Refreshing or Revolting: Dodge Charger Widebody vs. Challenger Widebody07/12/2019
Some things are better when they’re wider. Whether on pizzas or flatscreen TVs, extra inches only improve the experience. Is this true with muscle cars?
Following up the Challenger, Dodge has applied the Widebody treatment to the Charger as well; standard on Hellcat and optional on Scat Pack. Like on the big coupe, bulging fender flares add 3.5 inches of width to the body, under which are tucked 20×11-inch wheels. The performance result is increased grip and stability. The aesthetic result is amplification of badassery. On the looks front, though, which of these Mopar monsters is the winner?
Looking at it head on, the Charger Widebody is pure intimidation. Its fascia has been reworked, now with larger openings in its lower section to allow more efficient airflow. Between familiar LED-accented headlights, its upper portion is horizontally divided by a small splitter which continues the rising lines surrounding the central duct below. This gives the car a frowning, pissed-off mug which couldn’t be clearer that you need to get out of the way. A hood cut by scoops and vents helps cool the engine and boost the sedan’s sporty looks. Visible from the front are those extended fender flares and fat tires they barely cover.
The view in profile best shows the features which give the Charger Widebody its name—those fender flares cannot be ignored. Up front they rise to within millimeters of the headlights, and at the rear overlap significantly with the back doors. Their chamfered edge at all four corners adds intricacy. Side panels have the boomerang-shaped sculpting seen on all Chargers. Various badges denote which engine a particular Charger packs—watch out for the ones that show an enraged feline, although the angry bees pack a sting, too.
Considering the back, things mostly carry over from lesser iterations. Vents behind the rear wheels are enlarged slightly, while cannon-gauge twin tailpipes project the Hemi V-8’s roar. The wraparound taillight still looks great, and the trunklid spoiler provides some degree of downforce as velocities increase. Again, those wide fenders are hardly sufficient to cover the 305/35 Pirelli tires, with a good amount of rubber jutting beyond the bodywork.
Inside is identical to what’s been seen in narrow-body hi-po Chargers. That means front bucket seats, red-backed instrument gauges, a steering wheel with paddle shifters, and generous application of suede-like material throughout.
So, while the Widebody Charger and Challenger are matched mechanically, are they even in looks? We say no: To our eyes, the Challenger wears its extra inches better. Sure, the fender flares benefit the Charger’s imposing form, but somewhat interrupt its comparatively curvy and complex styling. With its straight-edged, throwback design, the Challenger better adopts the wider stance. Stock, its length is emphasized by its two-door configuration, but Widebody spec works to square it out a bit. While the Widebody siblings may perform similarly on a drag strip, we know which we’d pick to cruise around in: Challenger all the way.
But what do you think? Which widened Mopar wears its fender flares best? Tell us in the comments on Facebook and Instagram.
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