Going Fast--Without TurnsWe were hoping that with a 340hp V-8, we could really make an impression at the local drag strip. Unfortunately, the impression was not as positive as we had hoped. The launching capabilities of the Charger definitely had us scratching our heads. The Charger's ESP (Electronic Stability Program) is designed to detect a critical driving situation and aid in avoiding any problems. It automatically enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability in adverse driving conditions. ESP constantly compares the driver's intended course with the vehicle's actual course and compensates for any differences. We had hoped to turn off the ESP and have a little more control of the car's functions, such as manual shifting the automatic transmission using the AutoStick. Unfortunately, the transmission still shifted itself, even when the AutoStick was not shifted. The ESP also controls the all-speed Traction Control System (TCS). Apparently, this is the reason for the sluggish launch. The TCS doesn't allow the Charger full-throttle acceleration from a dead stop.
We tried to launch the car using every possible scenario, from idle through having the tires spin while waiting for the light to turn green. The best 60-foot time we could muster was 2.33 seconds. We had hoped for at least 2.1 or close to it. The problem was the hesitation off the line. We did our testing at Lakeland Motorsports Park, an eighth-mile dragstrip. the best eighth-mile e.t. of the evening was a 9.63. When converted to quarter-mile times, that translates into roughly a 15.12 e.t. We stuck our tails between our legs and went home. We surmised the car is more at home on the road course.
Safety and Security featuresThe all-new Charger carries more safety features than you can shake a stick at. an advanced multi-stage air bag, all-speed Traction Control System (TCS), antilock brake system, brake assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), safety cage body, and side impact door beams are standard on the vehicle.