By on June 26, 2014

ExteriorFront1

 

Among the TTAC staff, the consensus is clear: the Ford Mustang is the top choice in the pony car segment. For cheap thrills, the Mustang V6 with the Performance Package is the most comprehensive “performance per dollar” option on the market. The 5.0, Boss 302 and Shelby GT500 represent increasing levels of performance that rival the best of the sports car world, at prices accessible to the common (or, slightly better off) consumer. The Camaro is not as highly regarded, but of course, what would this site be without a dissenting voice.

So what about the Dodge Challenger?

Enigne1

Within days of picking up the model you see above (a Challenger R/T “Shaker”, a special edition with some extra Mopar goodies, the “Shaker” hood, a 5.7L Hemi and a 6-speed manual transmission), TTAC was invited to test out the heavily revised 2015 Challenger, including the highly anticipated Hellcat model. The Shaker fell under my jurisdiction, but with the Hellcat being introduced at a race track, those duties were assigned to our EIC pro tem. Frankly, that opportunity would be wasted on anybody else.

ExteriorBack2

So what of the soon-to-be-obsolete 2014 Challenger? My only experience has been with an SRT8 model, equipped with the venerable 5-speed automatic. The 2015 model will get, among other upgrades, the wonderful new ZF 8-speed, as well as chassi tweaks and an all-new UConnect system. Chrysler PR cautioned not to get my hopes up for the Shaker, suggested it was less “track-focused” than the SRT model. I held out hope that it would be, at the very least, a loud, obnoxious, attention-getting special edition.

Enigne2

I was in for a disappointment. The “Competition Orange” (not Dodge’s name for the color, but one that’s been ingrained due to repeated viewings of Boogie Nights) Challenger is visually loud, with its orange paint, black hood scoop and alloy wheels. But the 5.7L Hemi could emit little more than a muted bellow. Having heard countless uncorked 5.7L engines in all manner of Rams, 300c’s and Charger R/Ts, I know that the standard Chrysler V8 has aural merit, even if it’s not as glorious as the big 6.1L and 6.4L SRT V8s. If you opt for one of these, make sure you get a Mopar exhaust system baked into the financing deal. It deserves no less.

Interior1

On the other hand, the Tremec 6-speed was a pleasant surprise, with tight gates, short throws and a crisp action. The clutch was easy to modulate, and the V8′s torque made it nearly impossible to stall, even with the laziest applications of both clutch and throttle. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think that the transmission is not the ideal choice for the Challenger.

ExteriorBack1

No doubt, this is heresy for most readers, but hear me out. The Challenger is a big car. So are the Mustang and the Camaro, but the Mustang manages to disguise its bulk with a modern, high hood and a tall beltline, while the Camaro lets you forget it because you are too busy cursing how dreadful the overall package is.

ExteriorFront8

The Challenger is a different beast. The hood is low and long, the beltline is low, the doors are large and forward visibility is excellent. You feel like you’re sitting in a car from a different era, a sensation that is congruent with the car’s styling, which is utterly faithful to the 1970′s version. When piloting something with such immense stature, I tend to prefer a more relaxed driving experience. The 6-speed manual, as nice as it is, feels out of place in a car like this. Rowing gears and pushing clutch pedals doesn’t quite fit with the “one hand on the wheel, one hand resting on the door sill” nature of this car, but that’s just me. Plenty of people have bought large cars with manual gearboxes, otherwise BMW wouldn’t have offered the E38 740iL with a manual, right?

Interior2

The generous proportions carry over to the interior too. The  cabin feels large and airy, with lots of room for two up front to lean back, stretch their legs and enjoy the effortless torque of the V8. The long wheelbase and long travel suspension allow for serene highway cruising while the Hemi spins at less than 2,000 RPM in 6th gear, even at 75 mph. Handling is not its strongest suit. You can take corners in aggressive manner, but the Challenger R/T is clearly happier in a straight line, letting you enjoy the view out front, while epoch appropriate music belts out of the stereo (Live at Filmore East is absolutely glorious on this stereo).

Interior4

The 2015 model will get the updated UConnect system with the 8.4 inch touch screen, but even the “old” system is pretty damn good, even if the UI is a bit dated. The trunk is enormous for a two door car .A weekend roadtrip for two allowed for one full-size suitcase and one overnight bag with plenty of room to spare. Small wonder that they are so popular with rental fleets.

ExteriorFront9

Aesthetically, the Challenger isn’t a pastiche of retro cues like the other two cars. But it’s not a pony car like the old Challenger. With a 116 inch wheelbase, it’s a full six inches longer than the original Challenger, and nearly 10 inches longer than the Mustang. Even though it looks like a very faithful modern iteration of an old pony car, I’d argue that it’s more of a modern version of the personal luxury coupe.

HemiBadge1

Rather than emphasize outright performance, the Challenger emphasizes style, comfort and cross-country pace rather than road course times or skipad numbers like the hotter Mustangs and Camaros do in their marketing messages. Even the Hellcat’s press photos show emphasize drag strip runs and smoky burnouts over images of Laguna Seca and the Nurburgring.

ExteriorBack5

And for me, that’s just fine. Not every American car needs to bring the fight to the Europeans. Globalization and changing tastes are forcing American cars to become globalized to the point where body-on-frame trucks are the last truly American vehicles. It’s very likely that the next Camaro will follow the Mustang in adapting for European tastes. Chrysler took the other route, using old Mercedes bones to create something truly American: a big, no-excuses coupe with big V6 and V8 powertrains and the kind of styling that has no hope of meeting European safety and fuel economy standards.

Bring on the Hellcat.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

162 Comments on “Capsule Review: Dodge Challenger R/T Hemi Shaker...”


  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Blasphemy,

    How dare you use the word SHAKER with a Chrysler product!!!!!

    Ford had the original Shaker (with an upper case).

    Hmmm………….. I thought you guys in the US knew what is what concerning V8s.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Chrysler used it way back when as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @danio3834
        The only and first Shakers were from Ford.

        So, how can Chrysler have used them?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          A Shaker hood/scoop combo was available on the Challenger and Cuda in the early 70′s. That’s how it was branded.

          How? Automakers often crib eachother’s ideas. Shocking, I know.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @danio3824
            So what did Cobra’s from the 60s have?

