Dodge Challenger Origins
The Dodge Challenger was manufactured to compete with Ford’s Mustang and Chevrolet’s Camaro, in addition to Pontiac’s Firebird and Mercury’s Cougar. Equipped with a long wheel base and a spacious interior, it is one of a few large muscle cars manufactured during the 1970s.
The Dodge Challenger was reintroduced in 1978 and based on the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda coupe. Known for its sporty look and bright colors, it remained in production until 1984.
In 2008, a brand new Dodge Challenger appeared in the marketplace. Taking some design cues from the original Challenger, it has the Mercedes-Benz rear suspension, automatic transmission, and rear differential.
The Dodge Challenger is known for speed and performance. Promising to go from zero to 60 in less than five seconds, the 2012 Dodge Challenger will thrill muscle car owners and entice drivers to put the car through its paces.Dodge Challenger Features
The exterior of the 2012 Dodge Challenger will remind muscle car enthusiasts of the good old days. Dual round headlamps and a satin chrome grille are both fun and nostalgic. The long performance hood has an optional functioning hood scoop (depending on trim level). Eighteen-inch aluminum wheels come standard; 20-inch aluminum wheels and performance tires are available options. A chrome gas filler cap recalls the glory days of tricked-out muscle cars cruising for bragging rights. The dual exhaust with chrome tips is a muscle car standard. Available colors and trim packages help drivers customize their Challengers and get the look they want. Drivers can add a body-color spoiler to complete the package.
In the 2012 Dodge Challenger SXT model, a 3.6-liter, 305 hp V-6 engine pairs with a five-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles as an option. The R/T model offers a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission. The SRT8 392 model comes equipped with a 6.4-liter (392 cubic inch), 470 hp V-8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission.
The Uconnect system includes Bluetooth capability (up to seven phone numbers can be stored), and offers voice command to operate the various functions – phone, radio, CD, iPod, and SiriusXM satellite radio. A navigation system, USB interface, and WiFi connectivity complete the communication options.
Electronic stability control with anti-lock brakes offer driver safety when extreme driving maneuvers occur. Full interior airbags protect the driver and passengers in the event of a collision; crumple zones help absorb the impact and protect the interior.
Electro-hydraulic power steering and four-wheel independent suspension improve handling. Drivers can choose between standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes or performance brakes.
The interior of the 2012 Dodge Challenger offers front bucket seats with lumbar support. The driver’s seat is six-way adjustable, and both front seats have reactive front head restraints. With five-passenger seating, the Dodge Challenger offers more head and leg room than any of its competitors. An angled center console with an adjustable driver’s armrest makes shifting (and using the cup holder) easier.
The high-performance instruments on the dash are stylish and easy-to-read; cobalt blue illumination at night is both practical and attractive. The leather-wrapped steering wheel contains integrated controls.
The 60/40-split folding back seat can provide all the cargo room you need. The roomy trunk offers 16.2 cubic feet of storage space, which far outranks that of competitors.
The SXT, the base model for the Dodge Challenger, offers 18-inch aluminum wheels, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, and a six-way power driver’s seat. All-speed traction control and touring suspension also come standard.
When discussing muscle cars, fuel economy is never part of the conversation. But the SXT, with its V-6 engine, manages 27 mpg on the highway, making it an excellent touring car.
The R/T trim level offers all of the features available on the SXT plus an anti-spin rear differential, performance suspension and steering, fog lamps, automatic headlights and Uconnect. The RT Plus and RT Classic trim levels offer additional features to satisfy each individual owner.
The SRT8 392 trim level includes premium leather, 20-inch wheels with performance tires, a rear spoiler, hood scoop, performance-based steering, Brembo brakes, and the SRT Track Experience, where drivers can learn how to control the car’s performance.Dodge Challenger Evolution
Dodge reintroduced the Challenger in 2008 with the STR8, 6.1-liter, 425 hp V-8 engine. Side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, and an electronic stability system with traction control offer safety in the vehicle.
For 2009, a V-6 engine and manual transmission was offered. The vehicle saw no significant changes for 2010, but the 2011 Dodge Challenger offers a 305 hp V-6 engine standard, paired with either an automatic or manual transmission. The SRT8 392 houses a 470 hp V-8 engine.