-up as a modern muscle car with a new SRT8 model. A full line-up will follow in the 2009 model-year. Consumer interest in the Dodge Challenger has been some of the highest seen at Chrysler.
The all-new Dodge Challenger is built at Chrysler's Brampton Assembly Plant on the same assembly line as the Dodge Charger and the award-winning Chrysler 300.
"Even though the development time for this Dodge Challenger SRT8 is one of the shortest in Chrysler's history, the wait for this exciting car has been too long, and as of today, the wait is finally over!" said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President - Manufacturing. "Dodge Challenger represents the best of Chrysler's past and future. The teams that worked to bring this vehicle to market with quality and speed have done an excellent job."
Nearly 1,000 employees and invited guests joined Mr. Ewasyshyn for the celebration.
Quality Manufacturing To ensure quality targets were met and to foster a smooth manufacturing launch, a team of Brampton employees spent months helping to build pilot vehicles at Chrysler's Auburn Hills Technology Center. Then, early pre-production models were built on the Brampton assembly line-rather than a pilot facility-which allowed engineers to more realistically test the production process.
"The vision of rolling launches on lines that build multiple and variant models is becoming a reality as demonstrated with the Dodge Challenger at the Brampton Assembly Plant," said Fred Godetel, Vice President - Car and Minivan Manufacturing. "Chrysler's Flexible Manufacturing Strategy, little more than a theory a few years ago, is being proved out at plants across North America."
The Brampton Assembly Plant features Chrysler's Flexible Manufacturing Strategy which provides for the production of higher quality products at lower cost. This unique system combines off-the-shelf robotics with customized and interchangeable tooling to build a variety of products on a single assembly line. This manufacturing expertise also allows the Company to more quickly and easily balance vehicle production with customer demand.
Dodge Challenger The return of the iconic Dodge Challenger combines unmistakable design cues reminiscent of the original Challenger with world-class performance. Approximately 7,000 2008 model-year vehicles for North American markets will be produced before 2009 model-year vehicles begin production in August. For 2009, the Company will offer three models: Dodge Challenger SE, Dodge Challenger R/T and Dodge Challenger SRT8.
Dodge dealers have seen a tremendous interest in the Dodge Challenger and 2008 models are already sold out.
Although the original Dodge Challenger muscle car lasted only five model years, the Dodge Challenger became one of the most storied muscle car nameplates in automotive history, with meticulously restored and rare examples today selling for six-figure prices.
The U.S. MSRP for the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 starts at $37,995, including the $675 destination charge.
Customer First With world-class products like the Dodge Challenger, Chrysler can respond to customer insights and expectations with vehicles that truly capture the essence of the Company's bold spirit while exceeding customer expectations.
The New Chrysler LLC is more nimble than a publicly held company and is moving quickly to deliver more quality and value to Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge customers. The Company initially approved 260 line-item product enhancements representing an investment of a half-billion dollars. The product changes continue to grow and are currently at more than 400.
The Company also launched last month the industry's first on-line Customer Advisory Board to establish two-way dialog with our customers, and thousands of people have already applied to be part of this board. As we move beyond focus groups to gain insights that we can share throughout the Company, this Advisory Board will be used to stay in touch with our customers.
Brampton Assembly The Brampton Assembly Plant was built in 1986 and was later acquired by Chrysler Corporation with the purchase of American Motors Corporation in 1987. The Chrysler Concorde and Dodge Intrepid began production in 1997 and the Chrysler LHS and 300M in 1998. Production of rear-wheel-drive vehicles started in 2004 with the launch of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum. Production of the Dodge Charger was launched in early 2005.
The 2.95 million square-foot facility along with the Brampton Satellite Stamping Plant occupies 269 acres and together employs approximately 3,200 workers, many of which are represented by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW). The satellite stamping facility was completed and production started in December of 1991.

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How can this be? Didn't the LH cars start production in '93 in Brampton? Mine was built there in '95.
A simple Google found this more accurate info online:

Unfortunately Chrysler downgraded a great car because they needed change:

If only they had looked at improvement rather than just change sales would have stayed up, even I would have bought another.
Then with the 300 replacing that follow on LH in the next decade, Chrysler had a hot product for a few years more, but lost their LH customers.
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my 94 Concorde is Canadian car too, but I don't think it was built at that plant until 97
not sure though. anyone know?
wrote:

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Yes it was built at that plant in '94. That Chrysler plant was picked up from American Motors.
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rob wrote:

It would have been useful to include the date of that press release. No indication of the date in the quoted material.

No mention as to specific US / Canadian availability.
I have seen NONE of these cars at my local Canadian Chrysler dealership.

Woh - hold on there.
It's still 2008 last time I checked. What is the model breakdown for 2008?

Ok, that's nice.
But I still want to know the CURRENT (2008) model availability, and any differences between US and Canadian availability.

That's a pretty lame statement.
Not exactly hard to sell them out if you're only making 7000 of them, and they're a brand-new model.

What about the 2008 Canadian MSRP?
And why do they only show 1 model (the SRT8)?
How much for the other 2008 models?

