Archive for the ‘challenger’ Tag

Mopar 17 Challenger: first with a 392

The eighth Mopar-branded vehicle to be produced is the Mopar 17 Challenger, designed to help celebrate the 80th anniversary of Mopar.

 

The Mopar-branded car has the interior and exterior appearance upgrades that we would have expected, but the big news with this Mopar Challenger is under the hood. For the first time, a Mopar-branded production vehicle is powered by the 392 cubic inch Hemi with 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque, making this the most powerful Mopar-branded car in the history of the program. Ever other Mopar car, other than the Dart, was powered by the 5.7L Hemi.

In addition to the basic features of the 392 Shaker engine setup, the Mopar 17 Challenger has a Mopar cold air intake paired with a driver’s side Air Catcher headlight, but there is no word of any added power from the extra cool air.

 

On the other hand, the Mopar strut tower braces improve handling performance, in addition to looking cool in the engine bay.

The 392 cubic inch Hemi might be the biggest news with the Mopar 17 Challenger, but buyers can get that powerful mill with a handful of different trimlines.

Where the Mopar 17 stands out from, say, the 392 Scat Pack Hemi Shaker, which shares the same drivetrain and cold air induction hood system, is in the interior and exterior design.

On the outside, the Mopar 17 Challenger is black on the hood, roof, pillars and trunk lid, and Contusion Blue or Billet Silver elsewhere. The unique, silver 392 decals on the fenders show off the Mopar “omega M;” the car also has machined-face 20 inch Scat Pack wheels with black painted pockets. Finally, the package adds the exhaust tips from the SRT Hellcat and a Mopar badge on the rear spoiler.

Inside, the Mopar 17 Challenger Shaker has SRT performance seats with suede centers and leather bolsters, all in black with gray (“Tungsten”) embroidered Mopar logos. The stitching uses Tungsten thread throughout, matching the embroidery. There is plenty of black leather trim throughout the cabin, and a serial badge announcing the number (out of 80) for that particular car.

Finally, buyers of the Mopar 17 Challenger will get a unique owner’s package, which includes a Mopar welcome letter, a “birth certificate” with the build date, an autographed Mopar 17 rendering from the design team, a Mopar 17 book with information on the vehicle, an acrylic “memorabilia showpiece,” Mopar valve stem caps, a keychain, and an anniversary badge.

The bad news is that the Mopar 17 Challenger will be limited to just 160 cars – 80 in Contusion Blue and 80 in Billet Silver.

When these cars begin reaching dealerships in the second quarter of 2017, they will have an MSRP starting at $55,790 (not including destination).

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/cars/mopar/17-challenger-392.html

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The Dodge Shakedown Challenger Is Bizarrely Wonderful

If ever there were proof that Bizarro World exists, then this Dodge Shakedown Challenger at the 2016 SEMA show might just be it. Whereas the modern Dodge Challenger is a new car made to look like an old car, the Shakedown Challenger is an old car made to look like a new car. Bizarro, indeed.

Although the Shakedown is technically a 1971 Challenger, the crew at FCA added the headlights, taillights, and a grille from the 2017 Challenger to give the classic coupe a contemporary look. A custom lower front fascia, rear lip spoiler, and modern 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels that share a design with the wheels featured on the Challenger SRT Hellcat further blur the line between old and new.


The Shakedown Challenger’s looks aren’t all that has been updated for the 21st century. As the giant “Mopar 392” fender decals imply, the Shakedown is motivated by Dodge’s 485-hp 6.4-liter V8. A functional hood scoop, a cold-air intake, and a custom-made exhaust provide the 392-cubic-inch engine with an extra bit of grunt. Meanwhile, a six-speed manual transmission cribbed from the Viper puts the pushrod engine’s ponies to the rear wheels. Custom suspension components and Brembo brake calipers from the Hellcat ensure the Shakedown’s other dynamic qualities are as capable as its impressive powertrain.

