2011 Challenger V6.JPGOne of the early complaints with the 2008 Dodge Challenger
    SRT8 was that it only came with a sloppy 5-speed automatic transmission with
    the mighty 6.1L Hemi V8 but they fixed that problem with the introduction of
    the 2009 model year Challenger SRT8. 
    Chrysler also included a 6-speed manual transmission option for those
    Challenger buyers who opted for the R/T models fitted with the 5.7L Hemi but
    the V6 models were only available with a 4-speed automatic transmission mated
    to the balmy 3.5L base engine – leading many to question just how much claim
    the V6 Challenger has to boast of being a muscle car.

    The early V6 Challengers were too heavy for the 3.5L V6 with
    just 250 horsepower and 250lb-ft of torque so performance suffered due to the
    lack of power but the 4-speed automatic transmission didn’t help matters
    any.  Chrysler changed to a 5-speed
    automatic that helped a bit but unlike the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro –
    both of which come with a manual transmission with their entry level models –
    the Challenger remained without a stickshift option while also offering less
    power.  The ability to bang your own
    gears is one of the aspects that makes driving a sports car fun and even though
    some prefer the reliability and ease of use with the automatic transmission,
    many muscle car owners want the option to row their own gears.  In the event of the entry level muscle cars,
    the manual transmission also offers better performance than the automatic
    models with more power making it to the ground.

    The Dodge Challenger got the big boost that it needed for
    the 2011 model year as the entry level SXT now packs the 305 horsepower
    Pentastar V6 but while this engine offers comparable power to the cross-town
    rivals, the new 3.6L V6 sends its power to the wheels via a power-sucking
    automatic transmission.

    Look around Chrysler!  The Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang are selling
    like hot cakes with part of that success coming from their entry level models
    but with the Challenger weighing more and having less power than the other two
    V6 muscle cars, a manual transmission option would go a LONG way in helping the
    Challenger V6 keep up with the entry level Ford and Chevy muscle cars.  Chrysler realized with the Challenger SRT8
    that a manual transmission was a must but with the base model Challenger –
    owners are still stuck with the slushbox.

    The Pentastar V6 brought the Challenger base model into the
    same level of power with 305 horsepower in stock form and having spent a week
    driving a 2011 Challenger Rallye with the 3.6L mill, it is clear that this is
    plenty of engine for the brawny Mopar muscle car but please…oh please…find it
    in your corporate heart to fit a manual transmission to the Pentastar in the
    future entry level Challengers.  A
    6-speed manual transmission in the Challenger V6 models would improve
    performance while also making the entry level Challenger a whole lot more fun
    to drive.

    Do you think that a manual transmission option would improve sales of the V6 Challenger?