Dodge Challenger R/T and SE Revealed
For rich, impatient people that think $40 grand is a fair price for a Dodge (regardless of the 425 horses under the hood), the Challenger SRT8 does the job. For the rest of us, there are "regular" Hemi and V6 versions of the uber-retro pony car. They look quite good – better than the SRT8, I'd wager – and they pack a triplet of drivetrain options. The base engine is the 3.5 liter V6 with 250 horses and a, gulp, 4 speed auto. Next up is the 5.7 liter Hemi we all know and mostly like, with a 5-speed auto and 370 horses (an increase over the 340-350 in the Charger, and 9 more than GM's G8 GT natch). Finally, if you get a 6-speed "pistol grip" manual transmission, the most phallic gear lever in a universe of phallic gear levers, you can have 375 horses, and the privilege of filling up with premium gas. Prices aren't out yet, and the interior still is an unfortunate retro joke.Click here for Pixamo gallery
Given Chrysler's status, this thing is pretty much a Studebaker Hawk - not bad looking, but a hodgepodge of existing parts on an old (Mercedes in this case) platform, overpriced and appealing mostly to old farts from a gasping company. Does it come with a combover and a satin windbreaker with "It's Got a Hemi" on the back?
A 4 speed auto mated to the weakest engine, brilliant. Why even offer it with the 3.5L six if your going to make it undrivable by using the worst transmission you could find. Heck why not regress to the 50's and put a 3 speed in it. Count me among those who got excited when I saw the concept car, but now that they've worked out the details, I am utterly disappointed. I want a strip down muscle car, or at least as close as governemnt regulations allow. I guess I should have figured that Chrysler would screw this up too. They started with a great exterior design and were able to produce a parody of the original Challenger by the time they were finished.
Once upon a time you could pop a couple of viagra, fly down to Westworld and buy an original piece of crap Challenger for $40K. However, now that people are dedicated to throwing a hundred thou at any goofy abomination, this looks like a genuine bargain. On the plus side: When this thing fails, it should kill any manufacturer dreams for new Javelins, Cosworth Vegas and Torinos.