            Go back to Allpar with the rest of those other types.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Historically, other companies aside from Ford used Shaker type hood scoops on their cars, get over it. This doesn’t seem to bother Ford at all, yet you can’t reconcile the fact that multiple companies can use similar design and marketing ideas.

          • 0 avatar
            cdotson

            danio, a little Googling finds an ad for the 1970 Challenger touting the optional “Incredible Quivering Exposed Cold Air Grabber” but the ad copy refers to it as a “Shaker” hood.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            Big Al, no Cobra came fitted with a Shaker that was reserved for the Boss and Mach 1 Mustangs from 69-70 (Might have been available on the 69 only Mustang GT as well).

            Also, the only Cobras in the 60′s were the AC derivatives. The GT350 and the GT500 were the Shelby Mustangs of the period.

            The only Mustang to bear a Cobra in its name was the 68 Factory stock homologation car and that was the Cobrajet Mustang.

            The Cobra name wasn’t formerly used until the Mustang II and then carried into the Foxbody and SN95/New Edge cars.

            Ford dropped the Cobra moniker with the 2005 Mustang and revived the Shelby GT500 moniker in 2007.

            Although the Cobrajet Mustang did reappear with the S-197 cars with Ford’s return to factory stock racing.

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        “Chrysler used it way back when as well.”

        You are correct, starting in 1970; recall the “SHAKER” decal on the underside of the hood that was printed in a blurred font to appear that it was “shaking”.

        “So what did Cobra’s from the 60s have?” Mostly a view of the a$$ end of a Mopar sucking the paint off of the Cobra.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      Hey big al
      Ford, Chrysler and later Pontiac all had shaker hood scoops.

      Chrysler even had a neat little sticker that said shaker in fuzzy lettering so it looked like it was shaking sitting still.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I do realise other companies copied Ford. But should they be called Shakers. It’s a pity Ford didn’t have the gumption to trademark the term Shaker.

        The world’s best 4 door of it’s time and it took until the 80s to better it was compared to and might have even been better than a Ferarri. A true Shaker. Even this Chrysler/Fiat doesn’t hold a bar against this vehicle, it’s legendary.

        This is the beginning of Australia’s true muscle car formula. A car that is fast and can handle. The 351 Shaker GTHO.

        Maybe TTAC can do some article on some legendary vehicles of the past like this Shaker.

        I would like to see this GTHO alongside this Fiat/Chrysler at idle and you tell me which one is a Shaker.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_XY_Falcon_GT

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          Did Ford even call them “Shakers”?

          You guys from down under really do have alot of pride in cars that have no significance outside of your country.

          Of course with modern electronics and such I would hope that the new car doesn’t actually shake!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @PonchoIndian
            Have you ever driven a V8 with a real large and lumpy cam?

            By the sounds of it you haven’t.

            Without that you can’t have a Shaker.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Big Al
            Yes I have driven cars with big lumpy cams, but of course as you know, modern engines don’t need a big lumpy cam to make hp anymore, so a modern shaker will not really shake.

            An example; the latest Mustang Mach 1, where they had to put a spring mechanism on the shaker so that it “shakes” more than the engine for visual effect. The 4.6 DOHC engine, heck any modern engine, was/is too smooth to get the shaker to shake.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          You’re speaking of a car that’s completely irrelevant to this discussion. You want to bring up that it has a “Shaker” hood then fine, but the GTHO Phase III was built in 1971. AFTER the 69 Cobra, and AFTER the 70 Challenger.

          And far as I can see, Chrysler marketing placed “SHAKER” stickers on their cars first which as Poncho said above.

          And as far as the US Patent and Trademark Office is concerned, no one has claimed SHAKER for automotive use.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          By the way, the Cobras from the 60s had fixed hood scoops riveted onto the aluminum hood.

          Keep in mind also that what happened marketing wise down under doesn’t always match how it played out in the USA where these cars are from.

    • 0 avatar
      Krivka

      If it was a Ford patent, it would not be used by anybody else. It wasn’t because it is.

    • 0 avatar

      What about Hellcat? Long before Chrysler used the name Hellcat, there was something called the M18 tank destroyer, named Hellcat by GM’s design staff and built by Buick.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M18_Hellcat

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      Chrysler and GM did it too, and did it a lot better than Ford could ever seem to do.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> How dare you use the word SHAKER with a Chrysler product!!!!!

      I went all over this place looking for the hood shop. Couldn’t find it anywhere:

      http://www.shakers.org/

  • avatar
    mechimike

    You hit the nail on the head. They should have named this car “Cordoba”. Or, to be more brand-correct, “Magnum”, though that name already got affixed to a strange wagon-like device.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “the beltline is low”

    Are you sure about that? The roof is low versus the door sills, but the sills themselves are pretty high.

    “a sensation that is congruent with the car’s styling, which is utterly faithful to the 1970′s version”

    Again, are you sure about that? It looks like a fat-guy-on-tip-toes version of the original, or possibly a SuperDeformed caricature.

    The Mini and Mustang are better renditions of a classic.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Yup, just did some checks: those door sills are well higher than a E39 5-Series.

      Oh, they’re also higher than a Mustang and Camaro.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not sure how the E39 enters into the equation, but you seem to have some strong opinions on this car. Why don’t you do your own review? Email us at editors at ttac dot com and we’ll work out arrangements/compensation?

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “I’m not sure how the E39 enters into the equation”

          There’s a Challenger and an E39 parked outside, beside each other and yes, the 530′s door sills are lower by a couple inches

          I suppose I’m saying that I’m Challenged by your review of the Challenger. I agree with most of it, save the aesthetics, and I do question your point about the sills and roof: they’re not low, not even compared to the competition. I’m struggling with that comment as it doesn’t ring true.

          Side note: I’d love to do this sort of thing on a review basis, but I don’t think I’d be able to devote sufficient time to do it well.

          • 0 avatar

            Well, the thing is, I didn’t mention the roof/door sills in the review. Not once. That was all you. :)

            Since you took the time to write comments and go and inspect the cars in person/research facts and figures, a review is within your realm of capabilities.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Like Mark Leyner wrote, “As a writer, the notion of being paid to masturbate does not seem odd to me in the least.”

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “Well, the thing is, I didn’t mention the roof/door sills in the review. Not once. That was all you. :)”

            Hey, now, you were the one who said the beltline was low!

