2009 Dodge Challenger Lineup Unveiled, Two New Models Due This Fall
Last month, Dodge unveiled the 2008 Challenger SRT8. While this was interesting news, the absence of a manual gearbox option, a sticker price of about $40,000, and the inevitable dealer markup made this an ostensibly mid-life-crisis-only affair. At this week's New York Auto Show, however, Dodge unveiled what's in store for 2009. Not only will the SRT8 become available with a Tremec six speed derived from the Viper, but Dodge will be offering two new variants of the Challenger: The R/T and the SE.
The R/T model, essentially the "mid-range" option, is aimed squarely at the Mustang GT segment. The powerplant is a next-gen 5.7 Hemi motor, generating 375hp and over 400lb.-ft of torque - a 30hp increase over the previous 5.7 found in models like the Charger and Magnum, while also yielding a slight gas mileage improvement as well. With the Trak Pak option, you'll also get that same six speed gearbox in the SRT8 - a setup good for 0-60 times under six seconds. And with independent rear suspension standard on all models, expect this one to corner signficantly better than similar offerings from Ford built with the completely archaic live axle design.
The 3rd option to those on a budget is the SE. Powered by a stout 3.5 liter V6 generating 250hp and 250lb.-ft of torque mated to a 4 speed automatic, even the low end model will have some balls.
No pricing for the two new models is available from Chrysler yet. Regardless, I'll take a black R/T with a six speed, please.
If you want to see more of the 2009 Challenger in action, check out more shots of the car in our photo gallery.