This Car Refuses to Change With the Times

The auto industry is electrifying, building hybrids, and swapping gas-guzzling, big displacement engines for smaller, more efficient rigs. However, a couple of cars out there refuse to update quite yet, and this one might be the most prolific of them all. When the world says efficiency, the Dodge Challenger says horsepower. 

The Challenger refuses to change with the times like other cars
The shaker hood is a throwback to muscle car past | Raymond Boyd, Getty Images

Even the V6-powered Dodge Challenger isn’t that efficient

The Dodge Challenger is a two-door muscle car, true to its roots. Not one version of the car is efficient. The Dodge Challenger SXT packs the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, with a respectable 303 horsepower. Also, the GT, with its all-wheel drive (AWD) system, is powered by the same V6 engine. Consumer Reports says that both cars only manage 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg highway. 

What does R/T mean on Challengers? 

The R/T stands for Road and Track and represents some of Dodge’s most beloved  V8-powered muscle cars. The most common version is the Challenger (and Charger) R/T, which packs a 5.7L Hemi V8 engine. The cars produce 375 horsepower, albeit with no AWD option. So, with a significant displacement V8 up front and power going exclusively to the rear, the Challenger clearly refuses to modernize. That said, why is that such a bad thing? 

What is a Scat Pack engine?

Challengers like this Scat Pack refuse to change with the times like other cars
A deep blue Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Shaker | Raymond Boyd, Getty Images

If the Dodge Challenger isn’t enough of a muscle car with the R/T badge and a 5.7L V8, you might look into the Scat Pack. Once you’re done giggling, you’ll notice that the Scat Pack has a monstrous 6.4L naturally aspirated V8 engine producing a tire-shredding 485 horsepower. Furthermore, the Scat Pack carries the same throwback shaker option that the Challenger R/T offers. The Challenger is, in nearly every way, a muscle car holdout. 

What is faster than a Scat Pack?  

Challengers like this Hellcat refuse to change with the times like other cars
A young person admires a Dodge Challenger Hellcat | Samuel Corum, Getty Images

The Scat Pack and its massive 6.4L V8 aren’t even close to the summit. The Dodge Challenger, and sibling car Charger, have a stable of supercharged V8s to put them over the edge. For years now, the Dodge muscle family has packed optional Hellcat 6.2L V8s with superchargers for added horsepower. Even the most timid used Hellcat Challenger came from the factory with a mad, shrieking 707 horsepower. 

Since the 2015 unveiling of Dodge’s lunatic powerplant, the muscle car maker has pushed the envelope even further. While other major manufacturers were adapting to emissions standards, Dodge said “more.” Specifically, Challenger shoppers can wrangle the newest Hellcats, some with widebodies, making a wild 717 horsepower. Further, muscle car fans can buy a Hellcat Redeye, which makes a savage 797 horsepower and features an unmistakeable dual-snorkel hood. 

What is the most powerful Dodge Challenger? 

When you look for the fastest, most out-of-control Challengers, you have a couple of options. First, die-hard fans can seek out the Challenger SRT Jailbreak. The Jailbreak features a supercharged 6.2L V8 and 807 horsepower. Also, if you don’t want your road-friendly version, you can buy an SRT Super Stock. The Super Stock comes from Dodge with 807 horsepower, a drag strip-ready setup, and Nitto drag radial tires. Frankly, Dodge not only still makes true muscle cars, but they will also sell you the aforementioned Super Stock, which will sprint to a ¼ mile in 10.5 seconds at 131 mph. 

Is there anything else? 

How could there be anything else? Well, if you’re willing to go hunting, Dodge made something crazier. The bonkers automaker made 3,000 of the Dodge Demon. The Demon is a supercharged drag car variant of the Challenger with a very special record: When it came out, it was the fastest accelerating production car ever made. So clearly, if you want a muscle car before they are extinct, a Dodge Challenger might be one of your only options. 


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