            “Since you took the time to write comments and go and inspect the cars in person/research facts and figures, a review is within your realm of capabilities.”

            Okay, if you get me a Challenger with gas and insurance, I’m game. :)

          • 0 avatar

            Email us and we’ll try and work something out.

          • 0 avatar
            mmh2

            “There’s a Challenger and an E39 parked outside, beside each other…”

            This could be the start of the greatest, most random comparison test series ever.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      The thing that strikes me when I see this car on the road is that the roof is taller than your average family sedan. Saw one next to a new Accord the other day and couldn’t believe it. I guess in the age of the crossover this is what passes as sporty.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      When side by side a 1970 looks lower, flatter, and wider (it’s not wider but it looks that way.) The new one looks pretty good, until a real Challenger pulls up. Then it looks … inflated, bulbous, and cartoonish. I still like the new one better.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick T.

        Totally agree here. I thought I liked it until I saw them side by side at the Chicago Auto Show a few years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Blackcloud_9

        This is just like the current (not the upcoming 2015) Mustang. I saw a picture of an original and current Mustang GT500 side-by-side. I couldn’t believe how over-wrought and bloated the modern version of the GT500 looked. Now, the modern version probably could out-perform the original in every-way possible, but still it looked like a sad interpretation of the original.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. This car needs like 8″ taken out between the windows and the ground. Same between the tail lights and ground.

      The current Challenger reminds me of a movie prop or theme park ride car: the shape is close, but distorted to make room for the electric motor and double sets of wheels underneath.

      In general I agree with Derek’s assessment, though: it’s a likable cruiser that has no illusions of outrunning M3s on track.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “Are you sure about that? The roof is low versus the door sills, but the sills themselves are pretty high.”

      This is EXACTLY what I was thinking.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    7 years in, the visual appeal of this car is still strong. I’m glad the overall look and profile of the car wasn’t changed too dramatically for ’15. With the Scat Pack bringing the 6.4L to the R/T, it’s going to be mighty hard to restrain myself from ordering one as soon as they’re priced.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      There’s one of these in the parking lot at work that has an elaborate stripe job and the number “77″ painted on the doors. I haven’t seen a car with a number job since the time when some VW Beetle owners were doing a Herbie homage thing and putting a “53″ on their cars. That stripe and number job had to cost at least $1000 so it must have meant a lot to the owner, especially considering what it did to the resale value of the car.

      I’ve always liked the look of these cars, and I’m not much on most retromobiles. It looks up to date to me, much like what Mercedes has done keeping a heritage look going while making sure their cars look modern.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      If I were still loading the kids in car seats I would have gone with a Charger. Although the back seat of the Challenger is quite roomy and usable, doing the flip-the-seat-forward routine gets kind of tedious after a while. Now that the kids are grown and driving themselves around, I figured I’ve earned the right to indulge myself with something non-practical like a big 2 door coupe. Nothing like being able to look to the sides without a B pillar in your face.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      it’s the price that will restrain me.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      Anyone have some decent estimates on pricing of the ’15 Scat Pack? If you can get into one for about the same price as a premium performance pack GT I’m going to be damn tempted.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    http://www.hemmings.com/mus/stories/2014/03/01/hmn_tips1.html

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Despite being a member of the 3-pedal mafia, the automatic works in an application like this. But, I’d be horrified if they didn’t offer the manual – you didn’t see Kowalski letting the car shift for itself (I’m still waiting for Chrysler to offer the option to swap your Challenger for a Camaro before an accident though).

    And, yes, it’s not a track car, or a sports car in full-sized clothes, but it’s plenty competent for street driving, and it’s plenty fun as it is.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I have a really soft spot for these cars. My first car was a ’69 Charger and I briefly owned a ’71 Challenger with a 440.

    The problem is that, for me, it doesn’t work as an only car. If I were in a position to have a second car, I’d order an R/T with the Tremec. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of a personal coupe. I see the Challenger as being in the intersecting space of a Venn diagram where one circle is lust for power, another is value, another is “practicality be damned” and the final one is respect for the past, however maligned it might be in this “enlightened” age.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’m not sure exactly what your requirements are, but I’ll be ordering a ’15 as a family car. The back seat is usable and the trunk is large. The kids will love it.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        You’ll be the cool dad.

        As long as the kids aren’t in car seats (and even if they are for me) I can’t see why a 2 door won’t work for 99% of the family’s needs.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          They’re both in forward facing seats, but there’s still space back there. We regularly put their seats in my older 2 door cars, so this really wouldn’t be all that different.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            I had a two door car up until recently, my daughters were 18 months old and newborn when I got it, and 12 and 13.5 when I sold it. I never had a problem getting them belted it when they were younger. The only issue I did have is that once both were old enough to ride in the front seat, they fought over it, so the first one to the car would sit in the front seat, which made it hard for the second one to get into the back seat.

            Once the older one got to where she was nearly adult sized, I started hearing a lot of complaints about sharing a door so the new car has four doors.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Trunk is large? Try putting something large into that trunk. Poor lid design hampers putting anything big into it, or if loaded makes it hard to get anything out with out taking almost everything out. And the high trunk sill exposes the weather stripping, which in time will certainly get abused.

        Quite like the looks of the big Challenger personal sedan, but build quality and debatable details made it a non-starter for me back when the RT came out, and I really wanted one.

        Of late I have been in the possession of a Magnum ‘RT’, makes more sense then the Challenger, and even though it is an automatic, quite enjoyable to drive and a bit sporty with its new throaty exhaust at full throttle.

        Chrysler needs to return the Challenger back to its roots and desist with this large 2-dr. sedan architecture posing as something it’s not. No matter how you dress it up, paint, stripes, wheels, it is still and inconvenient to use, large sedan missing two of its doors.

    • 0 avatar
      challenger2012

      This backs up your statments, and I should know, for I own a R/T. “The generous proportions carry over to the interior too. The cabin feels large and airy, with lots of room for two up front to lean back, stretch their legs and enjoy the effortless torque of the V8. The long wheelbase and long travel suspension allow for serene highway cruising while the Hemi spins at less than 2,000 RPM in 6th gear, even at 75 mph. Handling is not its strongest suit. You can take corners in aggressive manner, but the Challenger R/T is clearly happier in a straight line, letting you enjoy the view out front, while epoch appropriate music belts out of the stereo.”

