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.
Not one to be left out of the 2011 SEMA Auto Show extravaganza, Chrysler, together with its resident tuning house, Mopar Underground came with a bevy of vehicles to Las Vegas.
One of their offerings is the Dodge Challenger SRT8 ACR, a track focused, yet street-legal machine that drew its inspiration from both the Challenger SRT8 392 and the Viper SRT10 ACR. Coming with plenty of aesthetic and performance upgrades, the SRT8 ACR was no doubt one of the cars to steal the show in SEMA.
On the outside, the SR8 ACR was given a white body that comes with a charcoal painted roof and a flame red stripe running the length of the car, a design that pays homage to its departed Viper SR10 ACR counterpart. The paint finish is then complimented by a carbon fiber hood, a rear deck lid, a rear spoiler and tail lamp surrounds, red painted mirror caps, a red "ACR" fender badge, and a set of 20" black five-spoke alloy wheels with matching brake calipers.
Inside, Mopar continued the modifications on the Dodge muscle car by taking out the rear seat bench and replacing it with a roll bar and a fire extinguisher. To make the car lighter, Mopar added carbon fiber door panels to go with a new pair of bucket sport seats with openings for a racing harness, an SRT three-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel, an SRT gauge cluster, a custom bright pedal kit, Mopar Drag Pack center stack, and a carbon fiber center console finish.
On top of all of that, Mopar also gave the SRT8 ACR some performance enhancements in the form of a new coil-over suspension, front-and rear-strut tower braces, short-throw shifter, front splitter, cat-back exhaust, and custom exhaust headers.
UPDATE 11/07/2011: We have added live images from the SEMA Show. Find them all in the picture gallery!
SEMA is different from just about every other major auto show on the planet. Its purpose is to shift focus from the automakers to the aftermarket companies that have become popular because of their custom works on some of the world’s most popular vehicles. Sure, some brands will be at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show showing off their works too, but for the most part, they share equal billing with the tuning companies.
Many vehicles had their time to shine in the SEMA spotlight, but none more so than the plethora of Camaros and Mustangs - and even the Mopar-tuned Challenger. Every year, there’s a number of muscle cars that are given the royal treatment in terms of tuning, and this year has been no different. Maybe it’s the Americans’ obsession with good ol’ fashioned muscle, or maybe it’s the fact that all of the major muscle car makers are US born and bred. Either way, it was muscle car mania in Vegas, and we were there to take them all in.
Check out our list of SEMA muscle cars after the jump!
The vehicle, which was designed by legendary hot rod designer and TV star Chip Foose, comes with a distinctive look that pays tribute to the style of both Foose and WD-40. It comes with a custom two-tone, yellow-and-black BASF paint mixed by Chip Foose himself. It also has a Street Scene/Foose Design body kit, a Hotchkis suspension system, a Magnaflow exhaust, a new set of one-off MHT/Foose wheels, high-performance Brembo brakes, and WD-40-branded Katkzin upholstery, among other upgrades.
Under the hood of the Challenger is a 392-cubic-inch Hemi V8 engine that produces 470 horsepower and mated to a Tremec six-speed manual transmission.
“The WD-40/SEMA Cares Foose Challenger pays tribute to the technicians, aftermarket professionals and auto enthusiasts like Chip Foose who have trusted WD-40 Multi-Use Product to get the job done in their shops and garages,“ said Tim Lesmeister, vice president of marketing at WD-40 Company.
After it wows the crowd at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show, the WD-40/SEMA Cares Challenger will be auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction from January 15-22, 2012 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Proceeds of the sale will go to Childhelp, an organization that provides services to abused and neglected children, and The Victory Junction Gang Camp, which provides life-changing camping experiences to special needs and chronically ill children.
"You’ve seen the Camaro and the Mustang with those beautiful WD-40 brand colors, and this year we’re going to build something that will turn even more heads," Foose said. "I can’t wait to build it, drive it and then auction it off for a great cause at Barrett-Jackson."
Do you want to win a Penske Racing-inspired 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392? If you think that lady luck is on your side, then don’t hesitate in joining Pennzoil’s "Join the Pursuit" sweepstakes for the chance to win a special edition Challenger.
The car is a complete one-off that was custom-built by Chrysler’s own Street and Racing Technology Group. It comes with the standard 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine that delivers 470 horsepower and 470 lb/ft of torque, but we’ll let the standard horsepower fly since it comes with its own unique dual-finish black paint scheme, a new custom cat-back exhaust system, a new set of 20" alloy wheels, leather seats with accent stitching, and a plethora of Pennzoil and Penske Racing badges.
To enter the sweepstakes, you have to head to your nearest Pennzoil oil change location or Pennzoil.com to get a ticket or a code. Enter that code online and you’re in. Of course, you can get a second ticket if you get a Pennzoil synthetic oil change.
Entries will be accepted until 11:59 CT on October 31, 2011. So if you’re feeling the itch to play and confident that good fortune will come your way, head over to Pennzoil’s website and enter the contest for the chance to win this one-off Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 "Penske Racing Edition."
Expect good things from Chrysler in 2012, beginning with the first appearance of the Fiat-sourced Dodge Caliber replacement at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. To be built on a stretched version of Fiat’s high-volume compact platform, the new Dodge Caliber (or whatever the replacement will be called) will likely be the first in a series of new compacts from Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep. The Fiat platform is so versatile that it can be used for anything from compacts through mid-size vehicles, making it the ideal choice for a cost-conscious manufacturer like Chrysler.