Dodge didn’t leave the vintage Challenger’s outmoded interior untouched, either. The Shakedown’s insides include a modern Mopar gauge cluster, as well as a steering wheel and seats culled from today’s Viper. The rear seats have been removed, too, replaced by a parcel shelf and a roll bar, while a fuel cell and its associated filler sit in the Shakedown’s trunk.

The Dodge Shakedown Challenger is quite possibly the most meta car we’ve ever laid eyes on. After all, this classic Challenger is styled to look like a car that was originally designed to mimic the looks of the 1970–71 Challenger. It seems, then, that the modern-looking, 45-year-old Dodge Shakedown Challenger is Chrysler’s attempt to shake things up, not down. Which kind of makes sense, because in Bizarro World “down” actually means “up.”

Read more at: http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/sema-show/news/a31375/the-dodge-shakedown-challenger-is-so-bizarre/

MEET THE NEW SPECIAL-EDITION 2017 CHALLENGER T/A

We’re reintroducing the famed Challenger T/A for 2017. This race-bred muscle car puts the power down via the 6.4-liter 392 HEMI® V8 engine with a naturally aspirated 485 horsepower, or the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with up to 375 horsepower with the all-new electronically controlled active performance exhaust system.

2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392 (left), 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A (right) and 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A

2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392 (left), 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A (right) and 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A

The 2017 Challenger T/A is designed to stop and turn heads with its chassis upgrades for greater handling and braking, plus functional performance styling appointments inside and out.

Select highlights for 2017 include:
– New directed cold-air hood system feeding a modified SRT® Hellcat air box adds even more fresh air
– New SRT Hellcat-inspired driver and passenger side “Air Catcher” headlamps feature unique LED-illuminated T/A logos
– New 2.75-inch electronically controlled active exhaust system on 5.7-liter HEMI V8 models delivers a signature muscle-car sound
– Wider, 20 x 9-inch and all-new 20 x 9.5-inch wheels with high-performance tires help improve handling on 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter HEMI powered models, respectively
– 392 models add an ultra-high performance Brembo® brake system with six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers
– Unique Satin Black painted hood and exterior graphics, including available hood pins that highlight the Dodge brand’s cultivation of its storied performance history
– Performance bolstered seats, Dodge performance steering wheel, unique white-face gauges and dark interior accents are included

In addition, an all-new and limited-production Green Go, plus a revised Yellow Jacket hue for the 2017 Challenger T/A build on the Dodge brand’s High-Impact Paint (HIP) legacy. Go Mango and TorRed hues from the exclusive HIP collection are also offered. Also joining the paint lineup for 2017 are Destroyer Gray and Octane Red shades, while White Knuckle, Redline Red, Pitch Black, Granite, Billet, Contusion Blue and Maximum Steel are also available.

Initially built for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Trans Am racing series in 1970, and with only 2,399 ever built, the Challenger T/A is considered one of the most sought after muscle cars of all time. The new 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A model lineup builds on this legacy with three track-capable models loaded with unique appointments and performance hardware — Challenger T/A, Challenger T/A Plus and the Challenger T/A 392.

Production for the Challenger T/A will begin in the fall, and it will be available for order in October.

Read more at: http://blog.dodge.com/vehicles/special-editions/new-2017-challenger-ta/

First Hellcat tuning software launched

Hellcat Charger and Challenger owners looking for a few extra ponies may be excited to know that the first tuning system for the 6.2L supercharged Hemi has reached the market. It comes from Diablosport, one of the biggest names in the world of tuning, which has a history of adding power with their tuning software.<BR><BR>

Diablosport has three power levels, and an extra bit of added security, should you need to return to the dealership for repairs. In each case, the tune is added by plugging into the car’s diagnostics port and pressing a couple of buttons to add a claimed 30+ rear-wheel horsepower.<BR><BR>

