2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Review

Posted on 01. Sep, 2008 by in Auto News

There was a time when a muscle car had traction control on your right foot only when the human utricle and saccule were the world's best gyro sensors. Unfortunately, those days are gone forever. Yes, but … Let's get one thing straight. The original Challenger was not a muscle car. And if Dodge pony car performance met (and lost) emissions controls and fuel, turned the little demon in a compact luxury coupe from Mitsubishi questionable heritage. Fast forward to the frenzied pace of the Barrett-Jackson Pimp-O-Rama and the next logical iteration was clear: Challenger now is a true muscle car.

Challenger? I'm just doing my job, Ma'am. Approaching the large animal is a suitable daunting task. The muscle-bound Mopar comes from the Chrysler LX platform into the limelight by Ralph Gilles and his gangsta-fresh Chrysler killed the 300th While the original Challenger hiding unnecessary belly fat and wore pencil thin bumper, the new "LY" platformed Challenger ditches the Hank Aaron School of Muscle, straight persona to Barry Bonds homerun Bustin '. And it works: The Challenger chunky open hunky proportions or the requisite long hood and short deck, even when the visual weight below the waist there is a staid and static group.

But it is worthy of Mark Rothko consent, the rear, the square plate (our tester HEMI Orange finished) with black trim, red rear lights and unique white reversing lights are a shot of abstract expressionism in a landscape dominated by Altezza occupied Bubble Butts. The chopped roof, power hood and a subtle wedge-shaped spoiler stir pride with the SRT8 moniker and it's done. There's a new badass in town.

But the exuberant overtones meet the runners with a palate dark charcoal inside the SRT8 cabin. Fortunately, the interior is very Charger-ish, with plenty of unique parts and updated materials to set the rental references in check. Namely: the SRT8 is suede accents and elegantly stitched door trim complement the upgraded seat covers and squish-friendly plastics. The look is right, but the execution is far from marking an Accord Coupe. Do not worry, the Bangin 'Kicker audio and in-dash navigation sport enough modern technology to the muscle car ahead of the current millennia.

What makes the Challenger inside truly unique: the old school seats in the back seat. Folding backrest notwithstanding the intimate hindquarters can accommodate two adults, even though they cocooning armrests with a tapered C-pillars and sculptures. It takes us back to a simpler, smaller time high fructose corn syrup does not fill our glasses and an interior order of size and shape.

Not that the Challenger a trim, toned is easy. With well over two tons of the two-door Dodge part is buttoned-down highway bruiser part miracle mile cruiser. Cracked asphalt and choppy roads have no effect on the massive 20 of the SRT8 the "Alcoa forged wheels and conservative spring rates.

They feel its heft in under cornering load, even if the multi-link suspension is sailing the ship maintains a fixed exchange rate. Roll Control is in the house, but there is no escaping the laws of physics. Fortunately, the days of bias ply tire shredding history understeer, oversteer and turn is not far away, with corresponding persuasion. No wonder, given the Germanic levels of refinement in the bone, and a large bore HEMI under the hood.

Anything that sounds good. On the paper.

Firstly this is a limited production, with a red-blooded American acoustic, tire-shredding (if largely mythical) to preserve legend. Try and keep that in mind when the Challenger overzealous silencer hush the glorious V8 rumble, while the massive pressure on 420lb/ft of torque suggested waiting for the patch. Gas is in tip-off and the rough-looking dual exhaust absolutely fine for cat-back Magnaflow asks the pipes.

To say that the Challenger is disingenuous tuning a slogan is to kill as I said the undefeated Pats lost the Super Bowl was a bit of a bummer for Bay Staters.

The Challenger SRT8's strength lies in his street rod. If you find a deserted stretch of asphalt and wind out of the 425 horsepower HEMI to its limits, discover you would a touring car series, which maintains its speed as an S-Class Benz. With a hint of wind noise from his frameless door glass And then bring them all down without drama, thanks to a series of fade-free discs carry glorious four-pot Brembo stoppers.

The premium price, mandatory autobox, limited production (for now) and polarizing styling is not a recipe for mainstream success. Also, the SRT8 is 13/18 mpg on premium call go juice. And? All those who want to get a one, and do not give a damn. Why should they? The Challenger SRT8 is a hugely comfortable, powerful and stylish over-the-top vehicle. This is what Chrysler was in the past, still works surprisingly well with the current definition of Detroit Iron.

Special thanks to Mr. Tim Beck for the seat time.