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Dodge adds all-wheel drive to Challenger

Coupe borrows AWD system from full-sized Dodge, Chrysler sedans

Published: December 7, 2016, 9:30 PM
Updated: December 12, 2016, 9:28 PM

2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) enhances Dodge Challenger coupe with the all-weather performance capabilities of all-wheel drive.

2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD becomes the first American muscle car to have the combination of two doors and all-wheel drive, using the same system (with active transfer case and front axle disconnect) that’s already proven its salt on the Charger and Chrysler 300 full-size sedans. It goes into production early in 2017 and powers into dealerships by the time Spring rolls around.

“Dodge is shifting the muscle car paradigm with the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT – the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “The Challenger has always been the most wide-ranging and functional muscle coupe, and now, with the new 305-horsepower all-wheel-drive Challenger GT, we are stretching the functional and geographic boundaries even further.”

Power is supplied by the Pentastar 3.6-litre V-6 that delivers 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque, with 90% of peak torque available from 1,800 through 6,400 rpm, to the rear or all four wheels via the TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. A “Sport” mode adjusts gear shift points and holds on to revs for improved acceleration.

The normal set-up is rear-wheel drive (100% of torque); when sensors detect slippage, the front axle is engaged and torque is channelled to the front wheels (up to 40%, in order to retain a semblance of the rear-drive performance).

The Challenger GT AWD rides on 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels, wrapped in 235/55R19 all season performance rubber.

Driving aids include Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), with “full-off” mode, while a Challenger GT Super Track Pak further adds launch control. The package also adds performance information pages on the instrument panel touch screen so the driver can view reaction times, 0-100 km/h times, G-force, and lap times.

Exterior distinguishing features include projector fog lights, rear deck spoiler, rear parking assist sensors and rearview camera. That’s added to the new GT look that includes a split grille, power bulge hood, LED halo headlights and LED taillamps.

The interior features Nappa leather and Alcantara seating, heating and ventilated front seats, heated performance steering wheel, bright pedals and a premium 9-speaker sound system with sub-woofer and 506-watt amp.