2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8's engine produces 470 horsepower.
The 2013 Dodge
Challenger lives up to the muscle car standards it has been setting
since the 1970s, starting with the retro-styled exterior and,
depending on the model, a beast of an engine under the hood.
Among its cool
design features are a sculpted hood with scoops, chrome-tipped dual
exhausts, a front chin-splitter air dam, rear spoiler, and the
iconic fuel filler door in chrome.
For this model
year, the Challenger comes in three versions: the base SXT
3.6-liter, 305-horsepower V-6 ($25,995); R/T 5.7-liter,
375-horsepower Hemi ($29,995); and the awesome SRT8 392 ($43,995),
my test vehicle for the week. And yes, this one had a big
392-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) HEMI, and came with the special 392
appearance package (included in the price).
horizontal front air dam protrudes from the fascia and, along with
the rear spoiler, assures the correct amount of down-force to
maintain vehicle stability at maximum speed — which is 180 mph for
the 392 Hemi.
While I didn’t
get to check out the aerodynamics at maximum speed, I definitely
noticed the "oomph" when I pressed the accelerator at
highway speeds. Without cruise control, it would be easy to let the
470-horsepower V-8 take over.
came with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, but a five-speed
automatic with paddle shifters is available.
My SRT8 was
black with striking dark-slate/radar-red top-stitched Nappa leather
interior and silver racing stripes. Chrysler’s special Street and
Racing Technology team designs these SRT vehicles, which are
available in a variety of Chrysler and Dodge models, and typically
include significant performance upgrades over regular models.
aren’t an option — it actually costs $250 extra to leave them
off. The color of the stripes is optional, however, with silver,
red, or gray available.
1960s, muscle cars have been branded with engine-displacement
badges, giving the suggestion that "This car will blow you
away." There is prominent "392" badges on the
fenders, using a beefy red font outlined in chrome with
"Hemi" in jet black. Twenty-inch, five-spoke forged-alloy
wheels with black pockets added more aggressiveness. My tester had
optional three-season Goodyear tires.
In addition to
being powerful and looking it, this Challenger is well-appointed and
comfortable. The power front bucket seats are heated; the air
conditioning has automatic temperature control — set it and forget
it; the leather-wrapped steering wheel is heated; cupholders and
interior door handles are illuminated; the power outside mirrors are
heated; and the interior rearview mirror, with microphone, is
features include advanced multistage front air bags, supplemental
side-curtain front and rear air bags, electronic stability control,
hill-start assist (especially nice with the manual transmission),
Brembo performance brakes with rain brake support and ready alert
braking, an anti-spin rear axle, and park assist.
passengers had plenty of legroom, 42 inches, and headroom, 39.3
inches, while rear outboard passengers were a little cramped with
36.2 inches of legroom and 37.4 inches of headroom.
middle seat was barely adequate for a small person/child, but all
three seating positions had three-point seatbelts and anchors and
tether hooks for child seats. With only two doors, installing a
child seat and placing the child in the seat would be a challenge.
radio is standard, with a complimentary one-year subscription. The
car also has Bluetooth streaming audio, an audio input jack and a
Extra on the
tester was a Harman Kardon audio package, which included 18 premium
speakers and an Logic7 GreenEdge amplifier. The sound will blow you
away, especially the bass. The subwoofers were under the cargo floor
in the trunk, and had their own power source.
In place of a
spare — since there was not enough room for it in the trunk — my
Challenger came with a tire inflation/leak stop kit.
The trunk does
have 16.2 cubic feet of cargo space and a wide opening. The rear
seat folded 60/40 for more space to haul stuff. A stroller, a couple
of golf bags, lots of beach stuff or luggage would fit the
unexpanded trunk. With the seat folded, the trunk/cargo area could
hold lots of larger stuff such as sports equipment or DIY supplies.
package included CD/DVD/MP3 audio with navigation and a 40-gigabyte
hard drive, SiriusXM real-time traffic and travel link. The
navigation system was relatively easy to program and follow, and had
voice recognition in addition to touch-screen operation.
As you might
expect, the Challenger SRT8 392 isn’t a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Manual and automatic alike are EPA rated for 14 mpg in the city and
23 on the highway. For this review, I averaged 17.2 mpg with mostly
stop-and-go, rush-hour highway driving. There is a $1,000
gas-guzzler tax added to the purchase price.
base model: $25,995
test model: $44,995
tested, including destination charge: $48,775