As the smallest of the “big trio” of American car manufacturers, Chrysler was always destined for tumultuous periods from time to time. Dodge, however, was always one of their most important aspects and that still hasn’t changed. Even after the Ram trucks spun off to become a separate line of their own, Dodge’s sales were what kept FCA afloat. However, considering how the Ram trucks garner around the same amount of sales as the entire Dodge division combined, it doesn’t take much to figure how Dodge’s role in the FCA universe has changed drastically in recent years. Dodge is now more of a performance than a volume brand and that trend might continue to be in place for a while yet. But what does the 2020 Dodge lineup have in store for us?
Dodge’s sales have been in a constant decline between 2013 and 2017 when they marketed 605,243 and 446,994 vehicles in the U.S. respectively. This negative trend has finally been reversed in 2018 when Dodge delivered 459,324 vehicles in the U.S. which is a 2.75 percent increase compared to previous year.
Dodge won’t be the FCA’s emphasis for MY 2019 and 2020, but some changes are still expected to take place. Especially during MY 2020. There are already talks of Dodge Viper’s resurrection and the decade-old Charger/Challenger platform is definitely due for a substantial overhaul. Which of the aforementioned rumors is set to materialize in 2020, however, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, here’s what we know about the upcoming Dodge models in 2020 while simultaneously paying homage to some forgotten Dodge models you probably never knew existed.
What’s Hot in the New 2020 Dodge Lineup
03. 2020 Challenger
The third-generation Dodge Challenger traces its roots to 2008, making the iconic pony one of the most outdated passenger cars available on the U.S. market. After numerous delays, the next-gen models are finally scheduled to appear sometime beyond MY 2021. This doesn’t help the 2020 Dodge Challenger, however, which soldiers on until the very end. Still, the Challenger is recording better sales than ever and why changing the winning team?!
With no design tweaks in sight, the FCA’s only remaining course of action is the introduction of potential special edition models and new trims. That’s exactly what they’ve done with the Demon in 2018 and Hellcat Redeye in 2019. And now that 2020 is upon us, the FCA’s pony gets the 50th Anniversary Appearance Package which adds the iconic shaker hood, lots of “50” logos all over the place, special Gold School painted alloy wheels, unique, and a Gold Rush paint job (not mandatory as rostbite, Hellraisin, Sinamon Stick, TorRed, F8 Green, and Go Mango are also available). The package can be ordered with any trim level and costs between $5,000 and $6,000.
The Challenger muscle notchback coupe retains its powertrain lineup with the most recent updates being conducted during MY 2019. The entry-level models start with a 3.6L V6 capable of producing 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, available in either rear or all-wheel-drive configurations.
The muscle car’s true heart and soul, however, beats through a 375-horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque 5.7L V8, while those in need for even more power are free to turn to the optional 6.4L V8. The larger Hemi is available in the $40,000 R/T Scat Pack models and generates 485 horses and 476 pound-feet of rotational force.
The vaunted SRT Hellcat models carry over with their 6.2L supercharged V8s, but this time make as much as 717 ponies and 656 pound-feet of twist. Finally, the aforementioned Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye manages to squeeze as much as 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque from the same Hellcat powerplant. Every single model still comes with a version of the 8-speed auto, whereas the naturally aspirated V8s can also be paired with a proper manual.
02. 2020 Charger
The 4-door Charger sedan arrived a few years after the 2-door Challenger, but that doesn’t make it any less outdated. Like the Challenger, the Charger too has been delegated to soldier on without any major updates. A much-needed major overhaul will only arrive sometime beyond MY 2021, likely in 2022.
Unlike the Challenger whose lineup has recently been bolstered by the all-new Hellcat Redeye, the Charger carries over unchanged in that department as well. What’s more, the number of available Charger trim levels has actually shrunk compared to previous years. The muscle car’s sales are still strong despite all the age-related downsides. However, after shrinking by some 10 percent in 2017 and doing the exact same thing in 2018, the Charger’s sales are now finally starting to reflect the muscle sedan’s realistic position on the market.
Maybe that’s the reason behind the FCA’s desperate introduction of the all-new Charger SRT Hellcat widebody and Scat Pack widebody packages which add 3.5 inches in overall width, some ludicrous fender flares, and sports 11-inch wide wheels. The Charger widebody doesn’t offer much more in terms of updates, however – only more grip and speed. New for MY 2020, however, are myriad of wheel options and the Satin Black Appearance package for the exterior or the Carbon and Suede packages for the interior.
There aren’t too many differences between the Charger and Challenger when it comes to their respective powertrain lineups. Entry-level SXT Dodge Chargers are offered with a 292-horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque 3.6L V6. Just above the rear-wheel-drive SXT sit the GT and SXT AWD trims which utilize the same engine but manage to squeeze 8 ponies and 4 lb-ft more out of it.
The R/T Charger sports a 5.7L V8 that cranks up 370 horses and 395 pound-feet of twist while the R/T Scat Pack trim benefits from a larger 6.4L Hemi V8 capable of developing 485 horses and 475 pound-feet of rotational force.
Finally, the Challenger’s SRT Hellcat 6.2L supercharged V8 is also available with the Charger, but unlike the Callenger which had received a power bump, the 4-door retains the old ratings of 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Challenger which offers an optional stick, however, the Dodge Charger can only be ordered with an 8-speed auto.
