Fans of the Dodge Challenger that are eager to take the muscle car out in tricky weather conditions can now do so after the automaker recently unveiled the 2017 Challenger GT. Billed by Dodge as the world's first all-wheel-drive (AWD) muscle car, the company claimed the new Challenger variant will deliver all-weather driving confidence in every situation.
“Dodge is shifting the muscle car paradigm with the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT – the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe. The Challenger has always been the most wide-ranging and functional muscle coupe, and now, with the new 305-horsepower all-wheel-drive Challenger GT, we are stretching the functional and geographic boundaries even further,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars at Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, FCA North America.
At the heart of the 2017 Challenger is not a HEMI V8, but instead a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that belts out 309 PS at 6350 rpm along with 336 Nm of torque at 4800 rpm. It is then married to an 8-speed automatic gearbox that channels power to an AWD system with an active transfer case borrowed from the AWD Charger.
The Challenger GT also comes with a front-axle disconnect which cuts power to the front wheels on normal driving situations. When the system senses the car needs additional traction, the powertrain automatically activates the transfer case to send power to the front wheels.
Ensuring it's safe out in the elements, Dodge also installed several safety features like: vehicle dynamic control (VDC) and electronic stability control (ESC). Beyond safety, the Challenger GT also comes with Sport Mode (shortens the gear ratios and holds the gears longer) and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for a more spirited driving experience. Other safety tech present include the ParkSense rear park assist and the ParkView reverse camera.
In-car amenities and features were not forgotten as Dodge was able to kit out the AWD muscle car with the following as standard: 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment with Super Trak Pak, 7-inch instrument cluster display, Nappa leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, power tilt and telescoping steering rack, Uconnect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six Alpine speakers and aluminum bezels.
Aesthetically, the Challenger GT still bears the same exterior styling from its HEMI V8 brethren. It gets the heritage muscle car front split grill, power bulge hood, LED headlights and taillights, 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in BSW 235/55/R19 tires and a decklid spoiler.
Production of the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT will begin in January and will arrive in US dealerships by Q1 of next year.