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Why Was There Never a Dodge Challenger Convertible?

The Dodge Challenger is one of the longest-running cars on the market without a major redesign. It went on sale back in 2008, and it was immediately a hit with its cool retro shape and powerful engines. Sales were initially strong, and they’ve remained very strong for a decade now, despite the aging design that’s increasingly familiar.

But I’ve always failed to understand something about the Challenger: why isn’t there a convertible version? Ever since the Challenger went on sale in 2008, it’s been only offered as a coupe — even though all of its major rivals have a droptop model, most specifically the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. More importantly, releasing a convertible is usually a great way to prolong a model’s life: once it starts to feel a little dated, release a convertible to give new life to the model and reignite interest in it. The Challenger has certainly been around long enough to feel dated, but no convertible has been forthcoming.

This is especially surprising to me because there’s undoubtedly demand for a Challenger convertible. Not only do Camaro and Mustang convertible models seemingly sell in reasonable numbers, but aftermarket convertibles, like the one shown above, exist — and for a big price, as an aftermarket convertible conversion isn’t cheap. Obviously, they’re not common, but if there are even a few hundred people willing to pay big money for a Challenger convertible, there are probably thousands more who would pay rational, reasonable money for a Challenger convertible that’s only slightly more expensive than the coupe, as many convertibles are.

I’ve never understood the rationale for not offering a Challenger convertible, and I think the market would appreciate it — although, if Chrysler’s development budget for the vehicle forced them to choose between “convertible or Hellcat” or “convertible or Demon,” I think they made the right call. But imagine the feeling of acceleration and the sound of the exhaust in a convertible Demon. Now that would be cool.

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  1. I’m not sure the platform was designed to have a convertible. I know it came off the E-Class (and maybe I’m 100% wrong) didn’t that generation E-Class it was based on’s Coupe/Convertible really a C-Class?

  2. There’s a lot of negative comments about convertibles in general. I’ve owned a few myself and can agree on several levels. However, my last convertible, a 2007 Pontiac G6 Gt hardtop took it to another level. Leaks? None. Noise? About the same as stock. Safety? Similar to stock. Security? Same as stock. Appearance? Same as stock. If Dodge could produce a convertible along those lines, I would instantly buy it!

  3. With today’s performance and high horsepower models a convertible would make no sense, ESPECIALLY in Hellcat and demon form. Convertible vehicles are usually structurally inferior, noisy, and also leak. Frankly when your TEARING down the street in anything north of 400 hp you will want as much protection as possible. We should be extremely THANKFUL that we are able to witness the second muscle car wars and to possibly for those who can afford to participate, ENJOY today’s muscle!!

  4. Adi—I think you’re right, but see my comment below as I have insight to GM’s water leak nightmare with their convertibles, mostly the Camaro. Could be a major reason Chrysler doesn’t want to go that direction. 

    • I have a 2017 Convertible and it’s never leaked a drop, even taking it through high pressure car washes.  Not a drop.

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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