How about posting a URL to the website hosting that board?
Does this mean that Chrysler is reading this news group?
Are you reading this - Chrysler?
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well since it came from Chryslers web site, I guess I forgot to do that,
http://media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?idx04&mid=1

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rob wrote:

Back in Feb 2007 the plan was to show the production version at that show, which apparently they did, but that didn't seem to get any exposure in the press at the time. Don't see any TV commercials for it either.
This current round of PR seems to have happened around May 10 - 12.
http://www.ontariostreetcar.com/showthread.php?pU00#post5500
I think the hood is too short.
And yes they're only making the 2008 model as SRT-8. Just in time for $4 gasoline (and higher, if this thing needs premium).
And the thing is a tank. Curb weight is 4140 lbs. I think only the old Imperial weighed as much.
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300 and charger are no light weights......and that's where it gets its framework

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rob wrote:

The extra weight is partly in the additional sheet metal needed to pull off the Fisher-Price / Tonka-Toy look, but mostly in the drive train.
Curb weights:
300M 3.5 L 3580 lbs 300 base model (2.7L) 3712 lbs 300 with 3.5L 3766 lbs 300 with 5.7L v8 4066 lbs 300 SRT8 4160 lbs
Yea, the post-2004 300's should have good resale value at the scrap yard if commodity prices keep rising.
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seen the 09 trucks yet? same guy helped redesign those changes for next year. don't think it looks too bad!
http://www.allpar.com/model/ram/2009-ram.html
I saw an interview with Ray Giles at the Detroit show. looked good overall but we'll see with the current economy

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NO new full-size car is particularly lightweight compared to similar-sized cars of the past. Synthetics, sprayed-on coatings, plastic-clad steel stampings, structural plastics, and composites are great for safety and quietness, not always so great for weight. Counter-intuitive, but true. I was very surprised that my wife's 1993 LH car weighed slightly more than my '73 Satellite 4-door, and things have only gotten porkier since then!
rob wrote:

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yeah my 96 LHS is not much lighter than my 68 coronet

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4100 lbs is where the normal Chrysler Newports "titled" at in the middle 1960s and then grew to about 4200 lbs with the Fuselage '69-'73 C-body cars. Imperials were heavier. They gained another 100 or so pounds with the '74-'78 C-body cars.
Seems that our fascination with 5-star safety ratings made the Pacifica heavier than it should be (being based on the minivan platform, then upgraded to meet the safety ratings rather than being a 300M-based "wagon"). Probably similar for the 300/Charger LX platform, which is about the same size as the prior LH cars.
As a shortened LX car, the Challenger is heavier than it probably should be. Makes it harder for the engine to do it's thing.
ALL first-year Challengers will be SRT-8s. Even at that, they were all sold out. Some dealers got "availability" charges from the customers and others sold them for MSRP (USA). Mopar Action has a good article on the various versions of 2009 Challengers (and what makes each one unique from the others). UPgraded HEMI in 2009, too.
Latest "news flash" on the Camaro is that it's been seen with the "sedan" B-pillar and fixed rear quarter windows as the Challenger has. When those cars finally do hit, it'll be about the right time for Mustangs to be traded-in on them.
Magnum goes away and Challenger takes its place.
Enjoy!
C-BODY
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

The deal is Chrysler is building another gas guzzler in the wrong era. I'm wondering how much they will lose on them.
Chrysler would be much smarter if they put some effort into changing the Compass slightly so it didn't look like an ugly Jeep from the front.
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Wouldn't you have the Patriot then?
News reports are rife with rumors which models Chrysler will trim beyond those announced (Pacifica, PT Cruiser convertible, Crossfire, Magnum). Which ones should go?
My votes: Commander (who buys it over a GC? The third seat is useless.) Compass. Ugly and drags down the Jeep name. low-end Chrysler models (low-end versions of 300, Sebring, Town & Country) -- they duplicate Dodge offerings too much. Aspen (heck, just put the interior into the Durango Limited)
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In article

Aren't they both a Jeep from the front. I can appreciate Jeep people liking the Patriot, it's a nice little Jeep. The Patriot and Compass are competing with one another.
However I happen to prefer the Compass's profile and rear to the Caliper, so giving the Compass a more car like front would IMO give Chrysler a nice small SW.

No more heavy large engined cars, they just won't sell enough to make money. I'd like to see Chrysler survive and money making cars are needed.

As it now is I agree, but as I said modifying the front could do wonders.

True. Chrysler can't afford to market overlapping vehicles, those days are past.
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Josh S wrote:

No, its not. Its not a Jeep at all. Its a FWD station wagon badged as a Jeep. I had one as a rental, and the thing was APPALLING. I was never so glad to get back home and get in my stone-age solid-axle primitive unrefined knuckle-dragging (and whatever other insults the automotive press used to throw at it) Cherokee in my life.

They're the same (crappy) platform, so of course they do. More stupid management of the Jeep brand.
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The Compass uses the Caliber body mostly. We looked at both before buying a 2007 Caliber, like the front end better.
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My impression here is that so much of the investment in bringing the car to market was paid before the price of gas skyrocketed that at this point they lose less by bringing it out and selling fewer than expected than they would be cancelling. Also, it's such a niche vehicle that its sales might not be hurt as much as we think.
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