The Dodge Charger, in its current incarnation, is a rear-wheel drive full-size automobile built by the DaimlerChrysler corporation for its North American Dodge brand. The Charger name is a historical one, borne by many other Dodge Charger models in the past; they have generally been performance models. Introduced in February 2005 for the 2006 model year, this new Charger shares the LX platform of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum; in fact, the interior of the Charger is almost identical to that of the Magnum. It replaced the Dodge Intrepid as Dodge’s full-size sedan. This Charger is a four-door sedan, disappointing some fans of the previous two-door Chargers. It is built at Brampton Assembly in Canada.
In early 2006, DaimlerChrysler relased a new police version of the Dodge Charger. It made its debut at the 2005 New York International Auto Show.
Unlike the civilian version, the police version features upgraded heavy-duty brakes, a severe-duty cooling system, police-performance Electronic Stability Program, police performance-tuned steering, and a gear shifter that is mounted on the steering column instead of in the center console. In place of the center console, Dodge has equipped the police edition with a steel plate appropriate for mounting radio equipment and controllers for lights and sirens.
The 340 hp ‘Hemi’ V8 is powerful enough to accelerate the car from 0 to 60 mph in six seconds and to a top speed of 150 mph. By comparison, the 1972 AMC Matador, with its 401 cubic inch V8, could accelerate from rest to 60 mph in seven seconds, and took 43 seconds to reach a top speed of 125 mph. A Washington State Patrol officer told a reporter "It may replace the Ford Crown Victoria, I just don’t know".
As of July 2006, they have been adopted by several police agencies as unmarked patrol cars. The Washington State Patrol and Oregon State Police have purchased 52. They have also been adopted by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office (Maryland), the Newark Police Department (Delaware), and the Alachua County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office, and agencies including the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Philadelphia Police and Montgomery County (Maryland) Police are using them as marked patrol units. Some Canadian police forces have purchased the Charger including Peel Regional Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Ottawa Police Service, Peterborough Police and Calgary Police Service.