The first tuning option is the stock tune, which works with the stock PCM tune so there is no power increase, but other aspects of the vehicle such as throttle response and transmission shifts are sharpened up for a more engaging driving experience. I haven’t driven a Hellcat car with the “stock tune,” but in other vehicles, it makes a big difference in driving dynamics. The Hellcat Challenger and Charger are good enough that the stock tune likely doesn’t have the impact on these cars that it does on my Dodge Ram, but this is an option for those who want a crisper drive with the stock power.<BR><BR>

The second tuning option is the 91 Octane Performance Tune; it sharpens up the throttle response and adds around 28 horsepower and around 22 lb-ft of torque. Since the Hellcat test cars used by Diablosport laid down 660 rear wheel horsepower, the 91 Octane tune pushes it up around the 690 rwhp mark.<BR><BR>

The top power comes from the 93 Octane Performance tune, which  adds more than 30 horsepower and more than 30 lb-ft of torque. With this, the Hellcat Challenger and Charger are both capable of laying down just over 700 rear wheel horsepower.  Diablosport claimed corrected numbers of 700.2 horsepower at the rear wheels, nearly 40 more horsepower at the rear wheels.<BR><BR>

Additional Features, Added Security<BR><BR>
Regardless of the tune, the Diablosport products allow Hellcat Dodge owners to adjust the neutral and idle RPM, move the rev limiter, adjust a speed limiter, disable the traction and stability control, adjustments for different tire sizes, and adjust when the cooling fan turns on and off – along with adjusting the engine parameters to make better power.<BR><BR>

All of the Diablosport Hellcat tuning packages come with an extra PCM that will make trips to the dealership a little less of a headache. Retuning the engine can both void your engine warranty and  cause  dealership people to give you a hard time when you come in for service. Owners can send their factory PCM to Diablosport to be unlocked, but from there on out, the dealership will be able to tell that the PCM has been accessed.<BR><BR>

The three tuning packages for the Hellcat Charger and Challenger coming with the tuning components themselves, along with an extra PCM already prepared to accept a tune. Thus, owners can swap out the factory PCM for the one with the tuning package; then swap the factory PCM back in before hitting the dealership. (This may violate the owner’s agreement with Dodge/FCA US).<BR><BR>

Prices
Partly because of the PCM being included, prices are fairly high. If you only want the modified PCM, e.g. to do custom tuning, Diablosport will sell it to you for $799.<BR><BR>

If you want the full tuning package from Diablosport, you can pick either their Trinity tuner or their InTune tuner, both of which come with the unlocked PCM. The Trinity for the Hellcat costs $1,199 while the InTune system costs $1,099. Based on those numbers and the Diablosport price of $799 for the new PCM, the actual performance tunes and the tuning components (Trinity, InTune) is $300-400.<BR><BR>

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/10/first-hellcat-tuning-software-launched-30303

The 1,000HP Gen III Hemi 1970 Dodge Challenger Dream Car

For some, Super Stock and “Super Stalk” might as well be one in the same. For others however, both are distinctly different, yet equally heroic endeavors. In NHRA Super Stock, the Big Three dumped ludicrous stacks of money to build factory ringers for bragging rights and bragging rights alone. This results in cool stuff like 9,000-rpm hydraulic roller small-blocks that run 9-second e.t.’s. By contrast, “super stalk” describes one man’s quest to chase down the exact same car for 30 years before finally convincing the owner to put it up for sale. It takes a very unique car to inspire such an extreme obsession, and the story behind Brook Niemi’s ’70 Dodge Challenger proves that the truth is indeed much more interesting than fiction.