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        The only real comment about the article is the author’s suggestion to add the Mopar catback exhaust. Unless you get a lot of Mopar bucks, or just have to finance it, there are so many better sounding, and cheaper catbacks out there. Like the MBRP (I think that’s it) and the Solo, which I have on my car.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Oh, it’s definitely large enough to be used as a family car.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        As long as the kids are old enough to get in and out of the back seat on their own. Putting kids in carseats in coupes like this is ZERO fun.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I don’t find it to be a problem at all honestly. Facing them to buckle them in is actually easier than leaning over IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            PartsUnknown

            I am so far out of the demographic for this car it’s not funny. I buy import brands always, have no real connection to and/or affinity for Challengers in particular or Chrysler in general. The affluent Boston suburb where I live is SUVville and BMWland. I have two kids (5 and 7) and all the weekend schlepping that goes along with that.

            Yet…I am so drawn to this car. Like danio, I’m rationalizing in my mind…roomy back seat, decent trunk…family car? Why not?? I’m seriously considering it and my wife will kill me, no doubt.

  • avatar
    mjz

    The revised interior of the new 2015 model is reason enough to reason NOT to get the 2014 model. Much nicer.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    These are pretty sexy for big girls.

    It would look absolutely killer if Chrysler would just use a cheese grater and take about 5 or 6′ off the bottom, lowered the rear fender line by about 2″ and added 3″ behind and 3″ in front of the front wheels.

  • avatar
    mu_redskin

    This car would be perfect as a convertible! Now that the 200 convertible is gone, could this be Chryslers new convertible replacement?

  • avatar
    Sam Hell Jr

    Is there such a thing as a low-key, boulevard-cruising MT car any more? That’s how I ended up with a slushbox in my tC. The stick seemed set up for stomp’n’slam and it was totally incongruent with the car’s touring character or how laid-back I drive. (I accept the possibility that I’m just useless with a manual.)

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Accord Coupe V6?

      • 0 avatar
        Sam Hell Jr

        Part of the reason I asked. I drove my Dad’s hand me down ’98 Accord V6 coupe until it started snacking on alternators and rotors. Car was PIMP though, white with the tan leather.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      In addition to the Challenger any V8 powered Mustang, Camaro or SS would be easy to drive, especially in GT500 or ZL1 trim.

      When I had my 07 GT even with 300 horsepower it was very relaxed when taking off from the light (if I so chose). The GT500 on the other hand doesn’t give a damn as long as you can keep it above 1000 rpm. Get going in first or second then shift at 1500 rpm to the next most convenient gear that keeps it above 1000 rpm. Keep it between 1000 and 2000 rpm and the car will reward you with decent mileage.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    What a Chrysler review with out BTR commenting on how great it is, that is like a Buick review with out a Norm tune, 50 MPG comment, someone contact the police perhaps BTR has been kidnapped by GM.
    This car is not my cup of tea but I have to give them credit , it is offered in bold colors and it still looks decent in the late stages of it run.

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    I just finished a road trip around the country in my ’10 Challenger and it held up like a champ. 22 days and 5941 miles. The trunk held the primary suitcase, the cooler, the laptop bag, the smaller bag that got hauled into the hotel room each night, and various souvenirs I accumulated. I originally bought the car because it has the roomiest interior of the three rwd American coupes. The reality is that it isn’t a pony car. It’s the archetypal two door version of the big sedans the Big 3 produced for 30 years.

    My route:

    Ridgecrest CA to Reno NV, to W. Wendover NV, to Salt lake City UT(stayed 2 days), to Cheyenne WY, to Elkhart IN, to Maumee OH(stayed 2 days), to Buffalo NY(stayed 2 days), to Cherry Hill NJ(stayed 2 days), to Knoxville TN, to Baton Rouge LA, to Houston TX(stayed 3 days), to Clovis NM, to Santa Fe NM(2 days), to Laughlin NV, and then home.

    I saw my Mom, 2 brothers, 2 sisters, 6 nieces, 2 nephews (10 of their kids) plus various cousins, in-laws, and bunch of friends I left behind in Jersey.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      Somebody should have hired you to write the sales pitch to the actual buyers of this car. Rather than whomever greenlighted making it Vin Diesel’s F&F whip, or the LL Cool J mobile in NCIS.

      The aforementioned programs do permit you to view a Challenger going head to head with a GT-R and an Aventador, though, so that’s pretty great. American muscle, baby!

      Also: “Mercy, mercy, Mr. Percy / there ain’t nuthin’ left in Jersey…”

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I don’t know if I should be sad or not, but I’ve spent most of the last 32 years in Maumee. My only real bitch about it is the insane property taxes I have to pay. One block from me, in Toledo, it’s about 35% less.

      • 0 avatar
        PeteRR

        I went to elementary school in Perrysburg for the 4th and 5th grades and my older brother stayed behind when we went back to Jersey. He lives in the neighborhood right by the river and it hasn’t changed in 40 years.

        • 0 avatar
          nrd515

          Nothing much changes here, this area should be huge with the 2 major highways going through it, along with about the mildest Winter weather in the area (Last winter was another story), and the access to water, but instead, it just staggers along. What the cause is, I don’t know. I left for 7 years and couldn’t wait to move back, 32+ years ago. I will never move away from this area again.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    Have always been a big fan of Challengers, old or new.

    One pet peeve, though: Current R/Ts aren’t NEARLY as fast as their looks or graphics would seem to indicate. Sheep in Wolf’s clothing, as it were…

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      13.34@105.75 with a Solo catback, an SRT air intake, and a drop in AFE Prodry S filter isn’t fast enough for you? How fast should it be?

      • 0 avatar
        ZCD2.7T

        “…How fast should it be?”

        12s would be nice, IMO.

        I understand that mid-13s isn’t “slow”, but these days it’s not that fast, either. It just makes for a disconnect between what’s promised by the looks and the performance that’s actually delivered.

        I’m biased, though, because I much prefer q-ships.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          For a few thousand more, a version of this car that does mid 12s can be had for those that want it.

