Since the first Intrepid-based concept car in 1999, the triumphant return of Dodge’s most iconic muscle car from the 1960s and ’70s has been muddied by the presence of two rear doors. For many, the addition of two doors made perfect sense. Yet, to others, it was as blasphemous as letting a potbelly pig finish off the last of your BLT sandwich.
This concerted effort has actually worked against the vocal constituency, encouraging Chrysler to prove that the Charger can be a true performer in the face of its four-doors.
The popularity of full-sized, two-door sedans has been a roller-coaster ride that most automakers would like to forget. Ford’s Thunderbird was the Blue Oval’s last foray into the market as GM’s FWD Monte Carlo was Chevrolet’s final entry.
Yet, as domestic two-door sedans dwindled, European entries from both BMW and Mercedes, as well as some Japanese brands, curiously flourish.
The challenge in convincing Dodge to weld the rear doors shut doesn’t come from these potential competitors, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. No, rather, it comes from its own most loyal fan base.
The persistence of the hardest core enthusiasts has caused Chrysler particular grief. The new four-door and been berated in forums, magazines and television, and not for anything much more than its controversial styling.
Diehard Charger lovers struggle to acknowledge any positives of the new Chargers due to the extra doors, vocalizing their disdain despite the incredible performance of the current R/T and SRT8 Chargers.
This concerted effort has actually worked against the vocal constituency, encouraging Chrysler to prove that the Charger can be a true performer in the face of its four-doors. This “us vs. them” sentiment has been expressed – although “off the record” – by former Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles multiple times.
So, while the two images of the SRT8 Charger coupe (above and below) are the creation of Photoshopper-extraordinaire Theophilus Chin, the reality of a true two-door Charger is a possibility, but a quickly dimming one. Make no mistake, the clarion cry of the Charger loyalists has been heard; it’s just that the demand hasn’t.
Would you buy a new 2012 Dodge Charger R/T or SRT8 if they offered a coupe?