Although people love reminiscing about how everything was better during the muscle car era, they rarely mention that it was also a time when real car guys worked at car dealerships. Imagine, for a moment, the luxury of ordering up the Mopar of your dreams with an employee discount to boot. Throw in a savvy employee’s knowledge of all the obscure option codes offered by Chrysler, and Brook’s Challenger is the result. “The original owner was a Dodge salesman in Great Falls, Montana, who ordered it as a company car,” Brook explains. “The dealership didn’t allow optioning company cars with Hemis or Six Pack induction systems, so he ordered it up with the R/T package, 440 big-block, a four-barrel carb, an A833 four-speed, and a Dana 60 rearend. Once the car arrived, he swapped out the four-barrel carb and the stock hood for a Six Pack and a factory T/A hood. The car was also optioned with the Special Edition package, which included a smaller back window, four-point seatbelts, and a console in the headliner.”

Eventually, the unique E-Body moved on to its second owner a few years later, which is when Brook first saw it and fell head over heels. “During high school in the late ’70s, the machine shop I was working at built a 500ci Six Pack engine for the Challenger. At that time it was painted white and built to look like the car from Vanishing Point,” he recalls. “I have such vivid memories of the owner pulling wheelies with the car in the parking lot. From that day forward, I always kept up with the car. The third owner purchased the car in the early ’80s and never drove it much.”

The bad news was that the Challenger’s third owner seemed to appreciate it more for its collectability than its Chevy-stomping potential. The good news was that this same lack of use kept the car in outstanding condition. “From the early ’80s to 2005, the car sat in storage. The owner at the time liked that the Challenger was one of less than 150 built with a 440 and a four-speed, but his real passion was for ’60s-era cars,” Brook says. “He planned on restoring the car back to stock someday, but he eventually had a change of heart and decided to sell it to help fund other projects. He had been sitting on my contact information for years, so as soon as I got the call that the car was available, I picked it up immediately.”

Throughout the course of its decorated history, this fine Mopar specimen had logged just 54,000 original miles. Even so, the 30-year-old paint had seen better days, so Brook stripped the car down, repainted it, and dropped the original 440 back in it. While the crew at Kindig-It Design tackled the paint and bodywork, the car revealed yet another one of its interesting secrets. “The paint code indicated that the car was originally Sublime Green. Since that made it even rarer, the shop tried to talk me into painting it the original OE color,” Brook recalls. “I understood the reasoning behind it, but in my mind the car had to be white because that’s the color it was when I first saw it as a kid. I always remembered it as a Vanishing Point tribute car, so that’s how I planned on restoring it.”

By sticking with his guns, Brook successfully re-created the car from his childhood dreams. All was good in his hood until a chance encounter with another Mopar triggered an avalanche of changes. “I was sitting at a stoplight one day when a Sublime Green Challenger R/T with a 426 Hemi pulled up behind me. It looked so good that even though I had just finished painting my car white, I decided at that moment that I had to repaint it green,” Brook says. On one hand, stripping the car back down just to repaint it seemed like an awful lot of work, and Brook was tempted to modernize the powertrain, suspension, and brakes. On the other hand, he had some reservations about throwing a bunch of non-original parts on such a rare piece of Mopar history. Ultimately, the itch to build something truly unique prevailed.

Seeking modern levels of power, driveability, braking, handling, and comfort in a 40-year-old chassis required a major overhaul of all the major mechanical hardware. Granted, a stock 440 provides plenty of scoot by most standards, but Brook wanted more power. Like three times more power. He determined that the best method of accomplishing this without increasing mass was by swapping out the big-block for a supercharged, all-aluminum Gen III Hemi. Absolute Performance (Sandy, Utah) welcomed the challenge and schemed up the perfect combination for Brook’s needs. The setup is based on an aftermarket aluminum block that’s been bored to 4.125 inches and fitted with a Callies forged 4.000-inch crankshaft, Oliver steel rods, and custom Wiseco 9.5:1 forged pistons. An Edelbrock E-Force supercharger pressurizes air molecules into a set of Thitek aluminum cylinder heads, and custom Arrow Lane headers evacuate the cylinders. The result is 426 ci of Gen III Hemi that kicks out over 1,000 hp and 1,100 lb-ft of torque. For easier freeway cruising, Brook replaced the A833 trans for a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed, which feeds torque to a Strange S60 rearend.

