When we think of muscle cars, a few come to mind first. The Dodge Challenger is one of them, earning a spot among America’s best muscle cars even after a decades-long hiatus.
The 2021 Challenger has a lot to live up to, needing more muscle and power to stay on top. And the newest model rises to the occasion.
Dodge Challenger: The quintessential muscle car
The Dodge Challenger got its first real start in 1970 when Dodge decided it needed to design a sports car to rival the Ford Mustang. Offering affordable pricing and a wide range of engine choices, from a V6 producing 101 hp to a giant 7.2-liter V8, the Challenger could make the automaker’s wish come true.
But the Dodge Challenger didn’t have much of a chance to prove its true abilities, Drive Magazine reported. The 1973 oil crisis struck and took many victims, “one of them being the Challenger in muscle car form.” Though Dodge attempted to keep the Challenger name alive through an imported compact coupe, it was unsuccessful. “The Challenger remained a distant memory for almost three decades,” until the brand revived it in 2008 to “instant success.”
Dodge immediately reminded car lovers why the Challenger stands as “the quintessential American muscle car,” with powerful engines, great styling, and affordable pricing. Adding a supercharged Hellcat in 2015 and an “even crazier” Demon in 2018, Dodge reclaimed its spot among the top American sports cars. And the latest 2021 Dodge Challenger continues to earn its place.
The 2021 Dodge Challenger retains its spot among the best
U.S. News recently named the 2021 Dodge Challenger one of its top picks in “The 22 Best Cars From American Brands for 2021.” The publication agrees the model is “one of America’s quintessential muscle cars.” Of all American sports cars, the Challenger is “by far the oldest design in the class,” but don’t let that fool you. It used to be a powerful force to be reckoned with, and it still is.
The 2021 Challenger earns an impressive overall 7.9/10 “thanks in part to its potent engine lineup, user-friendly technology, and surprisingly roomy interior,” U.S. News reports. The newest Challenger offers a wide variety of powerful engines producing 303 hp up to an extraordinary 807 hp. The fastest Challenger can roar from 0 to 60 mph in a lightning-fast 3.25 seconds. In fact, U.S. News says, “it has some of the most powerful engines on the market” and “is most at home when going in a straight line.”
Everything the 2021 Challenger offers
As if six powerful engines weren’t enough, the 2021 Dodge Challenger offers myriad other plusses. With 16.2 cubic feet of trunk space, it provides “more space than all other sports cars,” along with plenty of upgraded interior touches, U.S. News reports. Standard features include a 7.0-inch touchscreen display (an 8.4-inch touchscreen is optional) and a rearview camera. But with seven trims, optional equipment, and special packages, the Challenger offers seemingly endless customizations.
Most driver-assist features are available as options. They include adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, and blind-spot monitoring. Higher-trim Challengers like the Hellcat, Hellcat Redeye, and Super Stock offer 807 hp and a ton of sports-car necessities, such as Brembo brakes, an open-air intake, and street-legal drag tires. The 2021 Challenger retails for as little as $28,000 and much as $80,000 or more.