The boys at 5th Gear learned a thing or two about American muscle when they took a new Hemi powered Dodge Challenger SRT-8 out for a ride. The SRT-8 is set apart from standard Challengers by its 6.1 Liter V8 with hemispherical combustion chambers that allow the modern muscle car to make 426 HP and go from 0 to 60 MPH in only 5.5 seconds.
The Dodge Challenger has come into the world in three completely different generations. The first generation Challenger was a pony car produced from 1970-1974 and the second generation ranged from 1978-1983 and was a badge engineered Mitsubishi Galant Lambda. The third, current generation came about in 2008 and was produced to compete against the Mustang and the Camaro, two muscle cars that had outlived the pony car era. The current generation Challenger is built on the Charger/Chrysler 300C platform and features rear-wheel drive and an independent rear suspension. It is powered by a choice of three engines: a 3.5L V6 that produces 250HP and 250 lb-ft of torque, a 5.7L V8 delivering 372HP and 400 lb-ft of torque, and the top-of-the-line 6.1L V8 producing 425HP and 420 lb-ft of torque. These engines are mated to either a 6-speed manual pr 5-speed automatic transmission.
Back in the 70’s when America was in the middle of a love affair with the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro, the other member of the Detroit 3 – Dodge – had to come up with their own muscle car or risk becoming just an afterthought to what has become a ‘vehicular arms race’ between Ford and Chevy.
Dodge did release its own muscle car – the Dodge Challenger – and to this day, it is universally recognized as one of America’s true muscle cars.
The Challenger’s design was done by Carl Cameron, the same man who was responsible for the design of the 1966 Dodge Charger. Although the Challenger took off in the eyes of the public at the start – 76,935 cars were produced for the 1970 model year – the changing times and the waning interest in the pony car segment meant that the Challenger didn’t live a long life and was out of production in 1974. Ironically, as a result of its short shelf-lif,e not a lot of Challenger models lived to see the turn of the millennium – especially the 440 R/T version, which only had 163 models built. As a result, those who did have the specific-modeled car ended up owning a priceless piece of American muscle-car history.
Continued after the jump.
In today’s era of mergers and bankruptcies, it seems logical for a car manufacturer to find some ways to reignite their floundering industry. For the Detroit 3 – Ford , Chrysler, and GM – one of those ways just might be sitting under their noses, parked in their garages and waiting to be unleashed to the public once more.
We’re talking about ’Muscles’, baby – those unassuming-looking yet extremely powerful muscle cars that dominated the streets of America back in the day.
While Ford has never been guilty of throwing a blanket on their Mustang series, the company has never really taken the time out to develop a Mustang that can carry the company back to prominence as it did in the 60’s and 70’s. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when Ford decided to revitalize the Mustang brand much to the warm reception from people that have been clamouring for the car’s ultimate renaissance.
The U.S. Air Force has partnered up with Galpin Austo Sports for an innovative recruiting strategy that kicked off last month. The aerial branch of the U.S. military decided the best way to grab hold of their nation’s youth was with a pair of highly modified modern day muscle cars. The team from G.A.S. (better known from MTV’s Pimp my Ride!) transformed a Ford Mustang into a beautiful pearlescent fighter jet codenamed the “X-1”; and a radar absorbing stealth bomber dubbed “Vapor” out of a Dodge Challenger.
The Air Force-inspired tuner cars will travel across the country as part of a mobile marketing campaign in an attempt for the Air Force to educate America’s youth about the mechanical and technical career opportunities they offer. If you want to see these two machines in person, the 2009 Super Car Tour will make its rounds to high schools as well as a variety of Air Force sponsored events like the DUB magazine car show, the tuner friendly Hot Import Nights shows, Battle of the Imports, Formula Drift, International Hot Rod Association and local community events.
Together the Mustang “X-1” and “Vapor” Challenger form one of the baddest fleets of high dollar tuner cars in the world. The vehicles are a combination of form, function and big money electronic equipment fused into two very attractive packages. If you want to see the buildup process of these two super cars, the Air Force has you covered, just visit http://www.airforce.com/supercar.
To see all that went into these two modern day muscle cars check out the press release after the jump.
Star power couldn’t event sell this one. Towbin Dodge (from King of Cars) commissioned West Coast Customs (from Pimp My Ride) to build what the factory wouldn’t: a Dodge Challenger convertible. The car went on eBay last week but the $50K+ higest bid wasn’t even enough.
More info and pics after the jump.
Dodge is now giving the base Challenger the Hemi treatment with the Challenger SE Rallye. No, the 6.1-liter 425 hp V8 is from the SRT8 is not the standard engine (it’s a 3.5-liter V6), but it’s five-speed automatic does fine a home in the Rallye package.
Other features of the package include 18-inch rallye wheels, racing stripes and body colored spoiler. The whole package starts from $26,490, and is a small price to pay to look like it’s got a Hemi in it.
Press release after the jump.
The guys over at Garage 419 are shamelessly ripping off Top Gear, but they not only admit it, they also added a third element. While Top Gear challenges usually pit a car against one form of mass transportation, these guys are putting a Dodge Challenger SRT8 up against a plane and a train.
Mr. Norm was a muscle car pioneer. He saw the demand for muscle cars in the late 60’s and embraced the trend by modifying Mopars at his Chicago dealership. When a customer purchased a performance car at Mr. Norm’s Grand Spaulding Dodge they got exactly what they wanted. If Chrysler didn’t offer enough grunt, Mr. Norm would add a more aggressive camshaft a larger carburetor tune the vehicle on a dynamometer and actually show the new owner how much power their dream car just made. Even though Mr. Norm’s Garage has moved south to Florida, the man is still determined to give the people what they want. Two fine examples are the Kenne Bell supercharged Mr. Norm’s Super Challenger and Super Cuda based on the 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 .
Press release after the jump.
If you’re going to go retro, why not go all the way? Dodge revealed a special edition called the Challenger R/T Classic, which takes even more elements from the original 70s Challenger .
The price for this extra throwback is $34,005, which is a $3,460 premium over the base price of a regular Challenger R/T. But with this extra cash comes some extra goodies. This includes dual throwback A-line body-side R/T stripes, ‘Challenger’ fender badging in classic script, large 20-inch polished-chrome heritage wheels with all-season performance tires, classic egg-crate grille with heritage ‘R/T’ badge, body-color rear spoiler and chromed fuel-filler door.
The R/T Classic is powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine that delivers 376 hp and a peak torque of 410 lb.-ft. of torque. This is the same powerplant as the regular R/T, so 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds should be expected in the R/T Classic.
Full details in the press release after the jump.