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The modern sedan version of the Dodge Charger might be one of the furthest things from a sedate Mercedes-Benz car. Aside from the lunatics at AMG, very few Mercedes-Benz vehicles were meant to slide around corners in a cloud of tire smoke. However, the Dodge Charger is intended for just that sort of silliness. Still, the Dodge Charger might share a little bit more with Mercedes-Benz than you think. 

Is the Dodge Charger based on a Mercedes?

Yes, the crazy Dodge Charger is based on a Mercedes-Benz E-Class platform from the 1990s. While that may seem horrifying to every muscle sedan fan, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Even the oldest E-Class models featured independent rear suspension, an attribute the Ford Mustang didn’t adopt until 2015. 

The Dodge Charger, pictured here in yellow, shares architecture with a Mercedes-Benz E-Class
A newer Dodge Charger | Christopher Evans, Boston Herald via Getty Images

So even with the heavy Dodge Charger and Challenger and their bulky powerplants and dimensions, the old platform was forward-thinking. Frankly, in the show Grand Tour, presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond put it to the test. On the old platform, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat (mind you, with upgraded suspension, brakes, and other components) came within 0.5 seconds of an Aston Martin DB11 in a hot lap challenge.   

Dodge shares more than just the Dodge Charger’s architecture with Mercedes-Benz; it once shared a parent company. DaimlerChrysler, which operated from 1998 to 2007, owned Dodge and all other Chrysler automakers. The merger connected all of the automakers involved. As a result, Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler would collaborate on many products, like the infamous Chrysler Crossfire.

What happened to DaimlerChrylser?

DaimlerChrysler announced that it would rebrand to Daimler AG in 2007. According to the New York Times, Daimler sold Chrysler and its interests to a private equity firm for $7.4 billion. Unfortunately, the move was a response to fledgling profits from Chrysler. 

The Charger is an reminder of Dodge's connection to DaimlerChrysler
An interior Charger badge | Getty Images

Since then, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and now Stellantis have owned Chrysler and its interests. Fortunately, Stellantis hasn’t mandated too much change in the muscle car culture for cars like the Dodge Charger. However, Dodge’s announcement of its upcoming electric muscle car will likely change the current gas-powered madness.  

What other connection to Dodge does Mercedes-Benz have?

You may have seen Sprinter vans delivering goods and converted into “van life” mobile homes. Those vans are a product of a collaboration between Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz. According to Car and Driver, the Sprinter vans were badged Dodge products until 2009, when Mercedes-Benz took over the vehicles. 


Safety: Is the 2022 Dodge Charger a Deathtrap?

Will the Dodge Charger get an update? 

Considering that Dodge announced that they wouldn’t be producing the Charger or Challenger after 2024, it is unlikely that the company will update the Mercedes-Benz platform. Still, it is impressive what Dodge and SRT were able to do with an aging Mercedes-Benz E-Class platform and a lot of horsepower.