For the past 50 years, since the first Dodge Charger took to the streets in 1966, Americans have enjoyed an obsession with power, performance and style. The ‘66 Dodge Charger was a flat-out menace on the asphalt, and a game-changer in a hyper-competitive segment and era. With the foundation firmly in place, Dodge Charger continued to grow in size and stature, year after year, always striving for cutting-edge design, awe-inspiring interiors, and performance and capability that broke boundaries with each new iteration of the iconic vehicle.
In this five-part series, the Redline Dodge Blog is looking back at five landmark models in the Dodge Charger’s 50-year history. We started with the 1968, 1969 and 1970 Dodge Charger, and today we’re focusing on the 2006 Charger, with one final blog post to follow on the 2016 Charger SRT® Hellcat.
Strap on your safety belts and prepare to be pressed back into your seat.
The 2006 Dodge Charger: Interior, Exterior and Engine
Following a nearly two-decade hiatus, Dodge Charger roared back onto American roadways in 2006. This sixth-generation model took cues from its forbearers of the muscle car era, and put a modern spin on the iconic nameplate. The Dodge Charger, in its first year back on the blacktop, was available in SE, SXT, R/T, R/T with Road/Track Performance Group, Daytona R/T and SRT8 versions.
The true excitement of the 2006 Dodge Charger is that the muscle car giant returned with a focus on power and performance. The SXT model came equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick® manual shifting feature, all-speed traction control, as well as ABS and electronic stability control.
The 2006 Charger also saw the introduction of all-wheel drive. Additional power was available with the Charger R/T, which packed the punch of a 340-horsepower 5.7L HEMI® V8 mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. And at the top of the line, the 2006 Charger SRT8 flew off the line with a 425-horsepower 6.1L HEMI® V8 engine.
For its part, the 2006 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T was equipped with a high-output version of 5.7L HEMI V8 engine that boasted 350 horsepower, a retro HEMI decal on the hood and Daytona decals on the rear fenders. The Daytona R/T also included a special front fascia with a chin spoiler and a black rear spoiler.
The exterior appearance of the 2006 Dodge Charger paid homage to the past with reminiscent stamped hood and side panels, and brought its own unique style as a four-door sedan. The SRT8 version featured exterior upgrades such as a special grille, rear spoiler, front fascia and engine cover, larger exhaust tips, and unique colors and exterior trim.
The modern interior of the 2006 Dodge Charger was designed for comfort and loaded with technology. Features included air conditioning, CD player, tilt and telescoping steering column, remote keyless entry and power locks, mirrors and windows. The SRT8 took the interior and technology to yet another level, with standard and optional features including heated front seats with perforated suede inserts, automatic climate control, a performance steering gear, power-adjustable pedals, GPS navigation system, 322-watt audio system, sunroof, rear-seat DVD entertainment system and body-color interior trim.
From highways to racetracks (in 2006, the Dodge Charger silhouette design returned to stock car racing) the 2006 Dodge Charger claimed its place at the top of the muscle car scene. Since then, for the past decade, there’s been no looking back.
Learn more about the history of the Dodge Charger at the Redline Dodge Blog, and check out the current lineup at dodge.com.