Dodge challenger is a true Brute with Amazing Power and Looks
The Dodge Challenger was one of the more significant cars to come out of the 1960s and '70s muscle car era.
A potent combination of big horsepower, sleek pony-car styling and a starring role in what is arguably one of the best gearhead films of all time Vanishing Point made the original Challenger an icon.
The Dodge Challenger is the name of three different generations of automobiles marketed by the Dodge division of Chrysler.
The first generation was between 1970-1974 . While it shared Chrysler's "E-body" short-deck, long-hood platform with the third-generation Plymouth Barracuda, Dodge Challenger's wheelbase was two inches longer, creating more interior space.
The Dodge Challenger was originally offered as either a two-door hardtop or convertible, in base, SE (Special Edition), R/T (Road/Track) and T/A (Trans Am) trim.
But it was the range of powertrain choices that was truly remarkable.
Even the paint schemes said "performance," with colors including Plum Crazy and HEMI® Orange, accented with "bumblebee" stripes. Customers could further customize their cars with twin-scooped hoods, "shaker" hoods and rear deck wings
Although the Challenger was well-received by the public (with 76,935 produced for the 1970 model year), it was criticized by the press, and the pony car segment was already declining by the time the Challenger arrived. Sales fell dramatically after 1970, and Challenger production ceased midway through the 1974 model year. About 165,500 Challengers were sold over this model's lifespan.
The Challenger name was revived in 1978 for a version of the early Mitsubishi Galant Lambda coupe.
The car retained the frameless hardtop styling of the old Challenger, but had smaller engines (inline-4s instead of the six and eight-cylinder engines from the old Challenger) and was a long way in performance from its namesake. Nevertheless, it acquired a reputation as a reasonably brisk performer of its type, not least because of its available 2.6 L engine, exceptionally large for a four-cylinder.
Four-cylinder engines of this size had not usually been built due to inherent vibration, but Mitsubishi pioneered the use of balance shafts to help dampen this effect, and the Challenger was one of the first vehicles to bring this technology to the American market.
It has since been licensed to many other manufacturers. During its six-year run, sales of the Challenger averaged between 12,000 and 14,000 units per year.
On December 3, 2007, Chrysler started taking deposits for the third-generation Dodge Challenger which debuted on February 6, 2008 simultaneously at the Chicago Auto Show and Philadelphia International Auto Show. Listing at US$40,095, the new version was a 2-door coupe which shared common design elements with the first generation Challenger, despite being significantly longer and taller.
All (7119) 2008 models were SRT8s and equipped with the 6.1 L (370 cu in) Hemi and a 5-speed AutoStick automatic transmission. The entire 2008 U.S. run of 6,400 cars were pre-sold (many of which for above MSRP), and production commenced on May 8, 2008.
Production of the limited edition 2008 SRT/8s ended in July 2008, and production of the expanded 2009 line-up started in early August of the same year.
Chrysler debuted the full Dodge Challenger line for 2009, with four different trims - SE, R/T, SRT8, and the SXT in Canada only.
In addition to the SRT8, which remained unchanged except for the optional 6 speed manual, the line-up included the previously mentioned SE and SXT which offered the 250 HP 3.5-Liter V6. The R/T hosted a 5.7 Hemi sporting 370 hp (276 kW) and 398 lb·ft (540 N·m) of torque when coupled with the 5 speed automatic, and 375 hp (280 kW) with 404 lb·ft (548 N·m) when matched with the same Tremec 6-speed manual transmission as the SRT8.
The new dodge challenger is loaded with modern-day refinement and safety features. It also features the exterior styling cues of its iconic '70s predecessor, such as a long hood and a short fastback roof-line profile. Underneath, however, the Challenger is based on a shortened version of the platform used for Chrysler's 300 and Dodge's Charger. Thanks to its generous dimensions and a split-folding rear seat, the Challenger has ample passenger space and impressive luggage capacity.
For 2010, the vehicle cost $515 to $1,010 more than in 2009. The color, HEMI Orange, was initially dropped for the 2010 model year, then re-released later in the model year. Two new color schemes became available for the 2010 model year; Plum Crazy and Detonator Yellow.
A third new color, Furious Fuchsia was announced in February 2010. But unlike previous special editions, the Furious Fuchsia version will have significant changes to the interior with white leather instead of the usual black seats.
On the road the dodge challenger is much of a performer as it a great looker. Acceleration is acceptable with the V6 and quite impressive with the R/T and SRT8. The Challenger remains laudably quiet at speed, with little road or wind noise. On twisty roads, the Challenger feels big and heavy, which isn't surprising considering the car's 2-ton curb weight. But the SRT8 and R/T (when fitted with the optional suspension upgrades) still do a pretty respectable job of keeping that mass under control.
All Dodge Challenger models come standard with antilock brakes, a full complement of airbags and stability control. Major options include a hard-drive-based navigation system with music and video file storage capability, and a sunroof. The R/T can be equipped with a pair of track packs, which improve its handling.
To be fair, the current and more portly Challenger has a lot more in it than the old car — various airbags, stability control, more luxury features and bigger wheels. In fact, the latter measures 20 inches in diameter, compared to the 14- and 15-inchers of the old Challenger.
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