The 6.1 Hemi’s 69.8 horsepower-per-liter rating exceeds even that of the legendary “Street Hemi” (though horsepower ratings are identical); it is the same engine used in the other SRT8s. The transmission is an electronically controlled five-speed automatic, with a lockup torque converter and AutoStick. Three sets of planetary gears provide the individual transmission ratios, while six friction clutches and two overrunning clutches select them. An aggressive first gear ratio provides outstanding launch performance (the same gear ratios are used on the other SRT8s). AutoStick gives the driver the ability to select a higher or lower gear while the transmission controller calibration prevents fuel shutoff during power shifts.
Electronic control and engine torque management provide smooth full-throttle launches, quick wide-open-throttle up shifts, and quick, smooth two-step, kick-down shifts. An electronically modulated converter clutch improves gas mileage.
Braking is delivered via a specially designed system. All four wheels are equipped with red, painted Brembo calipers that feature four pistons for even clamping performance. 360 x 32mm vented rotors are found up front and 350 x 26mm vented rotors are in the rear. When the stability control registers over .6 g, the pads automatically go closer to the discs for instant action.
The drag coefficient of 0.353 (9.01 CdA) is fairly high for a modern car, and similar to the 300C SRT8 (at 0.355).
Dodge Challengers in Canada: SXT, SRT8 500, and more
Canadian buyers will be able to use their strong Loonies on two models featured only in the Great White North. Geo Nazos brought our attention to the Dodge Challenger SRT8 500 and SXT, which are not available in the United States. The SXT appears to be identical to the SE in just about every way, but presumably includes an option package. The SRT8 500 is only available for 2008, and includes a certificate of authenticity, carbon fibre hood striples, Kicker 13-speaker audio, 6-disc DVD radio, UConnect, alarm, and badging; it's a limited edition available only in Canada.
Geo tells us there has been a debate over whether or not the 2008 Challenger SRT8 automatic will have limited slip differentials. Geo pointed out that the left menu bar at Dodge.ca lists a Sure Grip at a 3.06 ratio which “incorporates a Torque Response Unit and Two-Pinion Speed Sensing to help control slip between the rear wheels.” Automobile tested a prototype with a Getrag torque-sensing unit in development, and said it was much better than the 2008 limited-slip differential; we don't know if that'll be used in 2009 or afterwards.
2008 Dodge Challenger styling and such
Three colors will be sold in 2008: orange, silver, and black. Each 2008 SRT8 will have a numbered dash plaque.
The lead exterior designer was Jeff Gale, the famous Tom Gale’s son, and owner of a classic Road Runner. He said, “We used the original Challenger as an inspiration. The side mirrors actually started with a mold from the mirrors of an original Challenger. We tweaked a few details for fit and finish, then put them through our modern aerodynamic testing metrics and ended up with a body-mounted mirror that is remarkably similar visually to the original, but offers significantly better aerodynamic performance.”
“The dark headliner was very important to us when designing the interior,” said Brian Nielander, Manager – Dodge Challenger Exterior and Interior Design. “It not only stays true to the original Challenger, but it also gives a sinister, more businesslike atmosphere.” The trapezoidal theme of the door and gauge cluster, the dark headliner and the slanted shifter console are all based directly on the original Dodge Challenger; the full width grille, full-width tail-lamp graphic, C-pillar crease, fog lamps, raised-center hood, black stripes, A-line, beltline, and functional dual scoops are also cues from the original 1970 Dodge Challenger.
A fascia directs air around the front of the vehicle, dual snorkel hood scoops bring cooling air into the engine compartment, and ducts direct air to cool the brakes. The rear spoiler brings up memories of the Dodge Challenger T/A, while generating significant rear downforce.
Interior 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 highlights include leather seats with added bolstering and an orange accent stripe, stitched accents, four-bomb gauges with tachometer and 180 mph speedometer in the center, and an SRT-exclusive Reconfigurable Display (RCD) with Performances Pages that provide drivers instant feedback on 0–60 mph time, 60–0 mph braking, g-forces and ¼-mile time. Standard on the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is a 13-speaker Kicker High Performance audio system with a 322-watt amplifier and 200-watt subwoofer, and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. A MyGIG infotainment system is also available.
