Reviews

2019 Dodge Challenger Introduction

Launched as a 2009 model, the Challenger is a modern-day revival of a 1970s muscle coupe of the same name. Again exuding unmitigated swagger, it’s a vivid reminder of the muscle-car era, brought up to date.

Performance is the byword for 2019. Dodge has launched the SRT Hellcat Redeye, replacing the 840-horsepower SRT Demon. With its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 churning out 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque, the Redeye can reach 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.

The regular SRT Hellcat’s V8 now produces 717 horsepower and 656 pound-feet. Hellcats flaunt a new functional dual-snorkel hood. Compared to the departed Demon, the Hellcat is a more settled-down car for street or track.

A new R/T Scat Pack 1320 option package adds much of the Demon’s drag-focused equipment.

The full lineup consists of SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and the two Hellcats. SXT and GT are available with all-wheel drive as an alternative to standard rear-drive. Hellcats and R/T Scat Pack come in standard or Widebody form.

A 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 goes into SXT and GT models, sending 268 pound-feet of torque through a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. A scooped hood is fitted.

R/T models use a 375-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 that produces 410 pound-feet of torque. A 485-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8 that develops 476 pound-feet powers the R/T Scat Pack. Either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission may be installed. Automatic reduces R/T power/torque ratings slightly.

The SRT Hellcat draws its fire from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that makes 717 horsepower (up 10) and 656 pound-feet, with a 3.5-second 0-60 mph acceleration time.

The new SRT Hellcat Redeye unleashes a 797-horsepower version of the 6.2-liter V8. It’s the previous Demon engine with a different hood scoop and tuning.

Challengers are short on safety technology. A rearview camera is standard. All except SXT get rear parking sensors. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and forward-collision warning are optional, but automatic emergency braking is unavailable.

Crash-testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Challenger five stars overall and for side-impact, but only four stars for the frontal crash and for rollover prevention (a calculated figure). NHTSA doesn’t rate SRT models.

Ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety could be better. The 2019 Challenger got a “Marginal” score in the stringent small front overlap test. Moderate-overlap and side-impact tests were rated “Good,” with roof strength judged “Acceptable.”

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* Images, prices, and options shown, including vehicle color, trim, options, pricing and other specifications are subject to availability, incentive offerings, current pricing and credit worthiness.

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