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    The Production Challenger

    The 2008 Dodge Challenger is offered in one trim
    line, the well-known SRT8 designation. There were 4 choices for the
    lucky people who reserved a 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 before it was
    released. The first dealt with color, either Hemi Orange Pearl Coat,
    Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, or Bright Silver Metallic Pearl
    Coat. The second choice was whether to stick with the basic 6-disc
    AM/FM/MP3 stereo system or to select the $890 MyGig Multimedia system
    complete with GPS navigation. The third option was whether or not you
    wanted a sunroof at an additional $950. And the final decision was
    simple: stock or performance tires. The base tire of the SRT8 is a set
    of four 245/45ZR20 all-season Goodyear radials. For fifty dollars more,
    a buyer could select a set of performance Goodyears with the same 245
    size tires up front and 255/45ZR20′s in the rear.

    Engine

    Much like the SRT8 variant of the 2008 Dodge
    Charger and 2008 Chrysler 300C, the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 comes
    equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission backing a 425
    horsepower, 6.1L version of the legendary Hemi engine. There was much
    speculation about what trimline designation the production models would
    wear compared to what engine since the 6.1L Hemi had not been in
    anything other than SRT8 models, although the concept was badged as an
    R/T model. Many people were hoping that the new Challenger would come
    with a manual transmission, as that is one of the most common
    complaints about the Dodge Charger, but the manual gearbox would not be
    available until the 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 model. The 5-speed
    transmission does feature the Auto-Stick (referred to by some as being
    a clutchless manual) function, which allows the driver to select gears
    electronically with just a push of the shifter; this provides the
    convenience of an automatic transmission with some of the fun of a
    manual. The power from the engine is funneled through the transmission
    and down the driveshaft into a 3.06 ratio rear end fitted with a
    Sure-Grip limited slip differential to help the Challenger make use of
    all 425 ponies. Based on what was seen from the other SRT8 cars, the
    Challenger SRT8 should be capable of 12 second quarter mile times. And
    though the new Challenger was tested in the 13.1 range based on high
    trap speeds, traction was the biggest factor harming those quarter mile
    times.

     

    Handling

    The
    braking system is also similar to that found in other SRT8 sedans, a
    full Brembo brake kit featuring huge aluminum calipers wrapped around
    slotted 360mm brake rotors in the front and 350mm rotors in the rear.
    These are kept cool via ducts mounted in the front fascia.  Helping to
    handle the turns, the SRT8 suspension is made for the road but tuned
    for the track. This allows for a near perfect blend of a comfortable
    ride and quality cornering abilities. The front suspension is a long
    and short arm design, and a multilink independent suspension in the
    rear helps to keep the best tire surface area on the ground under hard
    cornering. Those aforementioned 20 inches are fitted onto a set of
    SRT-designed aluminum rims, powder coated silver with a polished lip
    flowing down the middle of each of the five spokes to the raised “ram’s
    head” logo on the wheel center cap.

    Do
    you guys remember the build up leading up to the Challenger’s return?
    Do you feel Dodge did the classic justice? Did it turn out the way you
    wanted it to? Do you feel Dodge should have attempted to buck the trend
    and try something new rather than retro?

     
     
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