The Challenger will, not surprisingly, be built in Brampton, Ontario, where its siblings are made. The official introduction is set for April 2008. Safety devices and such are similar to the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300C.
2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 specifications
Engine: 6.1 liter (370 cid) Hemi; 10.3:1 compression ratio, 425 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 420 lb.-ft. (310 N•m) @ 4800 rpm
Fuel: 91 octane, delivered via returnless sequential fuel injecton. Estimated mileage (EPA), 13 mpg city /18 mpg highway
Gear ratios: 1st,
3.59; 2nd, 2.19; 3rd, 1.41; 4th, 1.00; 5th, 0.83. Final drive ratio,
3.06:1; OTGR, 2.54:1; Reverse, 3.17:1.
160 amp alternator with 630 CCA battery.
|Challenger SRT8||Charger SRT8||1970 Challenger|
|0-60 (SRT8)||low 5 seconds||low 5 seconds||n/a|
|Mileage (SRT8 Hemi)||13/18||n/a|
|Weight||4,140||3,800 (V6) - 4,031 (V8)|
|Weight distribution||55.6/44.4||53/47 (V6), 54/46 (V8)|
|Interior volume||93.9 c.f.||104 cubic feet (120.2 EPA)|
|Cargo volume||16.2 c.f.||16.2 cubic feet (460L)|
|Front head room||39.5 (1004)||38.7 (983)||37.4|
|Front leg room||42.0||41.8||42.3|
|Front shoulder room||58.2||59.3||58.1|
|Front hip room||54.7||56.2|
|Seat travel||270mm/220mm||10.6 driver, 8.7 passenger|
|Rear head room||37.4||36.2||35.6|
|Rear leg room||32.6||40.2||30.9|
|Rear knee clearance||1.2||4.5|
|Rear shoulder room||53.9||57.6||56.8|
|Rear hip room||51.4||55.5|
The interior is certainly close to the Charger in general look, but the "big bulgy edges" styling has been dramatically toned down, leaving a plain but generally inoffensive appearance which some may find more attractive. The Challenger uses the new chrome-ringed climate controls, which are both attractive and functional; the performance indicators are in the lower half of a gauge pod.
One Lap of America
Some of you may remember Mopar Action’s Rick Ehrenberg winning the One Lap of America in his Plymouth Duster. Some may remember the film Vanishing Point with its white Dodge Challenger. The two were put together by Ralph Gilles and vehicle dynamics supervisor Erich Heuschele with a modified pre-production SRT8; however, despite dressing the part, after a good result on the skid-pad, they lost control of the Challenger around a turn and crashed it; not so badly that it could not be driven back to the garage, but badly enough that it’s no longer in the running. They’re now running a stock orange Challenger SRT8, but not competing to win.
Safety and security - 2009 Dodge Challenger series
- Advanced multi-stage air bags inflate with a force appropriate to the severity of an impact and meets FMVSS 208 requirements for small out-of-position occupants.