Of course, horsepower alone is meaningless if it all goes up in smoke, so Brook completely revamped the chassis with Reilly Motorsports hardware. Up front, the stock suspension has been replaced with an RMS K-member, control arms, sway bar, and coilovers. Out back, the factory leaf springs got yanked for an RMS four-link system. Monster Wilwood disc brakes convert forward inertia into heat, while 18-inch EVOD wheels wrapped in Nitto rubber plant the lateral and longitudinal loads to the pavement.

Inevitably, some collectors won’t take too kindly to throwing a late-model EFI motor along with modern suspension and brakes at a super rare Challenger with only 54,000 original miles. Nevertheless, from the car’s original interior to its stock body and paint, Brook has gone to great lengths to retain the essence of what the Challenger looked like when it rolled into the dealer lot in 1970. “Sure, I had some reservations about putting a bunch of modern parts on this car, but I’ve put the original engine, rearend, K-member, and suspension into safe storage. I can swap all the original parts back in very easily,” he explains.

Ultimately, Brook doesn’t have to explain himself to anyone. After patiently stalking his prey for 30 years, he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants, period correctness be damned. Despite how utterly badass Brook’s 1,000hp Challenger may be, its cool factor still takes a backseat to the incredible story behind it. Lusting over the same car for three decades, then transforming it into the ultimate E-Body, could just be the most rewarding car building experience of all time. As the saying goes, you can’t make this stuff up.

Fast Facts
1970 Dodge Challenger
Brook Niemi
South Jordan, UT

Engine

Type: Chrysler Gen III Hemi small-block

Block: Mopar Performance aluminum bored to 4.125 inches

Oiling: Melling oil pump, Milodon pan

Rotating assembly: Callies 4.000-inch steel crank, Oliver rods, Wiseco 9.5:1 pistons

Cylinder heads: CNC-ported Thitek aluminum castings

Camshaft: custom Arrow Racing hydraulic roller (specs classified)

Valvetrain: COMP Cams valvesprings, Smith pushrod

Induction: Edelbrock E-Force supercharger and throttle-body

Ignition: stock

Exhaust: custom Arrow Lane headers, custom X-pipe, dual 3-inch MagnaFlow mufflers

Cooling system: C&R Racing radiator, Spal electric fans

Output: 1,004 hp at 6,200 rpm and 1,109 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm

Drivetrain

Transmission: Tremec TKO 600 five-speed manual, Centerforce clutch, Hurst shifter

Rear axle: Strange S60 rearend with 35-spline axles, 3.54:1 gears, and limited-slip differential

Chassis

Front suspension: Reilly Motorsports K-member, control arms, coilovers, steering rack, and sway bar

Rear suspension: Reilly Motorsports four-link, Panhard bar, coilovers, and sway bar

Brakes: Wilwood 14-inch discs and six-piston calipers, front; Wilwood 12-inch discs and four-piston calipers, rear

Wheels & Tires

Wheels: EVOD Challenge 18×9.5, front; 18×10.5, rear

Tires: Nitto NT05 275/35ZR18, front; 295/35ZR18, rear

Read more at: http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/enthusiasts/the-1000hp-gen-iii-hemi-1970-dodge-challenger-dream-car/ar-AAcoe4U

New Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

The 2016 Dodge / Mopar Challenger Drag Pak was unveiled today, boasting a choice of supercharged 354 Hemi or naturally aspirated 426 Hemi engines. The car is meant for racing only, and costs $99,426 for the 426 and $109,354 for the supercharged V8.

These drag racing cars are designed for the Sportsman class, and are race-ready. They are “designed to ignite the passion of the grass-roots car racers,” according to Mopar’s sales chief.

Dale Aldo from the Motorsports Marketing Team said that past Drag Paks (from 2011 on) have been successful, and that the cars were built to win races, not for on-road driving. They are the first supercharged Drag Paks.

