It's About Time!!!
The Challenger will initially be offered only in the SRT8 trim level. These first car will begin production as early as March 2008 and will be sold as 2008 model year cars.
Shortly after that initial production run, Dodge will be offering three versions of the Challenger as 2009 models. The base model will be powered by a 3.5L V6 and will be mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5L will be replaced by Chrysler's upcoming 4.0L Phoenix V6, but probably not until the 2011 model year.
R/T models will come equipped with a 5.7L V8 and buyers will have the option of a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. The SRT8 model adds a 6.1L V8 and can be mated to a five-speed auto or six-speed manual. A 6.4L could show up in the SRT model as soon as the 2010 model year.
As with most SRT8 applications, the 6.1L HEMI will kick out 425 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
A convertible is also expected to bow sometime in 2009 as a 2010 mode, with all three trim levels available.
Manual transmission cars will come with Chrysler's Hill Start Assist technology — as used in the Dodge Ram, Jeep Commander, Grand Cherokee and the Liberty — which maintains brake pressure until throttle is applied.
Dodge will also offer a Trak Pack, which appears to be little more than a marketing name given to a specific package of transmission, shifter and gearing.
Although Dodge has yet to disclose performance numbers on lesser models, it did announce some performance numbers for the 2008 Challenger SRT8 equipped with an automatic transmission. 0-60 will only take 4.9 seconds with the car topping out at about 170 mph.
But in addition the the car's straight line performance, Dodge also emphasized the Challenger's braking and cornering abilities. Massive Brembo brakes squeezing slotted rotors and the car's wide tires — size 245 up front and 255 out back — bringing the Challenger from 60 to 0 in only 120 feet. Additionally, the car can go from 0-100-0 in 16.5 seconds.