LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2009 DODGE CHALLENGER R/T:
ENGLISHTOWN, New Jersey — There has been lots of speculation about the speed of the new 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T with its 375-horsepower 5.7-liter V8, and we were able to conduct our own independent testing at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, the site of the official introduction of the 2009 Dodge Challenger lineup.
This is the very first chance to test the performance of Chrysler's new muscle car in R/T trim. Our data includes 0-60-mph acceleration, quarter-mile performance, braking distance and slalom speed, as well as insight from IL's test-driver.
Chrysler based its introduction of the 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8, R/T and SE at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, a traditional stop for the NHRA's professional drag-racing championship. Thanks to our portable Racelogic VBOX III testing gear, we were able to use the track for performance testing, although the lack of a suitable plot of pavement precluded skid pad evaluation.
The 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T with its 375-hp 5.7-liter V8 and six-speed manual transmission accelerated to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (5.5 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip), then reached the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 100.8 mph. In comparison, the 315-hp 2008 Mustang Bullitt we tested late last year with a 4.6-liter V8 and Tremec five-speed manual transmission ran to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. The Bullitt also ran a 13.8-second quarter-mile at 102.1 mph.
At 4,041 pounds, the R/T weighs about 100 pounds less than a 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 with a six-speed transmission. In fact the R/T is only fractionally slower to 60 mph than the SRT8's 5.5 seconds (5.2 seconds with 1 foot of rollout). The difference lies in the higher redline of the SRT8's 425-hp 6.1-liter Hemi, which enables the car to pull past 60 mph in 2nd gear. In comparison, the R/T requires a shift into 3rd gear.
2009 Honda Pilot Review
If the 2009 Honda Pilot proves anything, it's that things have changed over
at Honda. One look at the new Pilot's zany front grille announces that the
company has unapologetically embraced vehicular embellishment. The overall
shape is only slightly less boxy than that of the Jeep Commander, and there
are so many creases and character lines in the sheet metal that the new
Pilot reminds us of 4,609 pounds of origami.
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2009 Chevrolet Traverse Full Test
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CHEVY TRAVERSE:
If the large, traditional SUV you're giving up represents trans fat, the
2009 Chevrolet Traverse you're replacing it with is unsalted, organic
butter churned from the milk of grass-fed cows.
This is not a low-fat crossover SUV. Along with its siblings built on GM's
Lambda platform architecture, the 2009 Chevy Traverse is the longest and
tallest crossover on the market. Yes, it even beats the ungainly
Mercedes-Benz R-Class. It's also longer than a Honda Odyssey or Dodge Grand
Caravan. If you wanted a bigger family vehicle, you'd have to go back to
driving a Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition EL.
And yet just like the sort of large, placid Holstein cow you see on family
farms, our 2009 Chevrolet Traverse 2LT AWD is amazingly friendly for
something with such a large footprint. It does everything to make sure it
doesn't step on you. You start to back up and a built-in camera display
takes over the left side of the rearview mirror, while the sonar goes nuts
if you get within 10 feet of anything shaped like a toddler. Then you
glance to your right and realize you have the choice of looking in the
regular side mirror or a built-in blind-spot viewer.
All the standard visibility aids on our Chevy Traverse 2LT tester can be
overwhelming at first, but the car just wants to help you out. In doing so,
though, it reminds you that you're not really downsizing when you get into
a seven-passenger crossover. Rather, you're driving an SUV with the safety
Challenger New vs. Old: Vanishing Point Revisited
"Our sole Challenger has just broken the ring of evil the deep blue meanies
have so righteously wrought — get through 'em baby, get through 'em." —
Super Soul, Vanishing Point 1971
It happens deep in the Nevada desert, just past Austin. On a long, straight
section of road with nothing to lose, our friends in the white 1970 Dodge
Challenger R/T finally put the hammer down. At once, the rawness and purity
of Kowalski's ride pulverizes the well-insulated interior of our 2008 Dodge
Challenger SRT8, shredding the peace inside the modern car's cockpit with
the same brute force Kowalski used to pierce a hole in the cool desert air
38 years ago. Even with my right foot buried, I see nothing but taillights
until they disappear into the desert.
In these few brief seconds, the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is clearly
defined by its soft edges and quiet Exhaust. Manufacturers don't let us feel cars
raw and unfiltered anymore. Hammering down a desert road with a thin-rimmed
steering wheel and pistol-grip shifter — that's raw. Four hundred and
forty cubic inches and a four-speed — that's raw. Powerslides unhampered
by electronic intervention — that's raw.
In 1970, when Kowalski drove this very road — U.S. Highway 50 through
Nevada — he felt it. And it was raw.
Challenger: Faster than a Speeding Bullitt?
The rebirth of the American muscle car is about a lot more than retro. It's
about pride. It's about recalling a time when Americans looked down the
road to the future with confidence, and they wanted a great big V8 engine
to get them there as soon as possible.
It's no wonder the 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt has our respect. It's
the best version yet of the 2005 Ford Mustang, the car that set Detroit on
fire again with enthusiasm for good old American muscle. Maybe the
fuel-guzzling muscle car won't save Detroit from the challenge to build
cars that people need, but it's surely restored the domestic car industry's
confidence in its ability to do so. And it's shown that Americans can build
cars that are utterly unlike anything you'll find in Stuttgart, Shanghai,
Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur or any of those other places that economists think
they're so clever to know about.
Now that the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is here, Chrysler is cracking the
seal on its own Mopar-branded can of muscle-car whoop-ass to show that it
understands what's at stake in the muscle-car sweepstakes. The Bullitt and
the Challenger are the two coolest cars in America, and it's only natural
to bring them together.
2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8: Choose Your Own Adventure! - Ignition Episode 13
On this episode of Ignition, Carlos Lago gets rained-out at the test track,
and decides to head out on the open road in search of adventure in the 2012
Dodge Challenger SRT8 392.
Ignition appears every Monday on the new Motor Trend channel.
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FIRST DRIVE: 2008 DODGE CHALLENGER SRT8
Get more info on the Dodge Challenger SRT8 -
Challenger, the name says it all. With the Mustang as the King of the Road, and
with the media circus surrounding the upcoming Camaro, you couldn't find a more
suitable name for Dodge's new muscle car.
Dodge Challenger Review - Everyday Driver
We drive Dodge's Muscle Car remake to see if the Mustang should be worried.
Lots more on the way - look for us on Thursdays!
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Challenger Drag Race! - SE vs R/T vs SRT8
MT Technical Director Frank Markus tests the three 2009 Dodge Challenger
variants - SE, R/T, SRT8 - with a three-way drag race and laps around our
figure eight. Read the story here:
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