Dodge's most muscle-bound muscle car, the Challenger, moves into 2017 with a few modernizing updates.
Key among these is the addition of a fourth-generation of parent company Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment interface, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Chrysler says the revised system also starts up more quickly, and the available 8.4-inch touchscreen allows pinch, tap and swipe gesture capability.
SXT and R/T Scat Pack models gain Houndstooth cloth seats, and the SRT Hellcat model gets new 20-inch wheels and badging, and Hellcat and SRT 392 share a steering wheel with a lighted SRT logo.
Elsewise, the Challenger carries over fundamentally unchanged. A wide range of engines begins with a 3.6L Pentastar V6, making 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque in SXT and SXT Plus trims. R/T and R/T Shaker models share a 5.7L Hemi V8 good for 372 hp and 400 lb-ft, and the R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392 versions get a 6.4L Hemi that cranks out 485 hp and 475 lb-ft. Finally, the beastly Hellcat alone uses a 6.2L supercharged Hemi that makes 707 hp and 650 lb-ft.
All models come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while V8-powered variants get the option of a six-speed manual, both of which send power to the rear wheels; there is no AWD variant here.
Fuel consumption estimates are 12.4/7.8 L/100 km (city/highway) with the V6; 14.8/9.3 with the 5.7L Hemi; and 15.7/9.5 with the 6.4L engine. Hellcat models are rated 17.6/10.7 with the automatic, and 18.1/11.4 with the manual transmission.
Starting with the entry-level SXT, standard features include dual-zone automatic air conditioning, cloth seats with Houndstooth inserts, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth, leather-trimmed shifter and steering wheel, 10-way power driver's seat with four-way lumbar, power locks, windows and mirrors, heritage-inspired gauge cluster with customizable seven-inch display, Uconnect intotainment with five-inch touchscreen, media hub, six-speaker stereo with USB and auxiliary inputs, 18-inch wheels, body-colour door handles, side mirrors and fascia, satin chrome grille, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, passive keyless entry, tilt-and-telescopic steering column, performance suspension and drivetrain sport mode.
SXT Plus trim adds 20-inch wheels, amplified stereo, rear spoiler, bright pedals, ambient lighting, fog lights, heated steering wheel, mesh interior accents, Nappa leather-faced seating, heated and ventilated front seats, rear park assist and backup camera, performance brakes, power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, satellite radio, Uconnect with 8.4-inch touchscreen and navigation, and a garage door opener.
R/T trim builds on SXT Plus, adding the 5.7L motor, blind spot monitoring with rear cross path detection, HID headlights, R/T badging and remote engine start.
R/T Shaker models add trim-specific badging, dark brushed interior accents, Dodge Performance Pages, cold-air engine intake, Nappa leather-faced seats with Alcantara inserts, performance steering wheel, paddle shifters, and performance steering and suspension tuning.
The R/T Scat Pack package gets unique 20-inch wheels, upgraded alternator, Brembo brakes, severe-duty engine cooling system, high-performance suspension, Scat Pack badging and a tire service kit in place of a spare tire. This model also reverts to a manually-adjustable steering column, and a number of features standard in the R/T Shaker -- heated steering wheel, leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, HID headlights, blind spot monitoring with cross path detection, remote start and garage door opener -- are extra-cost options here.
Or, you could move up to the 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker, which adds back the heated/ventilated seats, heated steering wheel and power steering column, and also gets the shaker cold air intake from the R/T Shaker.
Finally, there are the SRT 392 and Hellcat models. These two share the Uconnect 8.4 infotainment with navigation, full-leather seating with heating and ventilation, 18-speaker stereo, 20-inch wheels, rear park assist and backup camera, functional hood scoop, performance suspension with adaptive damping, active exhaust, and Brembo brakes. The Hellcat adds competition suspension, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, black fuel door and front chin spoiler, front air catcher inlet port and hydraulic power steering.