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Dodge Challenger SRT-8 392 Review

Ok, so, not a traditional review by any means, as I’ve been unable to convince Dodge to let me test the thing out, but a collection of what quotes from two (respectable) automotive journalists who have been lucky enough to get behind the wheel of the new SRT-8 392. Needless to say, they seemed to enjoy driving this new Challenger. A lot.

Jack Baruth at Truth About Cars wrote:

“The conventional wisdom tells us that the current Challenger is a disappointment in racetrack or “fast road” situations. While that is true for some models, it doesn’t hold true for the SRT-8.”

“The result is a car which feels considerably more eager to enter slow hairpins, such as the final turn of Infineon Raceway’s “NASCAR” configuration. I continue to believe that this is a platform which is best experienced in the longer wheelbase; the Charger R/T models on hand were easier to throw around Infineon’s massive elevation changes and deliberately unsettling Esses. Still, there’s noticeable improvement to be had in the 2011 model.”

“Dodge has bumped the HEMI out to 6.4L — 392 cubic inches — and it now turns out 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. The torque peak is at 4200rpm, which is still a little high for a traditional musclecar, but the new model never feels short of breath. Most importantly, the new “392″ is never in danger from the hated and feared Camaro SS in a straight line. You’ll need a new Shelby GT500 to mount a serious challenge, since both cars are capable of running low twelves in the quarter-mile. My offhand impression after driving both cars is that the Shelby is still faster but that the Mopar entry continues to bring a little more character to the table in terms of engine sound and responsiveness.”

“It’s that rarest of things in the modern environment: a man’s car. Testosterone-challenged fossils like my journosaur pals can’t drive it correctly and won’t do it justice, but some of you may find it absolutely irresistible.”

Aaron Robinson at Car and Driver wrote:

“The two systems work together to give the 6.4 much greater punch in the 2000-to-4000-rpm range where the 6.1 was somewhat wheezy.”

“The twin-disc clutch in front of the Tremec TR-6060 six-speed has been changed to accept the greater power, and the pistol-grip shifter’s throws are shorter. The rear differential internals are now shot-peened for extra strength.”

“During some brief track work, the 6.4 roared lustily and pulled the big heavy Challenger up hills and out of corners strongly in third or fourth gear. The 6.4’s power still lives largest closer to the top end, but there’s more excitement in the midrange than ever before. And now the steering feels much more natural and lively, with a quicker turn-in.”

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