- All-speed traction control senses drive-wheel slip and applies individual brakes to slipping wheels; reduces excess engine torque until traction is regained
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS): advanced ABS modulates the four brakes individually for optimum control and stopping performance
- Brake assist: In a panic brake condition, the system applies maximum braking power, providing the shortest possible stopping distance
- Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): Makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on interior lights and unlocking doors after air-bag deployment. Also shuts off the flow of fuel to the engine
- High-intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps: Provide approximately three times the light output of conventional reflector lamps for improved nighttime illumination
- Knee bolsters: The lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are designed to properly position the occupant, enabling air bags to work more effectively
- Sentry Key® engine immobilizer: Utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a pre-programmed security code to discourage vehicle theft. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is allowed to start. If an incorrect key is used, the engine will shut off after only a few seconds
Dodge Challenger specifications
3.73 (18-inch wheels, no
3.91 (20-inch wheels or LSD)
|Item||Inches (mm) or...||SE||R/T||SRT8|
|Track, F/R||63/63.1 (1603/1604)|
|Ground Clearance||SRT: 4.8 (122.2)|
|Frontal area||25.3 sq ft (2.35 m2)|
|cD (drag coefficient)||
0.350 (17-18 inch
0.355 (20 inch wheels)
8.73 (R/T, 18 inch wheels)
8.98 (20 inch wheels)
|Fuel Capacity||18 gal||19 gal||19 gal|
|Headroom, F/R||39.3 / 37.4|
|Legroom, F/R||42.0 / 32.6|
|Shoulder room, F/R||58.2 / 53.9|
|Hip room, F/R||54.6 / 48.6|
Driver, 10.6 (270)
Passenger, 8.7 (220)
SAE front / rear
55.8 cubic ft (1.58
38.1 cubic ft (1.08 cu.m)
|Total interior volume||91.5 cubic ft (2.59 cu. m.)|
|SAE cargo volume||16.2 cubic ft (0.459 c.m.)|
|107.7 cubic ft (3.05 c.m.)|
|Trunk liftover height||33.0 (839)|
|Turning circle||37.5 (11.5)||38.9 (11.9)||38.9|
|Turns lock to lock||2.75|
17 x 7.0
18 x 7.5
20 x 9.0
|Front rotor||12.6 x 1.1 vented||13.6 x 1.1 vented||
14.2 x 1.26
|Front caliper||(invalid?)||1.65||1.73 Brembo|
|Front swept area||254.8 sq in||292 sq in||351 sq in|
|Rear rotor||12.6 x .4||12.6 x .4||13.8 x 1.10 vented|
|Rear caliper||1.65||1.65||11.26 Brembo|
|Rear swept area||260.4 sq in||260.4 sq in||316 sq in|
* For heaven’s sake, get the popular equipment package so you can upgrade to the optional Continental ProContact!
Some Mopar™ accessories
- Ram air hood: Replacement aluminum hood features scoop that pays respect to Dodge heritage
- Challenger graphics packages: Heritage-inspired designs constructed of production-quality material
- Rear park distance sensors: Sensor technology sends ultrasonic waves at 40,000 times-per-second to detect obstacles behind Dodge Challenger and alert driver to objects
- Vehicle cover: Constructed of premium material with custom fit
- “T-grip’ automatic shift handle: Molded for an ergonomic fit. Features bright chrome finish and Mopar logo
- Bright pedal kit (automatic transmission): polished stainless steel, designed to fit production pedals
- Custom center stack and console: Replacement appliqués in Red and Blue
- Door sill kit: brushed stainless steel embossed with Dodge Challenger logo
- iPod integration kit, Garmin Nuvi Portable Navigation System, Premium mats
- Functional ram air-intake system: Creates ram air effect at speeds of 40-plus miles-per-hour by integrating hood and cold-air intake system
- Cold-air intake system: noticeable horsepower and torque gains by routing cool air through a directional cone filter into intake manifold
- Low-restriction air filter: Direct replacement for the factory-installed filter. Offers high-flow/low-restriction to improve throttle response, filtration and horsepower
- Rear-exit/low-restriction Cat-back Exhaust System: Features reflective sound cancellation (RSC) no-drone technology, 2.75-inch, 304L stainless steel mandrel bent tubing, stainless clamps and polished 4-inch pro-series exhaust. (304 is a stainless steel grade, moderately corrosion-resistant, like a high end kitchen sink. 304L is the low carbon variant that is weldable).