The same goes for the new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat with a widebody package which also retains the old ratings but receives the Race Cooldown and Launch Assist first introduced on the Challenger Hellcat Redeye. This enables it to sprint to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and engulf a quarter mile in high 10s.
01. 2020 Viper
It really didn’t take long for the Viper revival rumors to emerge after the iconic sports car’s discontinuation in 2017. Apparently, the next generation of Dodge’s pride and joy will arrive as early as 2020. However, the all-new Dodge Viper will probably only arrive in time for MY 2021 or even 2022.
Although this will be the Viper’s second revival, most aspects of the iconic Mopar halo car should remain intact – in spite of the fact the Corvette is now mid-engined. Imagine it simply as the sixth-generation Viper which comes after a short hiatus. The engine should remain tucked up front, behind the front axle, and carbon fiber and aluminum will be used extensively; also, a convertible should be available from the get-go.
Even the starting sticker that’s flirting with six digits shouldn’t be changed dramatically. While it’s touted to retain the overall shape and very similar underpinnings as its predecessor, the new Dodge Viper should be considerably lighter. That’s not just due to having more aluminum and carbon fiber bits, however.
You guessed it – the next-gen Viper is also expected to sport a downsized engine. Gone is its hallmark V10 and instead, Mopar aims to introduce an all-new aluminum-block naturally aspirated V8. Likely good enough for around 550 horsepower at the very start, it should provide just about enough to keep the Viper competitive against increasingly modernized competitors.
Further down the line, the SRT division is expected to get a green light and bolster the Viper with forced induction. In other words, expect the high-performance models to yank up north of 700 horsepower when they arrive.
The way things stand at the moment, the new Dodge Viper could also be available with a proper manual transmission – also from the get-go. This, together with its old-school blue-collar demeanor, could prove to be the decisive factor in its potential success. More will be known after one of the upcoming major auto shows in late 2020 or 2021.
What’s Not in the New 2020 Dodge Lineup
02. 2020 Durango
Ever since the mid-size SUV switched from the Dakota-sourced body-on-frame to Jeep Grand Cherokee’s unibody platform back in 2011, FCA has simply frozen Durango in time. Like most of the Dodge lineup, the Durango also hasn’t received any groundbreaking updates over the years, and it’s not about to start now.
The larger of two Dodge SUVs is being carried over without any significant changes implemented since the 2014 facelift. The latest adjustments implemented on the Durango were conducted for MY 2019. That’s when the GT, R/T, and SRT trims switched to a new grille. The entry-level SXT and upscale Citadel trims still cling to the old crosshair grille design though.
Prices have remained in place and the rear-wheel drive Durango SXT will set you back $30,000, while the all-wheel-drive Citadel trim with anodized platinum appearance package costs almost $50,000. On the other hand, the performance-oriented Durango SRT stands out far atop the lineup with a price of its own. A price that starts from $63,000.
A wide selection of powerful engines is arguably the biggest advantage of any Dodge model over its competitors. Needless to say, the Durango SUV is no different in that regard. The entry-level, GT and Citadel models are offered with a 3.6L V6 engine that already possesses plenty of grunt at the bottom of the lineup. it’s good enough for either 293 or 295 horsepower if fitted with an optional dual exhaust.
A 5.7L V8 is standard with the Durango R/T and optional on the upscale Citadel trim. The stalwart Hemi generates 360 horsepower, and much like the base V6, comes in either rear or all-wheel-drive configurations.
Finally, the range-topping SRT models benefit from a 6.4L Hemi V8 capable of putting up as much as 475 ponies to the ground. They’re also exclusive with an all-wheel-drive setup and paired with a bolstered version of an 8-speed tranny as opposed to the remainder of the range.
01. 2020 Journey
It’s the same old song for the smaller of two available Dodge SUVs as well. Introduced at the end of last decade, the Journey SUV’s journey got prolonged unexpectedly and mid-sizer will have to soldier on through model year 2020 at the very least. That makes the 2020 Dodge Journey a 12-year old which, in car years, translates to the very autumn of life.
Needless to say, the quality of life isn’t the same in advanced years such as Journey’s, and the SUV’s shortcomings are numerous and easy to spot. Underpinnings that have already reached adulthood are accompanied by outdated tech features and subpar safety scores. And that’s us trying to be sympathetic towards a car with no real future on the market the way things stand right now.
The Journey’s sales, on the other hand, are hanging at an extremely healthy level for such an outdated vehicle. After reaching its peak in 2016 with more than 106,000 units marketed in the U.S., almost 90,000 Journey SUVs have found a new home in 2017 and just north of 94,000 units were delivered in 2018. Prices that are starting from $25,000 have a major role in such a turn of events. At the other end of the scale, the Dodge Journey Crossroad costs $30,000 which is still giving it an edge. These are the only two available trim levels as Dodge has cut previously available options for MY 2020.
For 2020, the Journey only offers the company’s 2.4L 4-cylinder whose 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque are considered inadequate for today’s standards. The optional pentastar V6 has been axed and so has all-wheel drive. The fact that the base engine routes its ponies to the front wheels via an archaic 4-speed automatic transmission speaks volumes about Journey’s age.
Fuel economy, as you might have expected, is extremely poor. The Dodge Journey returns 21 miles to the gallon combined at most.
Underwhelming in almost every way conceivable, the Journey still manages to beat the odds. This won’t last forever, though, as the mid-size rebadged Fiat Freemont is expected to either get an extensive overhaul or disappear altogether by 2021.