By Patrick Rall
Since the Dodge Challenger SRT8 was introduced back in 2008, one of the biggest complaints has come from people who want to go fast in a Mopar muscle car without all of the high priced “luxury items” that drive up the cost. For the 2013 model year, the folks at SRT have answered the prayers for a more performance focused Challenger with the SRT8 Core package – an option that makes the Challenger SRT8 the most powerful car in America under $40,000.
The 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Core models pack nearly all of the performance features of the fully loaded SRT8 package with the exception of the three mode active suspension system, which has been replaced by a high performance Bilstein suspension setup. The 470 horsepower, 392 cubic inch Hemi backed by a 6-speed manual transmission and a high performance Brembo braking system remains intact as does the SRT front chin spoiler and the low profile rear decklid spoiler. In short, the SRT8 Core is just as powerful and just as fast as the non-Core models with the only “compromise” in performance being the non-active suspension setup.
The SRT8 Core also does away with some weight adding options such as the fog lights, the HID headlights, the 3D badging and the leather seats from the full SRT package and along with cutting weight – these alterations allow the company to price the 2013 Challenger SRT8 Core at just $39,995…making the Challenger easily the highest performance car sold in America under $40k. Technically, the SRT8 Core starts at $38,995 but the $1,000 gas guzzler tax and the destination fee of $995 drives the price up over $40,000. However, we all know that only suckers pay MSRP so a quick witted shopper can drive off of the lot with a 470 horsepower Hemi Challenger for under $40,000. The next most powerful option is the Camaro SS with 426 horsepower but when you check just a few boxes in the option list (like the 1LE handling package), the Camaro price quickly tops the $40k mark.
While the 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Core package does away with some features from the full priced SRT8, the Core package adds some distinct features of its own including a body colored grille surround (rather than chrome), bold “392” decals on the front fenders and unique 20 inch aluminum wheels with a machined face and painted pockets. On the inside, while the leather is gone, the SRT8 Core retains the race inspired front bucket seats, the 6-speaker sound system with the UConnect touch screen infotainment center and the race inspired SRT steering wheel. The SRT8 Core is available in five colors (with no additional paint charges) – Black, Bright White, Hemi Orange, Plum Crazy and TorRed.
If you are looking to get into a 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 and you want to cut the cost by removing items that really don’t make the car any faster – the Core package could be your dream car.