They can cover the first 60 feet in just over a second, and do the quarter mile consistently in the eight-second range, and end up at 150 mph.

The supercharged engine uses a cast iron block with an aluminum cylinder head, a forged steel crankshaft, and a special calibration; it is based on the third generation Hemi and has the historic 354 cubic inch displacement.

The 426 uses an aluminum block and head, forged steel crankshaft, and special calibration. Supercharged cars have a blue graphics package, while 426 cars have a black package.

Improvements include a race-prepped automatic transmission, enhanced rear axle housing mounting scheme for better launches, 40-spline rear axles, redesigned NHRA-spec roll cage, Mopar gauge package, lightweight racing seats, hinged hood for one-person between-round maintenance, and integral tie-downs for easier trailering.

Ordering starts through Dodge dealers starting on July 23, 2015.

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/06/new-mopar-challenger-drag-pak-29068

Hellcat Challenger picks up 34whp with only a tune (video)

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the most powerful muscle car of all time, with a supercharged 6.2L Hellcat Hemi producing a bone chilling 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, according to the official marketing materials.

From the time that the first media outlets got hold of the Hellcat Challenger, it looked as though the 707/650 figures were a bit underrated; and the owner of the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat in the video below wanted to see just how much power his new Mopar muscle car made in stock form, so he took it to a dyno shop for a baseline dyno run and for tuning – tuning which turned out some incredible numbers.

hansen-hellcat-dyno

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat shown below in Sublime Green is owned by Ohio resident John Michael Hansen. Mr. Hansen is no stranger to high performance vehicles; his current garage is occupied by a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, a built Lancer Evolution X, a built Nissan GTR, a built MKIV Toyota Supra, and a supercharged Ram 1500 SRT10.

Aside from the Jeep, all of John’s cars are modified and all of them are supercharged, so it should come as no surprise that this horsepower junkie was one of the first people in line when the 2015 Challenger Hellcat went on sale.

Once Mr. Hansen took delivery of his 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, he took it to Accelerated Performance to see just how much power it made in factory stock form. The 2015 Hellcat Challenger in the video below made 646 horsepower and 585lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels; considering the official power numbers of 707hp and 650lb-ft of torque at the crankshaft, Hansen’s Hellcat is losing only about 9% of the power between the engine and the wheels, which is a clear indication that the car is indeed underrated or that the Hellcat Challenger has an extremely efficient automatic transmission, as most self-shifting cars lose at least 12% of their power at the wheels.

hansen-stock-hellcat-dyno-chart -2

After getting a baseline dyno reading on his 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, John Michael Hansen had Torrie McPhail of Unleashed Tuning see how much extra power they could squeeze from the stock Hellcat. Using an HPTuners tuning tool, McPhail was able to increase the output at the wheels from 646hp and 585lb-ft of torque to 680 horsepower and 616 torque.

With no other modifications, simply tuning the stock computer to optimize performance allowed Mr. Hansen’s Hellcat Challenger to pick up 34 horsepower and 31 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Provided that we use the somewhat comical 9% drivetrain loss that we calculated above, this Challenger is making no less than 740 horsepower and 671 lb-ft of torque at the motor…from a car with no modifications and a simple engine computer tune.
hansen-tuned-hellcat-dyno-chart-3

Those are high stock numbers to begin with, and amazing tuned numbers for the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat; and with Mr. Hansen planning to do more to his new Mopar muscle car, we could see even bigger numbers from this Sublime beast in the coming months. In the meantime, crank up your speakers and fall in love with the roar of this tuned Hellcat on the dyno.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 9.53.23 AM

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/03/hellcat-challenger-picks-up-34whp-with-only-a-tune-video-28067

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392

I’ve just started reading the third installment in a planned five-book biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, Master of the Senate, written by the incomparable Robert Caro. Conveniently, a recent trip to drive the BMW X6 M and 228i Convertible was to be staged in Austin, TX, within easy driving distance of LBJ’s birthplace, Johnson City. And yes, the city is named for his family.

