By on August 1, 2019

After an eternity of seeing the Honda Accord and Civic topping lists of America’s most-stolen cars, tastes have finally evolved. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute’s list of vehicles most likely to be stolen, Hemi-equipped Dodge Challengers and Chargers are now the ride of choice for automotive miscreants. Interestingly, bandits seem to prefer larger vehicles on the whole — with full-sized pickups and large-engined cars topping the charts.

However, there are a couple items that need to be sorted out before we progress. You’ll probably continue seeing Accords, Corollas, Civics, and F-Series pickups on subsequent most-stolen lists. Their volume alone makes them popular targets and any study going by sheer numbers is bound to include them. But the HLDI report quantifies automobiles by their relative risk using insurance data, suggesting its big-boy season for car thieves.  (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2019

Buy/Drive/Burn returns this week with three American sports cars in their most basic, purest form. The Big Three are represented here, and they don’t get any cheaper than this. No options or fripperies are allowed, and one must receive the Buy.

Start your (small) engines — it’s sports car time.

(Read More…)

By on April 11, 2019

Despite being manufactured in Canada, the Dodge Charger and Challenger feel like the most American vehicles currently on the market. Large, brash, and deliciously unapologetic about it, the vehicles embody multiple historical stereotypes thrown onto the United States citizenry. While those characteristics aren’t a good fit for everyone, Dodge says its holdout muscle cars capture the highest percentage of active military buyers in their respective segments (according to mTAB).

Now, Fiat Chrysler says it’s time for Dodge to “celebrate the men and women who serve our country,” providing a new Stars & Stripes Edition for the Charger and Challenger — along with some fleshing out of their existing appearance packages. (Read More…)

By on March 20, 2019

Rampant speculation surrounds the Dodge Charger and the possibility it might eventually receive the same wide-body treatment applied to the Challenger SRT Hellcat and R/T Scat Pack. Last month, Mopar enthusiasts, claiming insider knowledge, said Dodge would have sedan versions ready for the 2020 model year.

It wasn’t much to go on, but the automaker recently confirmed there will be a concept Charger on display at California’s Spring Fest this weekend, following the appearance of an online video showing a camouflaged SRT sedan cruising around Southfield, Michigan.  (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2019

Are the 66,716 Americans who helped take the venerable Dodge Challenger to a new sales record in 2018 just Luddites, rebelling against a rising tide of electrification and autonomy? Maybe, but the era of a Challenger line powered solely by gasoline is drawing to a close.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley addressed the muscle car’s future at this week’s Detroit auto show, admitting that, at some point, the Challenger needs to grow greener. That means venturing into the unsexy world of electrification — an unthinkable act for some American muscle purists. (Read More…)

By on December 21, 2018

2018 Dodge Challenger GT AWD

At one point during my time with the 2018 Dodge Challenger GT, I fired it up and shook my head.

“That can’t be right,” I thought. “It sounds like a V8, but the GT is a V6.”

Which it is – all-wheel drive GT models are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 making 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. No V8 on offer here.

Yet, the V6 has a bit of the aural aura of a V8, if not the acceleration.

(Read More…)

By on August 21, 2018

The year is 1982. You’re a lover of domestic sports cars, but also suffer from a distinct lack of funding in this era of American Malaise. Three updated, base model, fuel sipping rides are in your purview — all of them with four-cylinder engines.

Which one do you take home?

(Read More…)

By on August 8, 2018

2019 Dodge Challenger

I’ve always admired the Dodge Challenger for being very clear about what kind of car it is.

It is not a crossover pretending to have off-road chops. It is not a wagon pretending to be an SUV. It is not a four-door “coupe” that’s really a hatchback.

It’s simply a large American muscle car that offers a V8, loads of available power, and operates as a throwback to an era that existed before most folks younger than Baby Boomer age were born.

In short, it doesn’t mess around.

(Read More…)

By on August 1, 2018

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk front quarter

Monday’s QOTD post by Matthew Guy inquiring about some of the seriously overpriced metal on today’s collector car market got me thinking. And what it got me thinking about was the present state of cars, and if there’s going to be much worthy of collecting at a later date.

We’re in some dark times, automotively speaking. Allow me to explain.

