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.
Consumers will enjoy outstanding...
Consumers will enjoy outstanding performance on the street or on the track. With a low-ride height, a brake-lock differential, SRT-tailored spring rates and shock rates, sway bars, and a uniquely tuned Electronic Stability Program (ESP), the '08 Dodge Challenger SRT8 offers world-class ride and handling characteristics across a dynamic range.
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.
Not only does the interior...
Not only does the interior look the part of a modern cruiser, it sports options such as GPS navigation, Keyless Go entry, a MyGIG infotainment system, and UConnect hands-free communication.
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.
Feeling a bit nostalgic? The...
Feeling a bit nostalgic? The tail treatment screams 1970.
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
The '08 Challenger's lines...
The '08 Challenger's lines closely mimic the first year Challenger's, but overall, it's quite a bit larger and heavier.
"The original Dodge Challenger was best known for its straight-line prowess at the dragstrip," said Owen. "The 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 not only lives up to that heritage, but was engineered to offer world-class ride and handling characteristics when on the street, at a dragstrip, or at a road course." Finishing off the suspension are SRT-exclusive, fully forged, 20-inch, Alcoa aluminum wheels with four-season Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires-standard for 2008. Three-season Goodyear F1 Supercar tires are available.
The Challenger SRT8's transmission is an electronically controlled five-speed automatic with a lockup torque converter and AutoStick. Three sets of planetary gears provide the individual transmission ratios, while six friction clutches and two overrunning clutches select them. An aggressive First gear ratio provides outstanding launch performance. AutoStick gives the driver the ability to select a higher or lower gear while the transmission controller calibration prevents fuel shutoff during power shifts.
Challenger SRT's transmission...
Challenger SRT's transmission is an electronically controlled five-speed automatic with a lockup torque converter and AutoStick. AutoStick gives the driver the ability to select a higher or lower gear, while the transmission controller calibration prevents fuel shutoff during power shifts.
According to Chrysler, a fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain feel responsive without harshness. Electronically controlled engine torque-management provides smooth full-throttle launches, quick wide-open-throttle up shifts, and quick two-step, kick-down shifts that are smoother. Extensive use of an electronically modulated converter clutch (EMCC) improves fuel economy while maintaining smooth operation.
You'll want to be able to stop this thing when you get it moving, so a specially designed system for the Challenger SRT8 will slow and stop the car quickly, safely, and predictably. All four wheels are equipped with Brembo calipers that feature four pistons for even clamping performance. Up front are 360x32mm vented rotors; 350x26mm vented rotors are in the rear. With estimated 60-0 mph stopping distance of approximately 110 feet, the all-new Dodge Challenger SRT8 offers customers benchmark braking.
So there you have it, the Challenger is back. It all started a couple of years ago when enthusiasts cried for rear-wheel-drive performance. When the Charger was released with four doors, the masses cried foul. This should satisfy everyone.
The '08 Challenger SRT8's...
The '08 Challenger SRT8's 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque are a result of SRT's exclusive, proven, 6.1-liter Hemi, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick. The normally aspirated 6.1-liter Hemi is the highest naturally aspirated, specific-output, V-8 engine ever offered by Chrysler. Its 69.8 hp-per-liter rating exceeds even that.