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            Oh, I know. I even took a test drive in an SRT8 (300C), but it didn’t fit me well (physically). Nonetheless, the SRT versions’ performance lives up to their looks, again IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          cdotson

          I googled some 1970 Challenger 1/4 mile times and there seems to be agreement that a stock 440 Six-Pack ran 13.5-13.7 @ ~105. That was probably your best factory dragstrip Challenger available at the time. This car, an R/T Hemi, is but mid-pack compared to the SRT8. Mid 13s is fine for this car, and better is available both at the dealer and via the aftermarket.

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            Proof that the “good ole days” of performance are actually NOW when a mid-range version is as fast as the original muscle-car version.

            FWIW, my V-6 sedan is much quicker than the R/T versions stock to stock, and lightly modded is quicker even than the SRTs.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            >FWIW, my V-6 sedan is much quicker than the R/T versions stock to stock, and lightly modded is quicker even than the SRTs.

            Disclaimer, *V6 with twin turbochargers*

            I do agree that we are in a golden age of performance, though. My experience with stockish muscle cars of that era is that few were able to actually hit those published numbers due to ringers being commonplace in auto reviews, poor available traction and many over-rated engines. A good thing to consider that a 440 six pack’s 375 gross hp rating really only translates to about 300 net hp today. But it was torquey big block power.

            The 440 six packs were fast, but the average driver would struggle to break into the 13s.

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            “…Disclaimer, *V6 with twin turbochargers*…”

            Supercharged, actually. (2011 Audi S4).

            Runs consistent 12.5s with just an ECU flash, but you’d never know it from looking at it…

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            Additional disclaimer: “with just an ECU flash”

            An ECU flash on a supercharged or turbocharged car is actually a pretty significant mod, which is why your car runs mid 12s. And an S4 is also a significantly more expensive car. Slap a supercharger on the R/T and it will easily run mid 12s, possibly less, and even with the S/C it will cost less than a stock S4. Probably be less delicate too. But your car will run circles around it on a track.

            I do not disagree with you though, I would have guessed the R/T would be in the 12s, the SRT in the 11s, stock from the factory. But I am not a drag racer, so I admit I do not know all the tuning tweaks that go into getting the times low. Tires alone have a significant impact, and abuse of the car goes a long way too. My GTI when using launch control is a LOT faster than just standing on the gas without it. But the last time I used that more than twice my transmission overheated and shut down.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            “I would have guessed the R/T would be in the 12s, the SRT in the 11s, stock from the factory.”

            Stock R/T is admittedly pretty slow (at least on paper) for a car with 375hp. So long as we are all bench racing, a ’98 BMW 540 with 282hp posted identical 0-60 and 1/4 times (when it was new).

            That said, 1/4 mile times even in the 12s are exceptionally fast, and probably unreasonable expectations for almost any factory car short of a Corvette or GT-R. For example, the current Mustang GT runs 13.2s. Even the Boss 302 barely cracks 13s (12.9s).

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Stock R/T is admittedly pretty slow (at least on paper) for a car with 375hp. So long as we are all bench racing, a ’98 BMW 540 with 282hp posted identical 0-60 and 1/4 times (when it was new).”

            The Challenger R/T is a half to 1 second faster depending on who’s driving, but I see your point. Raw horsepower comparisons don’t show the whole picture.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Supercharged, actually. (2011 Audi S4).”

            Cool, those can get pretty radical. a buddy has a 2012 with a lot invested in modifications (headers, higher boost and accompanying tune). It’s went 11.80s on drag radials while looking pretty understated.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            “The Challenger R/T is a half to 1 second faster depending on who’s driving…”

            I should clarify that I meant the 6-speed 540s. The #s I typically see for a Challenger R/T and 540 6MT are 5.5/14.0. The automatic 540s have times listed as “slow” as 6.2/14.6.

            Unfortunately I haven’t driven a Challenger R/T, so I don’t know if these #s have any relationship to how it feels in the real world. While the Challenger R/T’s 5.5/14.0 disappoints some from a bench racing perspective, it’s overkill for daily driving anyway (based on my ownership of a 540 6MT). In keeping with the car’s character, it’s more about the soundtrack and loafing along highways in quiet comfort.

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            Just as a reminder, my original point was that to me, R/Ts LOOK faster than they actually are. It’s just a question of style – does one want a car that looks faster than it is, or a car that’s faster than it looks?

            Clearly, I prefer the latter. YMMV.

            That said, naturally there’s more performance to be had out of the Hemi if one wants to spend the $$$$. A quick Google search seems to indicate that supercharger kits are about $9-10K installed, which would result in a $50K (!!) R/T that runs high 11s.

            For comparison, my ECU flash was less than $1,500.00, and spending an additional 1K or so would result in high 11s.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            Straying off topic a bit here, but is there a downside to an ECU flash? I’ve always found it odd that manufacturers would leave 50 hp (or whatever you get from an ECU flash) on the table.

            Is it because the OEM didn’t have the time or money to fully optimize the ECU? Trying to hold insurance costs down? Emissions? Or is there a durability and/or economy trade off?

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            “…I’ve always found it odd that manufacturers would leave 50 hp (or whatever you get from an ECU flash) on the table.

            Is it because the OEM didn’t have the time or money to fully optimize the ECU? Trying to hold insurance costs down? Emissions? Or is there a durability and/or economy trade off?”

            With regards to Audi and its Supercharged 3.0 liter V-6, the OEM tune bleeds off boost (via a bypass valve) above about 5400 rpm all the way to redline (7200) to keep the peak boost where they wanted it. The tunes basically keep the bypass valve closed, so boost pressure continues to build. Why did they do that? Watch this to understand:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KfMY96v_Gc

            Can’t have a mid-range sport model equaling the performance of a much-more-expensive flagship, now can we?

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            ““…I’ve always found it odd that manufacturers would leave 50 hp (or whatever you get from an ECU flash) on the table.
            Is it because the OEM didn’t have the time or money to fully optimize the ECU? Trying to hold insurance costs down? Emissions? Or is there a durability and/or economy trade off?”

            Warranty – they don’t want to hand you any more ability to kill the motor and drivetrain than you already possess. No car offered with a warranty is going to be factory tuned to the limits, there’s always some safety buffer engineered in.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            >That said, naturally there’s more performance to be had out of the Hemi if one wants to spend the $$$$. A quick Google search seems to indicate that supercharger kits are about $9-10K installed, which would result in a $50K (!!) R/T that runs high 11s.

