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Performance-focused Dodge plans new Vipers, Chargers, and Challengers

Dodge dealerships are in for some big shakeups.

As we reported earlier this month, Dodge will be restructured into a performance-only brand under Fiat-Chrysler’s aggressive five-year plan.

This apparently will culminate in a slew of updates and redesigns to Dodge mainstays like the Charger and Challenger. It will also bring the Viper home, which has been under the SRT banner for the last two years.

Makes sense for a company whose slogan reads “Never Neutral”.

The Viper “refresh” is likely in response to the multitude of issues plaguing the current car. Sales of the current SRT haven’t been great, with Chrysler cutting production by a third after issues with internal quality. A harsh winter was also a factor, according to Chrysler, because apparently the 640 horsepower tail-happy snake doesn’t play well in snow. 

Dodge hasn’t released what exact changes the Viper will undergo yet, but it’s possible that a cheaper model could be in store: the Viper has always been a mean, growling brute, and a scaled-back version could attract a wider array of buyers. The refreshed Viper is due out sometime next year. 

The Charger and Challenger, which were both given facelifts for 2015, will be completely redesigned from the ground up in 2018. Details on the changes are scarce for now, but Car and Driver projects Dodge will trim the fat and release lighter, nimbler versions. 

A new Durango is also on the docket, which may sound odd given that the Durango is a large SUV, but hey, it’s got a HEMI. A rethought version is due out in early 2017.

With Dodge going through a performance renaissance in the coming years, expect a lot more muscle to come out of Michigan. That means more Vipers, more HEMIs, and more attitude. Is anyone really going to complain about a lack of new Dodge Caravans on the road? Didn’t think so.

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