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Did you know Dodge is canceling the Challenger? Are you thinking of buying one of the last V8 muscle cars? The cheapest Challenger with a V8 is the 2021 Dodge Challenger RT. In addition to a 5.7-Liter Hemi, this trim level comes with a ton of other goodies.

The 2022 Dodge Challenger RT has a HEMI V8

Red muscle car. With a 5.7L HEMI V8, the 2022 Dodge Challenger RT is an obvious upgrade |  Stellantis
2022 Dodge Challenger R/T in TorRed | Dodge

The base model Challenger is the SXT, starting at $30,790. The next level is the GT, starting at $33,790. But both of these trim levels only come with Dodge’s 3.6-Liter “Pentastar” V6 engine. The V6 makes a respectable 300 horsepower. Dodge only pairs it with an automatic transmission. MotorTrend found the V6 Challenger could reach 60 MPH in six seconds. Still, many MOPAR fans demand a V8 for the full muscle car experience.

The first Challenger trim level with a V8 is the RT (also written R/T). The 2021 Dodge Challenger R/T began at just $36,150. The 2022 Dodge Challenger RT begins at $37,490. This makes the R/T a $3,700 upgrade from the GT.

One of the main features you get when you upgrade to the Challenger R/T is a HEMI V8 engine. Every 2022 Dodge Challenger R/T comes with the Dodge 5.7-Liter (345 cubic inch) V8. The legendary HEMI engine has dominated drag racing since the 1950s. The 5.7L is from the powerplant’s third generation. Modern features include an aluminum block, fuel injection, variable valve timing, and available multi-displacement mode. But like HEMI’s of the past, the 5.7L is a 90-degree pushrod V8 that uses hemispherical heads to make big power.

The 2022 Dodge Challenger R/T makes 372 horsepower

Red coupe. The 6-speed manual makes this 2022 Dodge Challenger R/T a worthy trim level | Stellantis
2022 Dodge Challenger R/T in TorRed | Dodge

When Dodge first engineered the HEMI, few engines made one horsepower for each cubic inch of displacement. With modern technology, this is much more common. The naturally-aspirated 345 cubic inch HEMI in the 2022 Challenger R/T easily makes 372-375 horsepower.

Many motorheads know torque is king. The longer crankshaft of a V8 engine translates to more torque than a V6 with similar displacement. Dodge Challengers with the Pentastar V6 only offer 268 lb-ft of torque. With its 5.7L HEMI, the 2022 Dodge Challenger RT boasts 410 lb-ft of torque.

Dodge only offers the Challenger SXT and GT with automatic transmissions. Manual transmission fans have to upgrade to the Challenger R/T to get three pedals. The Challenger R/T is also available with an 8-speed automatic.

With hundreds of pounds more torque and available 6-speed manual transmission, the Challenger R/T offers a completely different driving experience than the base model Challengers. When MotorTrend tested a Challenger R/T equipped with the T/A cold air intake, the reviewers acclerated to 60 MPH in five seconds.

What does RT mean on a Dodge Challenger?

Dodge launched the Challenger in 2008. It is an eye-catching reincarnated muscle car with a retro design. The Detroit automaker revived many performance badges along with its flagship coupe. One of these badges is R/T.

R/T stands for Road/Track. It is one of the MOPAR company’s most storied badges. It appeared on legendary big-block muscle cars throughout the 60s and 70s. R/T cars are engineered for both the road and the track. They all come with performance upgrades, while remaining suitable for daily driving.

The 2022 Dodge Challenger R/T is available in 14 colors. These include High Impact colors “Stinger Yellow,” “Torred,” and “Go Mango.” Other signature colors include “Jasper Blue Metallic” and “Green Metallic.”

The Challenger R/T costs just $3,700 more than the base model. Put another way, the V8 Challenger R/T costs less than the V6-powered Challenger GT with leather seats. For muscle car fans, the G/T is an obvious upgrade. And for a limited time, Dodge is even offering 7% off the price of the outgoing 2021 Challenger R/T.


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