            For comparison, my ECU flash was less than $1,500.00, and spending an additional 1K or so would result in high 11s.

            At which point you’d have well over 50k invested in the S4 as well…if you include the labor as you did with the Challenger mods.

            If someone spent 10k on a blower kit (even installed) for a Challenger, they got ripped off. Really decent kits can be had new under 6k and I wouldn’t charge more than 1-1.5k in labor depending on how far they wanted to go.

            When it comes an apples to apples bang for buck, an Audi will never match an SRT car. No one over chooses the Audi because it’s cheaper…

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            “At which point you’d have well over 50k invested in the S4 as well…if you include the labor as you did with the Challenger mods.”

            Labor to install a supercharger pulley and re-flash the ECU on my car would be maybe $300, nothing like the time invovled in installing a blower on a car that didn’t have one from the factory.

            Yes, I’d have $50K invested in an S4, but I’d be DRIVING a $50K+ S4 with $2.5K in mods, not an $40K R/T with $10K in mods…

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            I guess that is why they make all kinds of cars. I would personally rather being driving a $50k SRT, or even a “slow” 14sec $30k base model R/T, than any Audi short of the R8. And even that one I would only lease. But I admittedly prefer a car that looks fast, even if it isn’t as fast as it looks. YMMV.

  • avatar
    kkop

    A lot of ‘interesting’ opinions here :-)

    To say that the current MINI is more faithful to the original one than the Challenger to its 70s predecessor means you’ve never driven (or even seen) an original Mini.

    As for the manual transmission: my wife likes her MT just fine for commuting thanks very much. 48,000 miles on our 2012 so far and life is still good. Also, exhaust sound on MT is better than on AT because they dampened it more on the AT to mask the cylinder deactivation / activation changes (MT does not have this feature).

    Frankly, to buy this car with the V8, and not get a manual transmission means you’re missing out on a great experience.

    I know the mind hive at TTAC loves the Mustang, but to me (despite its potential) it’s a girl’s car (like the MINI and the Veloster), and too small inside for me anyway.

  • avatar
    bachewy

    One big complaint about these cars, especially as rental vehicles – for folks who can’t pick up a heavy suitcase (I have a bad back) and have to drag it out, the weatherstripping is the top-most feature and luggage rides right across it. It’s a lazy design that gave no consideration to have to drag anything in and out of that truck lip. Other cards have big plastic lips ABOVE the weatherstripping to protect it from damage by luggage or anything else in the truck.

    But, it is a pleasant car to drive. I don’t mind renting them at all. Much better than the old Chrysler 200s with their 1970′s transmissions.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    My son, who has been working at Chrysler as an engineer for a year, is also a participant in their “early feedback” program, and is now driving a pre-production ’15 Challenger for evaluation. It’s a more plain-Jane model, with the V6 and the 8 speed auto (no V8/manuals were available to him at the time he got his). He gets to report bugs found while driving or with the UConnect system, and he has found a few already, which are sent up the chain to get fixed for production.

    I got a chance to drive it some, and it’s a nice ride–the V6 also scoots along, especially if you drive in manual shift mode. Can’t give more detailed impressions with my short time with it. I do find it a bit claustrophobic inside for my taste, but it comes with the styling, not because the room is inadequate (which it most assuredly is not).

    Before this, he had a ’14 Dart GT with the 6 speed manual, so I read the recent TTAC review on the auto-equipped model with some interest.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Yikes, acres and acres and acres of dark gray blah in that interior.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’m always very happy that cars like these exist. :) It is a true throwback.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I really love the looks of these cars, even though I am a die hard Mustang fan, Dodge nailed the retro look. Whenever I see one driving down the road, it gets a double take, especially in Orange or Purple. There is a purple RT Classic for sale at a local dealer, catches my eye every time I drive by. But whenever I actually walk up to one, or see it parked next to pretty much any other car, I am shocked at how immense it is! I imagine it would suck just to open the doors in a parking lot or in my garage!

    But they are relative bargains, especially when Dodge starts the discount parade to unload last years model. I could be tempted, the more relaxed way it drives would suit my actual usage better than the Boss 302 I keep dreaming about, and an aftermarket exhaust sounds amazing on these. Maybe lowering it would help it look less bulky??

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      Nah. It will still be a 12/10ths-scale peaked-in-1979-mobile. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      The bulk is impossible to hide with the slab sides and large trunk. There must be 3 feet of vertical sheet metal on the rear haunches. You can google these things and pretty easily find a picture of the new Challenger next to the original…it’s really surprising how boxy and bulky the new one is next to the original. Part of that reason being that (as pointed out here) there is a large trunk – but it sits above the rear-end mechanicals, so the opening is high and there’s nothing to break it up over the aforementioned 3 feet of vertical sheet metal.

      Performance cars are low and wide. The Mustang, Camaro, Challenger are narrow and tall and although out of those three I prefer the Challenger, it looks like the tallest and narrowest of the group. The new Mustang looks lower and wider than the previous one. In my opinion, the Camaro looks like garbage.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        “Performance cars are low and wide.”

        Yes, absolutely correct.

        Last year, I was visiting my sister in Pittsburgh and on a drive through the North Hills, spotted a black Ferrari Testarossa pulling out of a shopping center.

        My God, does that car still look awesome today! Truly the definition of an exotic car.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Narrow and tall? Aren’t these cars between 73 and 75 inches wide? If that’s narrow, what qualifies as wide?

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          Wide is relative, not absolute.

          These cars are 57″ tall. Stretch the 1970 proportions to match and it’d be 82″ wide and 224″ long on a 128″ wheelbase.

          (And I’d be at the dealership with checkbook in hand tomorrow morning.)

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      “But whenever I actually walk up to one, or see it parked next to pretty much any other car, I am shocked at how immense it is!”

      This is unfortunately true. You almost have to see it to believe how big this car is. In the darker colors, if you squint from 30ft away, it looks almost manageable!

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Local Dodge dealer for a few days had a Genesis coupe parked next to a Challenger on their used lot. The size differences were striking from all perspectives.

        Today an RX8 was parked next to the Challenger, further illustrating the bulk of the Challenger.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      “But they are relative bargains, especially when Dodge starts the discount parade to unload last years model.”