(Read More…)

By on July 30, 2018

If you’re the proud owner of a Hemi-powered Dodge Charger, Challenger, or Chrysler 300, you probably love getting that sweet baby up to highway speeds in a hurry. However, you’re also likely fond of having the ability to stop it whenever you wish and not entering into a real-life version of the movie Speed.

We’ve got some unfortunate news. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, you might have to take a couple of extra steps to avoid that being a possibility. Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall on 2014-2016 Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers, and Dodge Challengers equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 and Mopar Stage 1 Performance Package powertrain control module. The 2018 Challenger SRT Demon is also affected by the recall.

Apparently, the PCM is sick and could screw with the cruise control system. You’ll definitely want to get this one fixed as soon as possible. FCA claims the defect may not just prohibit cruise control from disengaging — there’s also a possibility it could cause the car to accelerate unpredictably. That’s about the last thing you want an 800-horsepower car to do without you giving it the go-ahead.  (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2018

Image: FCA

If you went to bed last night worried that Dodge doesn’t field enough Challenger variants to satisfy your diverse driving whims, rest easy tonight. The Challenger, which harbors more personas than David Bowie, wants you to go to the dragstrip again.

For 2019, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack gives birth to a new offering that, while borrowing much of the defunct SRT Demon’s launch-assist hardware, rejects its hellish dragster predecessor’s supercharged 6.2-liter in favor of 6.4 liters of naturally aspirated grunt.  (Read More…)

By on July 19, 2018

Image: Tim Healey/TTAC

What’s something that’s really, really old, yet continues to attract a steady flow of buyers year after year? You could say the Colt 1911 and its knock-offs, and you’d be right — in fact, an old American pistol that packs a punch and never really saw the need to improve in a major way seems like an apt comparison to what we’re actually talking about.

When it first appeared on sales charts in May of 2008, the Dodge Challenger was pure throwback. A cherry to place on top of the brash, retro sundae Chrysler had constructed out of its 300 and Charger sedans. In case you missed it, last month was the 10-year anniversary of the reborn Challenger’s first full month of American sales; the TTAC crew deferred its celebrations until July 4th.

Taking a look at the sales performance of its domestic, um, challengers, it seems like the two-door Dodge might outlive us all. Will the last American passenger car on the market ride into the sunset with a supercharged roar and two smoking rear tires? (Read More…)

By on July 9, 2018

2018 Dodge Challenger GT front quarter

The gentleman next to me rotated his arm in the universal “roll-down-your-window” maneuver, even though the actual motion is completely foreign to many drivers in this era of ubiquitous electric window lifts. I did, revealing a grey-haired gentleman wearing a Naval ship hat, sitting behind the wheel of a pristine, domestic full-size half-ton pickup truck.

“I knew it’d be a young man behind the wheel of that car. That’s a young man’s car. That’s the kind of car I’d have if I were young like you.” His eyes must be failing him a bit — how else would he miss the grey in my beard? With 40 inbound like a careening freight train, I appreciate the inference that I’m a young man in his eyes, and thanked him for both his compliments and his service.

Normally, I’d end a conversation like this with a rumble of throttle in appreciation — but I didn’t want to disappoint our sailor with the sounds of a minivan engine. So I motored off in relative silence. While this V6-powered, all-wheel drive Dodge Challenger GT doesn’t have the aural pleasures of its Hemi-powered brethren, it clearly still makes people take notice.

(Read More…)

By on June 2, 2018

2018 Dodge Challenger Shakedown

When the first LX-platform Chryslers appeared in late 2004, buyers who had long grown wary of the automaker’s products took solace in the fact that the new 300 and Dodge Charger/Magnum borrowed so many components from bedmate Mercedes-Benz.

While not a direct carryover, the front and rear suspension, floorpan, and five-speed automatic transmission (among other items) all boasted German heritage. DaimlerChrysler found itself with a hit on its hands. Thirteen years later, after many updates and styling refreshes, LX cars still trundle off Fiat Chrysler’s Brampton, Ontario assembly line and into the waiting arms of North American traditionalists.

It was long expected that, after FCA hit snooze on a planned 2019 platform swap, we’d see new underpinnings for the old rear-drivers by 2021. Hold your horses, says CEO Sergio Marchionne. (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2018

Our Rare Ride today is an excellent condition example of an easily forgotten Malaise coupe from Chrysler Corp.

It is, of course, the second-generation Dodge Challenger, from 1980.

(Read More…)

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