The huge Dodge Challenger has returned after a 35 year absence. The new muscle car will be powered by a 425 horsepower Hemi engine with 420 lb-ft of torque with SRT8 trim package. Along with rubber burning power and a design that takes its cues from the original, Dodge has also given the new the Challenger a key less entry system and push button starting, a hard-drive based digital music system with digital music capability, a unique hands-free communication system, and a GPS navigation system. Like Henry Ford’s Model T, you can have any color you want, as long as they are orange, black or silver. Each 2008 SRT8 will have a unique numbered individual dash plaque.
For a US list price of $38,000, including destination and taxes, buyers will get a car that will go 1 to 60 in under 5 seconds, five seats, acceleration from 1 to 100 mph back to 1 mph in just under 17 seconds, ¼ times of just over 13 seconds, braking from 60 mph to zero in 110 feet, skid pad performance of ,9 g and a five speed automatic transmission. Strangely enough, this classic muscle car is not yet available with a manual transmission.
The Challenger will be two-door, real wheel drive and is based on the Dodge Charger which found favor with police departments but was sneered at by car purists for its four door design. Dodge will not make the same four door mistake with the new Challenger. The Challenger is four inches shorter than the Charger, featuring a 116 inch wheelbase. It also has a brake-lock differential, all-speed traction control, and an Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Handling should be no problem in the new car, despite the big power load.
The Challenger has head turning looks, both in photos, in video and in person. The orange color is particularly eye catching. The large running lights were an give a unique look to the car, along with a splashy touch of color and they come at a time when customers are changing from bright blue headlights to warmer orange or yellow headlights. The grille looks aggressive in real life and the tail lights look great with full car length lighting around a single backup lamp bar. The ends only light up during breaking. The grill is produced without the Dodge logo in the middle, but even without the logo, this car is undeniably a Challenger.
The unibody that is unique to 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 has a front suspension with multi link short and long arm (SLA). The front suspension cradle puts hydro-formed steel tube side rails together with a stamped box section lateral member for better feel. The multi-link SLA suspension allowed engineers to reduce vibration and noise by tuning busings while still maintaining peak performance.
The 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 has a five-link Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) to allow free tuning of the ride and handling. Multiple links maintain camber and toe independent control. For 2008,three-season Goodyear F1 Super car tires are optional. SRT-exclusive fully-forged 20-inch Alcoa aluminum wheels with 4-season Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires are standard.