      I think the discount parade is permanent on the Challenger, at least in some areas. I just built an R/T Plus on TRUECar and the estimated price was $4k below invoice. TRUECar’s bell curve indicated you are paying above market for my area if you don’t get at least $1,000 below invoice. Similarly, if you build one on Dodge’s site, they don’t bother telling you the final MSRP – only what you should expect to pay after their numerous discounts.

      I believe these cars are already the cheapest way into a V8 even at msrp. With Dodge apparently giving them away, they must be one of the best deals out there.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Umm ya, it’s definitely you, Derek. I have driven this very car and the 6 speed is exactly what this car calls for. It is very tight handling wise and an automatic would only take away from that. The old boat I have at home is “one hand on the wheel, one on the window sill” driving. This one is not. Not even close.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    “Plenty of people have bought large cars with manual gearboxes, otherwise BMW wouldn’t have offered the E38 740iL with a manual, right?”

    I have spent way more time lusting after an E38 than any reasonable person should, and I have NEVER come across a listing for a 7-series E38 with a manual transmission. Perhaps they were available outside of the US, but didn’t know of a Canadian one either.

  • avatar

    I like this car a lot. The fact that’s it not a canyon carver doesn’t bother me, not every car needs to be. Love the external styling and the color on this one is very appropriate (yes, too much Dukes of Hazard). Even the internal styling is ok though very drab color wise. If I were ever in the market for one of these I drive it and the Mustang and would probably end up with the Ford, but always with a twinge of regret.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    I have a 14 Challenger RT in header orange (not a shaker). I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this car. Completely practical and reasonable as a daily driver for someone not mature enough to buy a 4 door. Handles pretty well, but you can just cruise too. You can drive any windy road way over the speed limit while still letting it lope along at <3000 rpm (sounds great having the sound bounce off the mountain side back at you). It's basically a cop car underneath, so it's fairly robust and can handle weather pretty well.

    I knew when I purchased this that a Mustang could hand me my ass in a race, but I don't race and I do go to Costco. It also does superlative cookies. Just can't beat it for a 'muscle car' that you have to live with every day.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Indeed. While I wouldn’t subject anyone to the parcel-shelf torture that is the Mustang and Camaro rear-seat experience, the Challenger really is a large coupe, perfectly adept at seating at least four people comfortably…and I know that from extended experience with one. I don’t care for the pre-Fiat electronics interfaces now that I know Chrysler can do much better…but that’s being rectified in the 2015 model. And even with the V6 model, it’s plenty fast…and will be even better once the 8-speed debuts.

    Also, despite every one of my clean, understated sensibilities, if I were to go for one of these, I’d probably go all-out and get the “Plum Crazy” color if I could find it. Is that bad?

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      The only time anyone was happy in the back seat of my ’70 the cars engine wasn’t running. So a real backseat is another break from tradition, and another reason I like the new one better.

  • avatar
    Luke

    I have a ’14 Challenger R/T 100th Anniversary Edition. It has the Tremec 6 speed and the Track Pack. I bought it about 6 weeks ago and have driven it like crazy since then. I specifically compared it against the Mustang GT and Camaro SS, and chose it over those cars for all of the reasons Derek mentioned. As a 4th gen Camaro owner and lover it killed me to dislike the current SS as much as I did. And while the Mustang is certainly the natural athlete of the trio and was incredibly fun to drive, I wanted an American muscle car rather than a more hardcore sports car.

    The Challenger has a real presence on the road, and as Derek mentioned it has a ton of interior and cargo space and can be driven all day in serene comfort. It’s a big car that’s plenty fast for me and it handles really well for it’s size.

    I grew up riding in big, powerful American cars and I now like driving them. There’s a couple things about my car that annoy me, and the refresh next year is certainly more than welcome for the interior, but it was the right car at the right time. It didn’t hurt that I got a screaming deal on it, either, since it’s the last year of this model run. Overall I’m pretty in love with it and would be more than happy to submit a review of my experiences to date.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnnyFirebird

      Am. So. Damn. Jealous.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      A review? Oh, please do.

    • 0 avatar

      Luke,

      Please send it in! editors@ttac.com

      • 0 avatar
        smokingclutch

        If you’re interested in a long term review, I’ve had mine (2010 R/T Classic 6MT) for a bit over three years and 37,000 miles, including a three-day, 2,650 mile cross country sprint.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Definitely send in the review.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke

      I can’t tell if y’all are being sarcastic about your jealousy or desire for a review. Never the less, I’ll bite. I’m putting in another 12 hours behind the wheel this weekend, so it’s good timing.

      Derek, I could use a few pointers on how to approach this. I’ll email you tonight.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I’m serious anyway. I used to think this car was cool to look at, but too ridiculously large to ever consider. The more time I waste on car blogs reflecting on what I like in a car and what would be most useful to me in daily driving, the more I warm up to this car. I would still like to read more about it.

        Most online Challenger content is about the SRT8s and always ends up talking about how it’s powerful, but too fat for the track. An R/T review based on real world ownership would be cool.

        I’m worried you’ll have too much positive bias after only six weeks of ownership, so please keep an eye out for that as you write.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke

          Well I appreciate that. I do love the car but recognize a number of flaws, some I accepted at purchase and others I have noticed over 2000+ miles to date. So I love it but I’m not a fanboi, and I will do my best to be objective.

          I think a subsequent commenter nailed it. It’s not a pony car or sports car, it’s a big American GT. Anyone who sits down inside one realizes it immediately.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Good choice on the 100th anniversary edition. I absolutely love that high octane red color that’s exclusive to that model. I wish it could be ordered on the regular models, I like dark reds but detest bright ones.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    As you correctly note this is really a personal luxury coupe; that’s the only way it makes the slightest amount of sense. It’s far too big to be a sporty car, it’s not practical enough to be a family car, and it’s too plain to be a style statement. But the ’14 has about the least luxurious (or even tolerable) interior imaginable. Historically personal luxury cars had an interior a step above the same maker’s plebeian models, while the ’14′s is worse than any other ’14 Chrysler product. The ’15 redo couldn’t come soon enough.

    I still wouldn’t buy one because it’s just too damn big and heavy for what it can do.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      This just isn’t accurate. I don’t think you’ve ever ridden in one. Seats are the most comfortable of any car in it’s class. Ride is smooth and quiet (ride in a 14 mustang back to back with the challenger and the mustang feels incomposed with a lot of tire noise on surface streets). The stitching is good. The dash and doors are soft touch. The rear seats are exceptional for the class.