2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Specifications
|Dimensions are in inches unless otherwise noted. |
|GENERAL INFORMATION |
|Body Style ||Coupe |
|Assembly Plant ||Brampton, Ontario, Canada |
|EPA Vehicle Class ||Intermediate car |
|Introduction Date ||April 2008 |
|ENGINE: 6.1-LITER HEMI V-8 |
|Displacement ||370 ci |
|Bore x Stroke ||4.06 inch x 3.58 inch |
|Valve System ||Pushrod-operated overhead valves, 16 valves |
|Fuel Injection ||Sequential, multi-port, electronic, returnless |
|Construction ||Deep-skirt, cast-iron block with cross-bolted main bearing caps, aluminum alloy heads with hemispherical combustion chambers |
|Compression Ratio ||10.3:1 |
|Power (estimated SAE Net) ||425 bhp @ 6,200 rpm |
|Torque (estimated SAE Net) ||420 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm |
|Max. Engine Speed ||6,400 rpm (electronically limited) |
|Fuel Requirement ||Unleaded premium 91-octane (R+M)/2 recommended |
|Oil Capacity ||7 qt. |
|Coolant Capacity ||14 qt. |
|Max. Gross Trailer Weight ||Not recommended |
|Estimated EPA Fuel Economy |
|mpg (City/Hwy) ||13/18 |
|TRANSMISSION: AUTOMATIC, FIVE-SPEED OVERDRIVE (W5A580) |
|Adaptive electronic control or AutoStick driver-interactive manual control and electronically modulated torque converter clutch |
|Gear Ratios |
|First ||3.58 |
|Second ||2.19 |
|Third ||1.41 |
|Fourth ||1.00 |
|Fifth ||0.83 |
|Reverse ||3.17 |
|Final Drive Ratio ||6.1L–3.06 |
|Overall Top Gear ||6.1L–2.54 |
|DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES |
|Wheelbase, in. ||116.0 |
|Track, Front, in. ||63.0 Feb. 6, 2008; Reveal kit |
|Track, Rear, in ||.63.1 |
|Overall Length, in || .197.7 |
|Overall Width, in. ||75.7 |
|Overall Height, in. ||57.0 |
|Ground Clearance, in. ||@ curb 5.5 |
|Frontal Area, sq. ft. ||25.3 |
|Drag Coefficient ||0.353 (9.01 CdA) |
|Curb Weight, estimated, lb. ||4,140 |
|Weight Distribution, percent F/R ||55.6/44.4 |
|Fuel Tank Capacity ||19 gal. |
|Seating Capacity, F/R ||2/3 |
|Front Seat ||m |
|Headroom ||39.5 in. |
|Leg Room ||42.0 in. |
|Shoulder Room ||58.2 in. |
|Rear Seat |
|Headroom ||37.4 in. |
|Leg Room ||32.6 in |
|Knee Clearance ||1.2 in. |
|Total Interior Volume, cu. ft. || 93.9 |
|SAE Cargo Volume cu. ft. (cu. m) (Charger) ||16.2 |
|All dimensions measured at curb weight with standard tires. |
|Layout ||Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive |
|Construction ||Unitized steel body |
|Type ||Rack-and-pinion with hydraulic power assist |
|Overall Ratio ||16.1:1 |
|Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb) ||37.5 ft. |
|Steering Turns (lock-to-lock) ||2.75 |
|Front ||Independent SLA with high upper “A” arm, coilspring over Bilstein mono-tube gas-charged shock absorbers and stabilizer bar – Std. Lateral and diagonal lower links – Std. |
|Rear ||Five-link independent with coil springs, link-type stabilizer bar, Bilstein mono-tube gas-charged shock absorbers and isolated suspension cradle – Std. Feb. 6, 2008; Reveal kit |
|Size and Type ||245/45 R20 front, P255/45 R20 rear |
|Mfr. and Model ||Goodyear F1 Supercar |
|Availability ||Opt. |
|Size and Type ||245/45 R20 all-season performance |
|Mfr. and Model ||Goodyear RSA/SRT |
|Other sizes and brands may also be used. |
|Availability ||Std. |
|Type and Material ||Fully forged aluminum |
|Size ||20x9.0 |
|Rotor Size and Type ||14.2x1.26 vented |
|Caliper Size and Type ||1.73 (44) Brembo 4-piston fixed with aluminum housing |
|Swept Area ||351 sq. in. |
|Rotor Size and Type ||13.8x1.10 vented |
|Caliper Size and Type ||11.26 (32) Brembo 4-piston fixed with aluminum housing |
|Swept Area ||316 sq. in. |
|Four-Wheel Anti-Lock and Traction Control ||Std. |
|Electronic Stability Control and Brake Assist ||Std. |