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Dodge Challenger concept: 1970 all over

Classic muscle car look, with lines smoothed and gaps filled, is brought back with two-door concept.

January 9, 2006; Posted: 12:14 p.m. EST (1714 GMT)

Dodge Challenger concept car
Dodge Challenger concept car

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - With an appearance that draws heavily from the classic muscle cars of the late 1960s and early '70s, the Dodge Challenger, premiering in concept car form at next week's Detroit Auto Show, should satisfy those who thought the 4-door Dodge Charger just didn't have the right stuff.

This time around, the number of doors stays true to the original spirit. Just two.

"The people who were complaining about the Charger, if they complain about the Challenger there's something wrong with them," said David Zatz who runs the Web site Allpar.com, a site about Chrysler Group products.

The Dodge Charger was ripped by some because it was a four-door sedan, a nod to practicality seen as out-of-place in a car that carried the name of one of the most famous muscle car lines. As soon as images of the Charger were released to the public, letters of complaint started coming into DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group headquarters in Detroit.

In June 2005, a report in the industry newspaper Automotive News said that Chrysler was working on a two-door car, to be called the Challenger, based on the same engineering underpinnings, called the LX platform, as the Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300.

The Challenger concept is based, specifically, on the 1970 Dodge Challenger.

"During development of the concept car we brought an actual 1970 Challenger into the studio," exterior designer Michael Castiglione said in a company announcement. "For me, that car symbolizes the most passionate era of automotive design."

Designers wanted to evoke a mind's-eye image of the car without the visual imperfections required by manufacturing technology of the time, said Tom Trement, Chrysler Group's vice president for advanced vehicle design.

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