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© Dodge / For a concept, the Charger wasn't very far from mass production. Too bad it never made it poprzednie następne
Sector: CNG

Dodge Charger Concept - CNG that never was

Dodge Charger Concept - CNG that never was © Dodge

Natural gas may be growing popular as motor fuel in the US these days, but did you know the 1999 Dodge Charger muscle sedan concept had a CNG system on board? It was never produced in that form, but everything's not lost...
1999 Dodge Charger Concept© DodgeQuite a looker, wasn't it?

When the Charger Concept was unveiled in 1999, design-wise it was a bold departure from the mediocrity of US-made cars of the era. Promising as it looked, the first ever four-door Charger didn't enter production in that form, but the idea lived on and the car was eventually launched in 2005. Having undergone a major overhaul in 2010, it remains in production to this day, with another redesign expected around 2018 and an all-new generation coming beyond 2020. The new car is said to be inspired by the once-shelved 1999 concept car.

Leaving design and plans for the future aside, the proposed 1999 Charger had very interesting underpinnings – it featured an engine running on compressed natural gas! Just to remind you:

1999 Dodge Charger Concept - rear view© DodgeIf the Challenger had four doors, it would make perfect sense as a sedan

it was over 10 years before the US shale gas revolution came about, which may be why the car's drivetrain never saw the light of day. Still, even back in 1999 natural gas was seen as fuel lessening American dependence on foreign oil and the car's pressure vessel assembly was quite an innovative one.

Details are limited, but according to Dodge's publicity of the era, the CNG-powered Dodge Charger Concept offered 300 miles (approx. 480 km) of range, which was reportedly double the typical range of CNG-powered cars back in the day. Also, the tanks were integrated into the chassis in such a way that boot space (13 cubic feet or approx. 368 litres) was not affected. Plus they were housed in a protective, sealed shell made of energy-absorbing foam to make the car extra safe during collisions. Too bad it was never produced, but maybe the 2020+ Charger will finally get a CNG variant...


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Robert Markowski
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