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Dodge Challenger Hellcat Opens up New Muscle Car Era

Muscle car brand fills in gaps as it expands Challenger line-up.

by on Jul.18, 2014

The Dodge brand is putting more emphasis on performance with the new Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Dodge is revamping its lineup of muscle cars for 2015; using the stunning 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat as a calling card to show that it is possible to blend modern technology with traditional design cues to create an entirely new line of vehicles with power, distinctive heritage and celebrated silhouettes.

Though sales have slipped a bit in recent months – nothing unusual for a model about to get a major redesign – the muscle coupe has given competitors such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro a run for their money since Challenger was re-launched in 2009.

High-Performance!

A big part of its appeal has been a distinctive design that “won’t get lost in a mall parking lot,” said Tim Kiniskis, head of the Dodge brand, during the first media drive of the 2015 model.

But performance also matters to these buyers, and as the most powerful factory-built muscle car ever, the $60,000 Hellcat is expected to serve as a halo car for not only the SRT line of performance cars, but the entire Dodge brand.

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Carrying the Torch: Dodge Seeks its own Identity

“The challenge is getting the word out.”

by on Feb.11, 2011

Ralph Gilles serves dual roles as Chrysler's corporate design chief - and as head of the Dodge brand.

Chrysler is in the midst of a major turnaround – or so it hopes — and of the company’s five marques, perhaps Dodge, which has been repositioned the mainstream performance brand, is the biggest torch-carrier for the company.

A lot of the credit for that arguably goes to Ralph Gilles, the president and CEO of the brand – as well as the head of design for Chrysler itself.

The youthful Gilles, who favors designer jeans and casual button-down shirts, rather than the suit-and-tie uniform, resonates with the media and enthusiasts precisely because he comes across as a car guy and not a stuffed shirt.

Now he needs to get his brand to have the same favorable image with a skeptical public.  And no one knows that better than Gilles himself.

“We need to re-open a discussion with America,” Gilles said. “Get our own identity.”

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