We haven’t seen much in the way of forward movement from Dodge on the Challenger since it came out a couple of years ago… but that is about to change in an incremental way. Thanks to OntarioStreetCar.com, we have some leaked materials from the recent Chrysler dealer meetings (which also saw a 2013 Viper development mule revealed – on an Alfa Romeo platform!).
The severely out-dated V-6 engine is replaced with a 305-HP version of their new Pentastar V-6. Absolutely state-of-the-art, right down to direct injection (take that, Ford!). The base Hemi in manual transmission form goes to 379 HP and 410 torque. The SRT-8 version (now “SRT-392”) goes to 475 HP and 460 torque.
And while Dodge fanboys might be celebrating… they still have a car that is 400-600 pounds heavier than the equivalent Mustangs and 200 pounds and more heavier than the Camaro. That can’t be overcome without an entirely new generation of the platform… but then all the various versions of this car are for cruising anyway, not track events.
We are big fans of the handsome Challenger… it’s the best retro design of the big three musclecars. But unfortunately it is also too big and too heavy to be a serious driver’s car.
Nevertheless, good work, Chrysler.
Engineering image. Note the slightly taller manifold and very large shorty headers. And note that the ugly engine cover is finally gone!