Having completed my duties with the Bimmers, I borrowed the spangled 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392 you see above, to squire me around the Texas capitol for a weekend, and as a lift out to the Hill Country homestead of our 36th President.

Johnson City isn’t exactly a road trip mecca, but there’s a pretty good brewery, a museum, the reconstructed LBJ house to take snapshots of, and it’s a nice drive to get out there if you’ve got a 485-horsepower muscle car at your disposal.

Driving Notes

– With the heroic Hellcat, this 392 and the R/T Scat Pack (that Brandon Turkus reviewed recently), there are more SRT-treated Challengers to choose from than ever before. There are 707 obvious reasons that the Hellkitty is the top dog (as it were), but there are important difference between this 392 and the Scat Pack, too. Both cars make use of the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 putting out 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque, but the 392 also gets an adaptive suspension, six-piston Brembo brake calipers (instead of four-piston), wider tires, leather and Alcantara seats, a heated steering wheel, a louder stereo and HID headlights.

– When LBJ was campaigning for his seat in the House of Representatives, he would’ve loved to have something as potent as this monster of a V8 under the hood of his canvassing car. The 6.4L snorts with authority before it sends the big coupe forward to just about any speed I’d ask of it, and with a quickness. Johnson was known for haranguing drivers to step on it, when all that stood between himself and a few more votes was the ability to fit one more stump speech into the day. The 392 feels as though it could cover a quarter of the state of Texas in a morning if you throttle down deep enough (faster even than the Johnson City Windmill, I’d guess).

– Though there’s a six-speed manual available, I’m actually quite fond of the eight-speed automatic in the 392. The two-pedal setup better suits the fast-cruiser attitude of the car, and it never served up any poorly conceived shift logic when I left it in D.

– Of course, the roads are better now than they were in the 1930s and 40s, too. Even on rather remote Farm to Market roads, the Challenger will grip and go around meandering corners, and turn in harder than you’d expect. This iteration of the Dodge doesn’t feel any more light on its feet than the others I’ve driven, but it’s capable of fast point-to-point driving once you start to trust the rubber and brakes (which are excellent), and get over the wideness of the track.

– Big guys like LBJ and myself have always fit well in the Challenger, and nothing about that changes with the 392. The seats are thick and well bolstered, with more than enough adjustment for me to find a comfortable position with good visibility. I even had four adults in the car for a few shorter drives around Austin, and only my extreme tallness would stop that from being a good idea for longer journeys.

– I haven’t spent as much time on the roadways of the Lone Star State as some of the other Autoblog editors have, but I think I can appreciate that this Dodge is a capable all-around sports car for country like this, if not a knife sharp one. What the Challenger lacks in things like steering response and feedback, it makes up for somewhat in ride quality and refinement. The 392 is even pretty quiet while at speed… unless you poke the thunder with a toe-tap of throttle.

Being honest, everything I like about the Challenger is present in every V8-powered version of the car (and a lot of it even in the base V6). But the 392 does add in enough specialness, enough potential for instant and thrilling drama, and a deep well of power to make it one of the best flavors SRT offers. And, at some $15k cheaper than the SRT Hellcat, it almost feels like a super-muscle car value. At $45,995 to start, it’s in the realm of affordability for a variant that you aren’t going to see in every other supermarket parking lot.

It may not be exactly Presidential in the total picture, but I think it’s a car that the fast-talking-Texan side of ol’ Landslide Lyndon would have truly appreciated. And it unquestionably makes for a great ride out to see his birthplace.

As read on: http://www.autoblog.com/2015/03/09/2015-dodge-challenger-srt-392-quick-spin-review/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016

Hellcat Challenger makes its pop culture debut

Opinion. After the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat made its music video debut in Eminem’s “Guts Over Fear” video, the two-door Mopar muscle car packing the 707 horsepower Hellcat Hemi has made its own popular culture debut.

