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First Drive: 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

A new take on the classic American muscle car.

by on Aug.10, 2011

The 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 gives a modern interpretation to the classic American muscle car.

So many things in life look better in hindsight.  You’d probably never be caught dead in the outfit you wore to the prom.  And remember the moves you mastered back in the disco days?  The same is true with the muscle cars of the ‘60s and ‘70s.  Those lumbering lumps of metal just wouldn’t cut it today.

Not without a dramatic update, anyway, as Dodge has done with two of its classic nameplates, the Charger and Challenger.  We were pleasantly surprised when we got a long weekend behind the wheel of the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8, discovering a remarkably modern take on the classic American muscle car that delivers not only gobs of power and a distinctive retro style but also the sort of ride, handling and braking one would expect in 2012.

When it comes to a muscle car, let’s face it, the most important thing really is muscle.  And the new Challenger SRT8 comes through.  Parent Chrysler has done a great job with the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 shared by all four of the new Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep SRT models.

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Tip the throttle and you’ll be rewarded with neck-snapping acceleration and the sort of rumbling exhaust note that is, for muscle car fans the equivalent of popping an automotive Viagra.  As the kid in the next lane looks on in awe, the Hemi’s 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque will launch you to 60 in just 4.8 seconds.  And if you’re willing to risk a night in jail, keep your foot on the floor as you accelerate to a 180 mph top speed.

This is the sort of Motown metal that could even intimidate the gold-chain Ferrari crowd.

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Dodge Brings Back 392 Hemi in Challenger SRT8

New engine adds 65 horsepower, 90 ft.-lb. of torque

by on Nov.04, 2010

For 2011, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 features a bigger, more power engine, revised interior and exterior styling and an upgraded suspension.

The news coming out of Chrysler HQ in Auburn Hills is almost relentless these days. There are new engines, completely new SUVs and crossovers and revamped sedans.

Add to the mix a new Dodge Challenger SRT8 with a huge power infusion.

While Dodge has already announced that the base 250-horsepower V-6 will be replaced by a 305-horsepower version of the new Pentastar V-6, it hadn’t said anything about the Challenger’s other engines. Dodge still hasn’t announced numbers for the R/T, but it is expected to maintain its 5.7-liter Hemi, but it will likely make slightly more power.

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Fast news!

Just as Ford has done by bringing back the hallowed 5.0, the Challenger is bringing back a reverred name of its own. The new SRT8 now adds the numbers 392 to its name, as in 392 cubic inches.

Now 6.4 liters, the top dog in the Challenger lineup is rated at 470 horsepower, 65 more than before. Torque rises to 470 as well, 90 more than before, compared to the old 6.1-liter Hemi.
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