It's finally here. After a highly publicized and long awaited release, the Dodge Challenger is back, and what it brings to the table is what enthusiasts have been craving for many years-ground-shaking performance and nostalgic cues reminiscent of the original Challenger. Adding to the package are a wide variety of modern amenities and technologies designed to make driving the '08 Challenger even more enjoyable than in the '70s.

According to Mike Accavitti, director of Dodge Brand and SRT Global Marketing, Chrysler LLC, "The new version of Dodge's American classic boasts tire-smoking performance and head-turning design, while offering a wide array of state-of-the-art technology, such as GPS navigation, Keyless Go entry, a MyGIG infotainment system, and a UConnect hands-free communication."

Developed by Chrysler's in-house performance engineering organization-SRT-the '08 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is engineered with a bold exterior design, a race-inspired interior, world-class ride and handling, a standout powertrain, and benchmark braking.

By the time you read this, new Challenger owners will be taking delivery of this new-age monster. When checking the limited option boxes, they had their choice of three colors: Hemi Orange, Bright Silver Metallic, and Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat. We have to admit, our favorite is Hemi Orange.

Each car is produced with a numbered dash plaque, carbon-fiber-like hood stripes, and is powered by SRT's 6.1-liter Hemi with 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. That's more than enough to get this heavy car moving. That's right, we said heavy. Weighing in at a hefty 4,140 pounds, it will take some serious dieting to get the new Challenger down to a svelte race weight for anyone planning on traveling that avenue.

Chrysler is hoping for performance targets that include a 0-60 time in the low 5-second range, 0-100-0 in less than 17 seconds, a quarter-mile elapsed time of less than 14 seconds, 60-0 mph braking distance of approximately 100 feet, and a skidpad performance of 0.88 g. For a car weighing in at over 4,000 pounds, that ain't too shabby.

But is the all-new '08 Dodge Challenger SRT8 the ultimate performance muscle coupe of the 21st century? For starters, the two-door, rear-wheel-drive coupe is based on the successful Dodge Charger LX platform, but is 4 inches shorter than the four-door Charger. According to Kipp Owen, director of Street and Racing Technology, "The 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is the ultimate modern musclecar, built by gearheads for gearheads. SRT understands what customers want in a performance car, and with the Challenger SRT8, we will exceed their expectations."

Built on a unibody construction, the all-new Challenger SRT8 features a multilink short-and-long arm (SLA) front suspension. The front-suspension cradle combines hydroformed steel-tube side rails with a stamped box lateral member to provide what Chrysler calls "the appropriate amount of stiffness." The "stiffness" is tuned to avoid the amount of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) that will be transferred into the passenger compartment. The multilink SLA suspension also provided SRT engineers the opportunity to tune bushing compliances for reduction in road noise, while maintaining vehicle handling performance.

The Challenger SRT8 sports a five-link Independent Rear Suspension (IRS). It's no secret that an independent rear suspension offers a better ride by allowing for independent tuning of the ride and handling characteristics. Multiple links maintain independent control of camber and toe during suspension movement. Multiple bushings in the IRS offer the flexibility to tune for ride and comfort. In addition, stabilizer bar attachments provide maximum response to vehicle lean.

"The all-new Dodge Challenger SRT8 is engineered to give customers everything they want in a modern muscle machine." -Mike Accavitti