METRO PLUS

Muscling in



Looks straight out of the `80s. Tasked with the enviable assignment of developing a hot-looking performance coupe using Chrysler Group's advanced rear-wheel drive LX platform and its fabled HEMI engine, the designers drew up a shortlist of the essential attributes of a muscle car - distinctly American; mega horsepower; pure, minimal, signature lines, with an aggressive air-grabbing grille and bold colours and graphics. Being key to the image, getting the right proportions was critical. The Challenger concept sits on a 116-inch wheelbase,six inches longer than the original. But its width is two inches greater, giving the concept car a squat, tougher, more purposeful persona. The signature side view accent line - designers call it the "thrust" line - is higher up on the body, running horizontal through the fender and door and kicking up just forward of the rear wheel. One of the key characteristics of the original car the designers wanted to retain was the exceptionally wide look of both the front and back ends. To achieve this the designers increased both the front and rear tracks to 64 and 65 inches respectively, wider than the LX, wider even than the 1970 model. To realize the long horizontal hood the designers deemed essential, the front overhang was also increased. The Challenger concept is a genuine four-passenger car. Compared to the original, the greenhouse is longer, the windshield and backlite faster, and the side glass narrower. All glass is set flush with the body without moldings, another touch the original designers could only wish for. The car is a genuine two-door hardtop - no B-pillar - with the belt line ramping up assertively at the quarter window just forward of the wide C-pillar. Care for one, then?





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