Since Chrysler hasn’t focused on hybrids, electrics, or compact, fuel-saving engines to date, the automaker will have some catching up to do. Rumors say the new Chrysler compact cars will offer a range of normally-aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder engines, mated to eight and nine speed automatic transmissions for impressive fuel economy numbers. There’s even word of a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission, which probably means that a replacement for the Dodge Caliber SRT4 is in the works.
We had a chance to speak with SRT head, Ralph Gilles, last spring, and he was tight-lipped about what may or may not be in the development pipeline. He was enthusiastic about their upcoming compacts, however, as well as the bound-for-the-U.S. Fiat 500 Abarth. There’s no denying that the SRT8 versions of the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300 are fun to drive, but it looks like small-car Mopar fans will have a very good year ahead of them.
When you buy a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 or 2012 Dodge Charger SRT-8 you definitely will not be lacking power. These suburban bruisers are powered by massive 6.4 liter Hemi V8’s that pump out a spleen crushing 470 horsepower and 470 lbs/ft of torque. Now, what is an SRT-8 owner to do if he/she wants more power? The answer up to this point has been paying big bucks and taking it to a tuner, but now this will change.
Chrysler is reportedly considering adding a top end engine option for certain SRT models. According to MotorAuthority, this new engine will be based on the current one albeit with a Eaton supercharger that will push the horsepower to between 540-570 horsepower. With this power addition, these muscle cars will be put on the road with Ferrari 458-esque power. Where do we sign?! In addition, to control the extra ponies, this new engine will supposedly be mated to a new eight speed automatic gearbox. This new engine can be implemented on those SRT models which are based on the LX platform (Sorry, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, no upgrade for you just yet). An exception may be the Dodge Challenger SRT-8 which is based on a tweaked LX platform.
This is an important step in the reemergence of the muscle car in the American market. This reemergence has ignited an automotive world war with Ford, Chevy, and Dodge, each trying to outdo themselves in terms of engineering and appeal. This new Detroit cold war has only one winner and that is the muscle car enthusiasts around the world.
If you’re a fan of screeching tires and white smoke, then this video is for you. If you are more of the data type then you’d be interested to know that Chrysler’s latest HEMI V8 can be mated to either a standard Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission or a dual-disc high performance clutch, depending on the model. The range of models also deliver a decent fuel economy, with our favorite - the Challenger SRT8 - providing up to 23 miles per gallon on the highway, as well as great performance. The muscle car can do the 0-60 mph sprint in the high 4-second range and the quarter-mile in the high 12s. Top speed has been increased to more than 180 mph with the manual transmission (173 mph in the automatic).
The Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 is back again this year, and this time it’s getting even more advanced technologies to go with that monstrous 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine. It’s easy to forget about all of the features of the rear-wheel drive muscle car when you have 470 HP and 470 lb-ft of torque coursing through your ride, but Chrysler is revamping the SRT8 392 so that customers will still get 23 mpg, along with a revised suspension system and shift controls from the Charger SRT8.
The new two-mode adaptive damping suspension system offers selectable suspension tuning with choices for "Auto" and "Sport" styles. Each option will automatically adapt to road and driver inputs for optimal vehicle control, while the performance SRT-tuned, fully-hydraulic steering system gives drivers more direct response and on-center feel.
The 2012 Challenger SRT8 392 also welcomes a new, exclusive SRT heated steering wheel with mounted paddle shifters and a new 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with innovative GreenEdge technology.
UPDATE 08/01/2011: The Smoking Tire’s, Matt Farah, spent some time frying the tires off a blue Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 with white stripes! Check out the burnout after the jump!
Hit the jump to read more about the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392.
The NBA Finals are HEATing up and every Miami fan is eagerly awaiting their opportunity to watch the action court-side. Of course, not many fans will have the chance to do so, but thanks to Udonis Haslem, power forward for the Miami Heat, one lucky fan will get the chance to take home a memorable keepsake. No, we’re not talking about a signed basketball or jersey, but Haslem’s very own black 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8. His personal Challenger is currently on sale on eBay for a reasonable $37,990.
Haslem’s Dodge Challenger is painted in all black with a full black leather interior. It sits on 24" alloy performance wheels with carbon fiber overlays which are then wrapped in Pirelli tires. Other features include remote start system, a dual rear exhaust with dual bright exhaust tips, an Anti-spin rear differential, a rear stabilizer bar, 4-wheel anti-lock performance disc brakes, and a performance tuned power rack & pinion steering. Under the hood is Dodge’s 6,059 cc HEMI V8 gasoline engine producing 425 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 420 lb-ft at 4800 rpm. It is mated to an Autostick automatic transmission.
A lot of us may be too young to remember the glory days of auto movies in the 70s, but for those old enough to remember a movie called Vanishing Point starring Barry Newman, this little tuning project may be if interest. In the movie, Newman plays the role of Kowalski, man who makes some sort of bet that he could take a white 1970 Dodge Challenger and drive it all the way the from Colorado to San Francisco in just 15 hours. Apparently, Vanishing Point was one of the most iconic car movies of the era, having enjoyed cult status to its fans, including one Bob Frederick.
As the dealer of New Wilmington Dodge and a long-time fan of the movie, Frederick decided to do something really cool to pay homage to one of his favorite flicks by unveiling a special edition model of the 392 Inaugural Edition Dodge Challenger SRT8 and calling it the “Kowalski Edition”.
Hit the jump to read more about the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 "Kowalski Edition."