- Long-tube exhaust headers (automatic transmission only): Add estimated 14–17 horsepower gain
- Coil-over suspension kit: Allows up to 1.625-inch ride-height drop
- Stage I performance springs: Reduce ride height 1-inch for that low, custom look. For owners who desire a sporty yet comfortable ride
- Strut tower brace: Reduces body flex in the front end. Improves handling and drivability
- Forged crankshaft for 5.7-liter HEMI® and 6.1-liter HEMI: High-strength premium quality 4104 forged-steel crankshafts deliver outstanding performance gains
- 5.7-liter HEMI and 6.1-liter HEMI street camshafts: Designed, developed, dyno- and track-tested for increased power and rpm
- CNC-ported 5.7-liter HEMI and 6.1-liter HEMI cylinder heads: Bolt-on cylinder heads designed to optimize flow while maintaining optimum port velocity
- Performance gauges: Utilize reverse lighting technology to radiate intense, blue LED through the dial.
Other 2009 Dodge Challenger news and rumors, and more
A 6.4 liter version, with an estimated 500 or more hp, is still expected to be offered in a future model of the Challenger, possibly debuting in the 2010 model year.
oh20 got a 100% for an incredible level of Challenger detail, as did our other anonymous source who predicted the interior and exhaust. The accuracy and detail oh20 provided months in advances was simply amazing (and we should point out he did not provide an exact horsepower figure; that assumption was ours!), especially given that he brought out the Trak Pak and HSA before anyone else had a clue.
Challenger convertibles are rumored to be added in the 2010 model year, with production possibly starting in the first half of 2009, before the 2010 non-convertible models. This explains the front seat belt mounts, which are normally bolted to the bottom of the B post, then travel up the B post at which point you grab it and place over your chest. In the Challenger, seat belts are set up convertible-style; there is a small bar at the bottom of the B post which the seat belt is attached to. This allows it to slide back and forth to help with getting it out of the way when getting in the back. Then the seat belt travels through a loop at the top of the seats like in a convertible. You grab the seat belt from the top of the seat and then place across you chest. This may indicate that someone is thinking ahead to making a convertible. (Courtesy oh20; first released at allpar).
Finally, the 2011 or 2012 Challenger will most likely include the upcoming 4.0 liter Phoenix engine, replacing the 3.5 liter.
Trivia: Stutz had Hill Start Assist (they called it the Noback) in 1929.
The Brampton facility makes the Dodge Challenger and Charger alongside the Chrysler 300C. Modifications to the Body Shop’s under-body system, an enabler of flexibility, give the plant the ability to maintain production of the 2008 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger concurrent with pilot production for the all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger. The system carries the under-body components for all vehicles on the same line, eliminating the need for separate conveyor lines for each product.
Forty-two new robots were added in the Body Shop in order to weld the vehicle’s unique body sub-assemblies which will also accommodate future models and product variants at reduced investment levels. A total of 550 robots will now be used in the plant. Paint Shop modifications include new robotic applications for painting the Dodge Challenger’s unique shape.
In a rolling launch, pre-production vehicles are built and tested on the same assembly line where current vehicles are manufactured. They are steadily ramped up while not compromising existing production at the plant. This manufacturing flexibility allows Chrysler to improve the quality, cost and timing of its vehicle launches and allows for adjustments to production volumes of different products in order to react quickly to customer demand.
The key to the flexible manufacturing process is the order in which the body is assembled using a unique under-body system in the body shop. Flexible manufacturing was first used in the launch of the 2001 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan series of minivans in the summer of 2000 at the Windsor Assembly Plant.
2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 price sheet
(Retained for historical value:)
- FWP= "Factory Wholesale Price."
- HB= 1239.00 (Holdback, 3% of MSRP (before Destination) back to dealer)
- FFP= 39,627.00 (Family & Friends Program, 1% below invoice)
- EP= 38,237.00 (Employee Price, about 5% below invoice)
Thus, the dealer actually pays considerably less than the $40,027 “wholesale price.” Dealers usually pay less than the wholesale price minus the holdback (in this case, $40,027 - $1,239 = $38,788), with both an advertising reimbursement and supplemental floorplan reimbursement. It sounds like a lot, but remember they also have to pay financing charges on stored inventory (cars), insurance, salespeople, etc.— and have a fairly low volume, at most Dodge dealerships. No wonder they try so hard to sell warrantees, loans, and stripe kits!