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By Nick Aziz

Chrysler on Monday announced pricing for its 2011 Charger sedan, which was unveiled less than a month ago and will begin shipping in December. Inspired by the original Dodge Chargers of the 1960s, the redesigned 2011 Dodge Charger builds on the 2006-2010 model and gains a number of new style and powertrain features.

Pricing will be as follows:

Charger SE: $25,170

Charger SE (with Rallye Package): $27,420

Charger SE (with Rallye Plus package): $29,170

Charger R/T: $30,170 / $32,320

Charger R/T (with R/T Plus Package): $32,170 / $34,320

Charger R/T (with Road and Track Package): $33,170 / $35,320

Charger R/T (with Max Package): $35,170 / $37,320

(All prices exclude an $825 destination charge.)

The 2011 Charger is immediately recognizable but boasts many enhancements inside, outside and underneath its more aggressive skin.

From the front, the crosshair grille returns, although the headlamps are more canted than before and the fascia tilts at a slightly more aggressive angle. The Charger’s side profile is sleeker and more coupe-esque than the outgoing model and revised wheel designs look more upscale than before. Perhaps the biggest changes have been applied to the Charger’s tail, where a full-width tail lamp arrangement visually links the Charger with both past Dodge models and the company’s Dodge Challenger sibling.

Dodge calls the tail lamps a “racetrack” graphic when their 164 LEDs are illuminated. Below the tail lamps, new squared-off tailpipes exit a more finished-looking faux diffuser.

Dodge hasn’t released interior images, but the automaker promises upgraded materials, Garmin navigation with Sirius Travel Link and the meaty corporate-wide three-spoke steering wheel that has arrived on nearly every new Chrysler product for 2011.

Several upscale options have been added to the Charger for 2011, including adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross path protection and a rear backup camera with grid lines.

Underneath it all

Although the Charger still rides on a Mercedes-Benz-derived platform, Dodge says that the architecture has been reengineered so much that it now considers it its “second generation” E-segment platform.

Both rear and all-wheel-drive will return, but base models eschew the outgoing 2.7 and 3.5-liter V6s for the “Pentastar” 3.6-liter unit seen in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Dodge hasn’t released specifications, but we expect power output similar to the Jeep’s 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. Look for a five-speed automatic transmission.

The automaker’s 5.7-liter HEMI V8 will return, again with cylinder deactivation technology to save fuel.

Dodge is emphasizing its Charger R/T AWD, which comes with 19-inch wheels, the 5.7-liter V8 and a segment-exclusive active transfer case with front axle disconnect. Dodge says the front axle disconnect helps save 5 percent on fuel economy by utilizing only rear-wheel-drive unless additional traction is needed.

A Charger SRT8 powered by a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 will debut soon.



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