The Challenger has finally made its way back to the world of muscle cars, with the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8. While the Challenger has never truly left the hearts of any real muscle lover, we have all been waiting for an updated version of this classic of American Muscle. The car doesn’t disappoint, with the sound and feel that brings back memories of the good old days of muscle cars. With an engine that roars rather than screams, it becomes very clear very quickly that this is not a muscle care in name alone.
While Ford has been able to take advantage of having the only muscle car available since Chevy ended the run of the Camaro in the 2002 model year, it appears that the battle for power supremacy is making a comeback. With its Hemi V-8 putting out 425 horses, the Challenger is ready to put an end to the stranglehold that Ford has had on this market. The Challenger SRT8 was originally introduced as a concept just over two years ago at the Detroit Car Show. Two years later, we have the real thing ready to make its debut.
The style of the car itself is really a Dodge charger that has been shortened up and proportioned slightly different. The front end is longer while the rest of the car is shortened, a throwback to the original muscle car style. While the car has undergone quite a few changes since the original concept from the car show in Detroit, the car has stayed true to the most basic tenant of bringing back the heart and soul of the original Challenger. It is a nice change to see a car that gladly pulls its design from its heritage, as sometimes you just shouldn’t change what has worked so well in the past.
This Challenger takes the best of the original Challenger design and gives it an upgrade where technology has advanced. The 6.1 Liter V8 Hemi with 20 inch road wheels and upgraded brake systems allows the Challenger to have the same powerful feel while being far more stable and safe. The original Challenger was known for its balance, which allowed the car to make lane changes at 150 MPH, and the new version is no different.
To make the balance work, the original concept was changed from a split grill to an undivided grill. While this was not the ideal look for the car, it was a necessity to bring the balance back to the point it needed to be to hold true to the legacy of the Challenger. In addition to this major change in the design, the car gained more basic additions along the way to keep the aerodynamics as refined as possible, including a splitter and two small dive plane winglets in the front along with a small lip spoiler in the back.
When everything is added up, the all new Dodge Challenger seems poised for a long run at the top end of the muscle car market once again.