Dodge Charger and Challenger Through the Decades
The Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger will forever be remembered as bold and beautiful mechanical machines, whether the classic or modern models. The rev of their engines turns heads and their body shape is striking. If you are a muscle car lover or if you can’t get enough of the Charger or Challenger, here’s a little background on how those two muscle cars came to be the most powerful muscle cars available today.
In 1946, the Dodge Charger was a concept car that was built to introduce the company’s new 426 HEMI engine. But the Charger didn’t capture the public’s interest and nothing more came of it. In 1965, another Charger concept was introduced and it was the foreshadowing for what would become the first-generation 1966 Dodge Charger.
The first-gen Charger originally started out as a version of the Dodge Coronet with its own flair implemented into the build, and was designed to be a high-speed street racer. A lot of its style came from the second concept, such as its fastback roof design and full-width tail lamps.
Since the original 1966 model, the Charger has transformed through several generations, and today, the Charger is in its seventh generation. The seventh gen Charger was introduced in 2011 and it features an aerodynamic exterior that is reminiscent of the the second-gen Charger. The 2011 Charger lineup consisted of three trims, the SE, R/T, and R/T AWD, and all models were equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.
As the seventh gen Charger became more and more popular, Dodge began adding engines and trims to the Charger lineup. Today the Charger lineup consists of four different engines and seven trims. In addition to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, there is a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine, and two SRT-tuned engines, the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 and the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine.
Of all these engines, the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine is the most powerful engine on a sedan today. “SRT” stands for “Street & Racing Technology”, and it is a special brand within Dodge that focuses on performance vehicles. The SRT Hellcat engine generates 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, and helps the Charger hit a top speed of 204 mph.
However, Dodge isn’t done adding trims to the lineup. Coming for the 2017 model year is a comeback of the well-known Dodge Charger Daytona. Originally produced in 1969, the Charger Daytona’s sole purpose was racing. There have been limited-edition runs of the Daytona since 1969, one in 2006 and one in 2013, and for the 2017 revival, there will be two Charger Daytona trims, the Daytona and Daytona 392.
Both of the 2017 Charger Daytona trims are being enhanced by performance parts from Mopar, including cold-air induction systems and an all-new electronically controlled 2.75-inch active performance exhaust system. The vehicles will also be equipped with performance-tuned Super Track Pak suspension and performance brake linings. Both models will be available in a variety of colors including the High-Impact Paint (HIP) colors, Go Mango, Green Go, Yellow Jacket, and TorRed.
The Dodge Challenger didn’t always look like the two-door muscle car it is today. The first version of the Dodge Challenger, the Dodge Silver Challenger, was seen in 1958 and it was only produced in 1958 and 1959. It wasn’t until Dodge decided to rival the popular Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro before a variation of Challengers wereseen again. What Dodge came up with was the first gen 1970 Dodge Challenger.
In 2008, Dodge revived the Challenger and released the third generation model that it is today. Originally, all of the third-generation Dodge Challengers were powered by the SRT8 engine, which was a 6.1-liter HEMI engine. A famous version of this model was the 2010 Mopar ‘10 Challenger R/T, a special edition that sold out of all 500 units soon after it was announced.
In 2015, the SRT8 engine was replaced by the SRT 392 engine and the SRT Hellcat engine. The SRT 392 engine is a 392-cubic-inch 6.4-liter V8 SRT HEMI engine that produces 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. The SRT Hellcat engine is the same supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI engine that is available on the Charger SRT Hellcat. The Challenger SRT Hellcat is the fastest two-door sedan in the world and it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in the mid-three second range.
Alongside the revival of the Charger Daytona models in 2017, Dodge is also bringing back a Challenger racing icon, the Dodge Challenger Trans Am (T/A). Like the Charger Daytona models, the Challenger T/A will also be enhanced by Mopar performance auto parts.
Included on the three Challenger T/A trims will be parts like new “Air Catcher” headlamps with LED-illuminated T/A logos; an all-new 2.75-inch electronically controlled active performance exhaust system; and 1-inch wider 20-inch Mopar lightweight forged-aluminum wheels finished in Hyper Black II. The Challenger T/A models will also be offered in HIP colors. The base 2017 Challenger T/A is priced at $38,485, while the T/A Plus starts at $41,235.
Photo Source: Hotrod.com; Copyright: Dodge