Like the Hellcat Charger, the supercharger Challenger has scored a role in a rap video, but where the Charger made a cameo appearance, the Challenger is a main character in this new video. Best of all, joining the Hellcat Challenger in this new rap video is another 2015 Challenger that appears to be a V6 SXT model based on the lack of obvious badging.

I have to say that this isn’t my type of music and, honestly, I’ve never heard of most of the guys rapping in this video, so the Hellcat Challenger doesn’t get the same level of attention that the Charger did with the Eminem video. However, this is an official video from the new The Fast and the Furious series movie Furious 7, so not only will it get lots of attention from the hip-hop community, but it will also get plenty of attention from fans of the FATF movie series — indeed, close involvement with the series has played a part in more than 3 million people watching the “Ride Out” video. All of those people have watched the Hellcat Challenger and the 2015 Challenger SXT tearing it up in the video.

This injection of the 2015 Challenger in both V6 and Hellcat form into the rap world is a big deal, as this type of non-traditional marketing attracts much younger buyers, and while they may not be able to afford a Hellcat, the V6 Challenger shown doing many of the same stunts as the 707hp version should help the SXT model appeal to those who are looking for an affordable muscle car.

So, if you hate rap music, it is probably best to watch the first music video featuring the Hellcat Challenger and the 2015 Challenger SXT with the volume turned down, but it’s still fun to watch the various Mopars in this piece getting down and dirty for the video and for the new Furious 7 movie.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/03/hellcat-challenger-makes-its-pop-culture-debut

AN AFTERNOON IN A DODGE CHALLENGER 6.4L SCAT PACK

I have a friend who gets press cars nearly every week. Sometimes the cars are pretty cool. Sometimes not so much. In any case, I’ve been patiently waiting and FINALLY he got something I was excited about. A 2015 Dodge Challenger 6.4L Scat Pack. Phantom Black. Nice.

Now all I needed to do was finagle a ride or two while he had the car.

When he found out he was getting a Scat Pack, he asked me about it. Not normally one to keep quiet about such things, this time I simply said, “You’ll like it.” Further attempts to gain information from me were met with the same reply. (In retrospect, I realize this was not the most charming way to earn the joyride I so deeply wanted.)

So he turned to the Internet and suddenly I heard, “4,200 pounds?!?!”

To this I chuckled and said, “It is a heavy car.” And it was on. I thought I would never hear the end of it.

Then, he drove the car.

Suddenly, the weight was less of an issue. Instead, he told me how much he enjoyed driving this car. He liked the interior—both the spaciousness and the quality. The technology is advanced, yet easy to use. (Uconnect is definitely one of his new favorite toys.) Everything is available at the touch of a button without being overly complicated.

The Challenger Scat Pack doesn’t make apologies for what it is. Nor does it pretend to be something it’s not. It is a big, heavy, powerful car and it handles as such. Carrying 52 percent of its weight in the front, it does require a skilled driver. As my friend put it, you can’t be lazy when you’re driving it or you’ll find yourself in trouble.

Of course, a skilled driver in a controlled environment can also have some serious fun in this car. Spin outs, 360s, a little bit of showboating … entertaining and impressive to those watching and, of course, all in good fun.

The look of Phantom Black is menacing. Put together with the throaty exhaust note and this car got plenty of attention. I have to admit one of my favorite parts about riding in the car was watching all of the other American muscle cars slowly roll up next to us at stoplights. It was great to look over and see the other drivers checking out the car. (I swear I’ve never seen as many Camaros as I did the afternoon we were out driving the Scat.) Maybe a little less so when it was a member of law enforcement doing the same.

As read on: http://chryslercapital.com/blog/an-afternoon-in-a-dodge-challenger-6-4l-scat-pack-no-apologies-just-fun?utm_source=Chrysler+Capital&utm_medium=email&utm_content=read_more_2&utm_campaign=CC-CUST-NEWS_BestofBlog_Feb%20(1)