Dodge ups Challenger and Charger performance

Throwback T/A models for Challenger and Daytona models for Charger

Published: August 17, 2016, 12:10 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:25 PM

2017 Dodge Charger Daytona

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is heading into the Woodward Dream Cruise with a couple new Dodge Challengers and Chargers that will be joining its muscle-car line-up for 2017.

“More than 1.5 million enthusiasts are expected to come to Woodward to celebrate classic muscle cars this week, so it’s a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona with new special editions,” explained Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America.

The Dodge Challenger will be available in 2017 in T/A and T/A 392, with the differentiation being the displacement of their respective HEMI V-8s. The same holds for the 2017 Charger Daytona and Daytona 392 sedans.

Induction and exhaust systems are naturally part of the performance enhancements, as are chassis and brake upgrades; and in addition to exterior graphics packages, the new muscle cars will feature SRT Hellcat and R/T Scat Pack body treatments for unique but functional appearances.

Power wise, the new Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona models are fitted with the 5.7-litre Hemi V-8 that puts out 375 hp, while the 392 versions are fitted with 485-hp 6.4-liter “392” HEMI V-8. Both feature the active performance exhaust system. A 6-speed manual is standard, while an 8-speed automatic is available (adding cylinder deactivation and deceleration fuel shut-off).

The Charger sedans will be ready to order in September; the Challenger T/As in October.

Initially created for Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Trans Am racing series in 1970, the Challenger T/A is considered one of the most sought after muscle cars of all time. The new car is based on the Challenger R/T, adding unique performance enhancing add-ons such as the “Air-Catcher” headlamps with LED T/A logos, and hood scoop to optimize cold-air intake. At the other end, the 2.75-inch electronically controlled active exhaust system adds a sporty note to the performance, while around the side, the car features 20-inch Mopar forged aluminum wheels in Hyper Black II.

Black also features prominently in the new Satin Black painted hood, as well as front fascia, roof and deck lid graphic, T/A bodyside stripe, Challenger script on the grille, fuel-filler door (labelled “FUEL”) and deck-lid spoiler. Hood pins are a throwback to the original, as are Green Go and Yellow Jacket paint.

Inside, Black and Gloss Black appointments add to what FCA calls an “athletic” cockpit, which Premium Black seats offer better lateral support, Aluminum interior bezels add sportiness, as does the throw-back “tic-toc-tach” gauge cluster with bright white faces and gloss black details. The racing inspired steering wheel is fitted with paddle shifters for automatic models, and velour floor mats are embroidered with the Dodge logo.

For performance, the new cars feature the Super Track Pack that adds Bilstein shocks, performance brake linings and 3-mode stability control (including a “full off” mode), while lowering the suspension by a half inch.

A T/A Plus model adds heated and ventilated black seats with tungsten accent stitching, all-new fourth generation UConnect system with faster start-up, enhanced processing power, higher resolution display and a performance display feature (reaction times, 0-100 km/h times, G-force indicators and lap times), performance leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a premium sound system.

The 392 ups the engine performance ante (113 more hp and 65 more lb-ft of torque), evident in mid-4-second acceleration times and low 12-second quarter miles. It also features Brembo brakes, unique front suspension geometry and wider wheels with Pirelli tires (the T/As get Goodyears). Decals are naturally changed, as is the speedometer to show a higher top speed.

The new Daytonas are throwbacks to 1969 models produced for NASCAR. Like the new Challenger T/As, the Charger Daytonas feature unique exterior colours and extensive black accenting, as well as extensive chassis and engine upgrades. The performance is similarly enhanced with reported speeds and acceleration times identical to those of the coupes.

The “uniquities” are Alcantara enhanced seats with Brazen Gold accent stitching (also added to the centre console and door trim), and Carbonite aluminum interior bezels.