As always, Dodge has done it again. In their own way. Loud and proud. Out there, not afraid to admit it.
We’re talking the 2011 Challenger SRT8 Inaugural Edition and Charger R/T (for Road & Track).
Newly restyled, the Charger has hit a niche with being a 4-door sedan muscle car. Gone are the days of the coke-bottle styling and 2-door hardtop muscle cars. Now in, is the new Charger R/T able to haul the kids while still being able to haul, well, you get the picture.
It’s just that, 4-doors never looked so good. Even with the extra pair of doors, classic styling cues abound. The rear tail is heavily influenced from the ’70 Charger while side indents recall ‘68-‘69s. It all adds up to a Charger even more sculpted and muscular, making for a better looking ride.
While the Charger R/T is still clearly a muscle car (with 5.7 liter Hemi power), the smaller coupe one-ups its bigger brother, engine-wise. The Challenger SRT8 Inaugural Edition packs a 392 cube Hemi, with enough power to hit high-12s in the quarter-mile (470 in both horsepower and torque).
True, the R/T version (Charger or Challenger) will stay with the likes of the Mustang GT and Camaro SS. But the SRT8 392 makes for a bigger statement: Dodge is getting into the big game and dealing the cards. One where Shelby GT500 and the supercharged Camaro ZL1 (for 2012) and Corvette ZR1 invite some friendly stoplight action.
For those who aren’t so steeped in Mopar engine lore, the 392 insignia is a combination of raw power and nostalgic displacement. 392 cubes was the last ‘50s Hemi before the all-power 426 Hemi was introduced in the mid-‘60s.
Decked out in Deep Water Blue with white racing stripes, the Inaugural Edition Challenger is definitely show worthy. Inside, white leather-trimmed seats with blue racing stripes are embroidered with “392” and feature side bolsters that are fitting of a track-ready car. This car is meant to be driven hard, repeatedly.
Rounding out the rest of the interior is the oh-so-cool Pistol Grip shifter for the 6-speed manual and a numbered dash plaque.
In comparison, the Charger‘s gut is just as roomy, even more so for back-seat drivers. And, cruising in this R/T, you’ll definitely live up to that reputation in a hurry. You’ll want to drive instead of come along for ride.
Dodge is definitely keeping the excitement alive for Mopar devotees. There’s sure to be a few new followers ready to challenge (and charge away) from the Chevy and Ford crowd.