      No color changing LEDs and aluminum, but it’s a pleasant and comfortable machine to drive.

      No 2 door is ever going to be a great family car, but it’s as close as you’ll find. I’m 6 2″ and I legitimately fit in the back.

      As far as a fashion statement goes, that’s just you. I’ve seen your comments before and you just hate it flat out. It gets a staggering number of compliments on the way it looks.

  • avatar
    koshchei

    Does it actually suck in air, or is it basically just a decorative engine cover that pokes through the hood? The reason I’m asking is because of the huge air filter that’s visible in your under-hood shot.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      There is a tube that goes from the back of the ‘shaker’ to the back of the airbox. Air is also drawn from under the bumper. It’s not forced air like a ram scoop, it’s basically just a better than normal CAI.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    This car has more street presence and is better looking than all of the Camaros and Mustangs combined.

    It’s really the best choice.

  • avatar
    stuki

    It still offends every single one of my, admittedly hard to come by, sensibilities, that this car is not offered as a ‘vert. Big, plush, brash….and with the ZF-8 undoubtedly one of the finest cruisemobile drivetrains available anywhere. It even has the step up before the trunk to hide a folded softtop. Peel the top back, and get on deck parking in front of every Medical Marijuana dispensary from Colorado to Amsterdam.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    As a 50-year-old guy with…ahem…ample girth, I have a major soft spot for this car. Then again, everything from the nipples to the hips is a soft spot these days…but I digress.

    And, having driven one (though not with the manual), I agree completely with Derek – this car is an AWESOME cruiser. Put down the windows so you can hear that mellow Hemi, crank up the A/C, pop in some Van Halen, and it’s just about perfect. And for guys like me, it’s easy to live with.

    Make mine in Header Orange, please.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I, reigning TTAC Weenie, adore this car. Sexiest one in current production. Everything else about it is just a detail ’cause I’d drive it like a Corolla anyway and the back seat would never see a butt.

  • avatar

    I’m seriously thinking of buying one of these things (not an R/T, a Hellcat. Can’t wait to read Jack’s take on it.) Having driven a few ’13s and ’14s… it’s not a “pony car”, it’s a big honkin’ GT with a very American accent. It’s more like a 6 Series (or a pre-Gaydon Aston, if we really want to reach) than it is like a Mustang.

    Yeah, Chrysler is not BMW. But this thing rides on the bones that were developed for the 300, which is the last of the old-school American highway cruisers, and it has a lot of that flavor baked in.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    My dealership sells more Challengers than 300s and both are outsold by the Charger. The cool thing about ALL Challengers is how they visually cause a double-take ’cause they are so retro and true to the 1970s originals.
    The talk was that 2014 would be the final production year but with the 2015 “restyle” maybe Sergio will give us four more years!
    I contacted Chrysler in 2010 with my suggestion that ALL Challengers have dual exhaust.
    I have driven these coupes since they first came out and I feel they are the modern equivalent of the wonderful 1970s luxury coupes like the 1978 Mercury Cougar, 1979 Chrysler Cordoba and almost any 1975-1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupe. Of course the original 1978 and 1979 Dodge Magnum XE is a close comparison also.
    That’s why they’re slightly taller and longer than the true original, but most American drivers are in that category too!

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I very nearly bought one of these with the 5.7 hemi and a manual. Because I wanted to drive that big of a car with a manual and I don’t consider driving a manual as crimping my cruising driving style at all. Smooth predictable changes when I want them, not when some tiny little blind brain thinks they should happen makes a better cruising experience, for me any way.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    I wish Dodge would do a “Vanishing Point” edition on this, like Ford did with the Mustang and Bullitt. The 2nd Bullitt Mustang was hotness. Absolutely correct.

    Have it in white with no flashy decals or anything and dump in Mopar’s best V8 (Hellcat!) with a 6 speed manual with a pistol grip. Maybe even some big argent silver steelies? Too bad a modern 440 Magnum would be out of the question…..

    If I remember correctly (and do correct me if I’m wrong) but I think if you wanted white, you couldn’t have it on the R/T and SRT models, it only came in V6 form.

    I think the Mustang is the best pony car performance wise (currently) but the Challenger is the best looking and I love it’s throwback appeal. Long live American Muscle.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a bit of an image problem with a Vanishing Point Challenger. Frank Bullit may have been an antihero, but he was a cop who is alive at the end of that movie, Kowalski evades the police and [spoiler alert] commits suicide in a massive crash. I’m just not sure that’s the right image Dodge wants to project.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        You might be right, but the same way I don’t think GM ever made an official “Bandit” Trans Am, Dodge could just offer a “Deputy” package on the R/T that uses unpainted steel wheels off the police Charger, the classic script grille emblems, and was only available in black or white.

        • 0 avatar
          luvmyv8

          Funny you mention a “deputy” Challenger, there was indeed one such Challenger model (’70 I think?) though that one was a special low cost model that was stripped down and used the slant 6.

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        Agree with Ronnie. Besides, what’s the point? It’s a unicorn like brown, manual shift diesel wagons. Seriously, after the first 500 fanboys pay 20% above MSRP, they’d have to fire-sale the rest so that collectors would benefit 20 years from now.

      • 0 avatar
        smokingclutch

        A Dodge dealer in Pennsylvania worked out a deal with Chrysler to do this. They built 10 SRT8 392s in white with the stripe delete option. They built ten with sequential VINs.

        http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1059139_dodge-dealer-builds-kowalski-edition-challenger-srt8-392

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I see a white R/T with red “war stripes”, almost every day on the way home from work. When I see it, I think, “Wow, I’m sure glad mine is Hemi Orange!” But it’s just paint, and white is a lot better than fuschia (probably spelled it wrong)

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      Or a Charger rebadge and stripes for the “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry” edition?

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Where is bigtruckseries? He’s usually the first Mopar post. Is it possible that the NY State po-leece have finally caught him?

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      He’s usually the first post for anything.

      He must not have internet access now – vacation in remote location, po-leece, or something else. His freakish ability to always leave the first comment had me wondering if he has a script doing it for him. Maybe some software update broke his script?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India