Chrysler introduces 2009 Dodge Challenger lineup

Chrysler introduces 2009 Dodge Challenger lineup image

Text: / Photos: | posted April 01, 2008 00:00

Chrysler unveiled its full 2009 Dodge Challenger model lineup at the New York International Auto Show. Pricing will start in the low $20,000 range.
The all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger merges the best American muscle-car characteristics - unmistakable design, world-class handling, powerful engines and technology - to delight driving enthusiasts across several generations.

"Our all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger is a modern-day muscle machine representing the best from the past and present," said Mike Accavitti, Director Dodge Brand and SRT Global Marketing, Chrysler LLC. "Thirty-five years following the debut of the original, we are bringing Dodge Challenger back and loading it with essential hardware, styling and technology desired by today's buyer."

The Dodge Challenger is the first five-passenger, two-door coupe produced from Chrysler's proven rear-wheel-drive platform that delivers the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Developed with Dodge's credo of "bold, powerful and capable," the Challenger delivers a modern two-door muscle car.
Three models will be offered in North America: Dodge Challenger SRT8, Dodge Challenger R/T and Dodge Challenger SE.

Essential Hardware

The Dodge Challenger R/T features the new-generation 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission that produces an estimated 370 horsepower (276 kW) and 398 lb.-ft. of torque (540 Nm). For 2009, the HEMI engine is upgraded to get an estimated five percent improvement in fuel economy as well as an increase of 30 horsepower (9 percent) and 8 lb.-ft. improved torque (2 percent) over a greater range of engine speeds. The automatic transmission features fuel-saving multi-displacement (MDS) technology which increases fuel economy by as much as 20 percent depending on driving conditions without sacrificing vehicle performance. The Dodge Challenger R/T also offers a precision-shift six-speed manual transmission - the first for a new-generation HEMI-powered car - that produces 375 horsepower (280 kW) and 404 lb.-ft. of torque (548 Nm) when running on premium fuel. The Dodge Challenger R/T can go from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds.

The 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 features an SRT-exclusive 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine mated with a new-for-2009 six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick that generates a blistering 425 horsepower (317 kW) and 420 lb.-ft. of torque (569 Nm). The vehicle can go from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds.

The Dodge Challenger SE powered by the 3.5-liter High Output V-6 with a four-speed automatic transmission produces 250 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque.

Patterned off the Dodge Charger architecture, the front suspension and five-link independent rear suspension system on all Dodge Challenger models provide excellent ride and handling characteristics.

Essential Styling

The Dodge Challenger design team stayed true to the concept revealed at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, while drawing upon elements from the original Challenger. The result: a bold, aggressive muscle machine that blends nostalgia with modern Dodge style.

"Our designers wanted to capture the mind's-eye view of what people today remember about the Dodge Challenger from 35 years ago," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President Design, Chrysler LLC. "Their challenge was to excite today's customer by capturing the emotion of the original Challenger, while offering today's comfort and performance."

On the exterior, the long, raised performance hood with scoops and recessed grille with round dual headlamps are reminiscent of the original Dodge Challenger. The bold A-line, or character line, that runs from stem to stern gives the all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger an instantly recognizable muscle-car profile. Retro dual rectangular exhaust outlets complete the look from the rear.

On the interior, the trapezoidal theme of the door-panel cove and gauge cluster, dark headliner and slanted shifter console are inspired by the original Dodge Challenger. The modern interpretation of the Dodge Challenger offers exceptional rear seating for a two-door coupe, achieving best-in-class rear head (37.4 inches) and leg (32.6 inches) room compared to the competition. Coupled with best-in-class cargo space (16.2 cu. ft.) - equal to the Dodge Charger - the all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger offers added comfort and functionality.