2018 Dodge Challenger Review

Challenger

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2018 Dodge Challenger Overview

The existing Dodge Challenger lineup gets minor updates for the 2018 model-year. The big news is the addition of a new trim—the SRT Demon—which is the world’s first factory-production drag car. A Widebody variant of the SRT Hellcat is also new for 2018, so there’s plenty of reason for muscle-car enthusiasts to get excited.

The Challenger lineup now includes 16 versions to choose from, with a mind-boggling number of features and configurations. The all-new SRT Demon is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi SRT Demon V8 engine, which is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission for an overwhelming 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque. It’s the most powerful muscle car on the market and posts the world’s fastest quarter mile at 9.65 seconds and 140 mph. Buyers receive a day-long session at the Bob Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving, and an optional Demon Crate will add exclusive accessories like a performance air filter, a torque wrench with an extension socket, a cordless impact wrench and charger, and a hydraulic floor jack with a carrying bag. Production is limited to 3,000 units in the U.S. and 300 units in Canada for a single model year, and U.S. pricing starts at $83,295.

Also new this year, the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody variant is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V8 engine with 707 hp and 650 lb-ft, which it shares with the SRT Hellcat trim. The V8 comes paired with either a 6-speed manual or an optional 8-speed automatic transmission. The Widebody trim adds fender flares, 20-inch-by-11-inch aluminum wheels, 305/35R20 Pirelli tires, and electric power steering with selectable drive modes. Choose between Sport, Track, Default, or Custom modes to adjust traction and suspension, horsepower, transmission shifting, and steering.

The returning Challenger lineup starts with the base SXT trim, which is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission for 305 hp and 268 lb-ft. This same configuration is found in the SXT Plus and GT trims, which get a performance brake package, remote start, projector fog lamps, bright pedals, and sport Nappa leather as standard features. The GT also receives an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.

Next up are the Challenger R/T, T/A, R/T Shaker, R/T Plus, T/A Plus, and R/T Plus Shaker trims, which are equipped with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 good for 375 hp and 410 lb-ft with the standard 6-speed manual transmission or 372 hp and 400 lb-ft with the 8-speed automatic. These middle trim levels are differentiated by various performance accessories, like a functional Shaker hood with cold-air induction, and interior comfort features like Nappa or Alcantara upholstery.

Sitting one step below the Challenger SRT Hellcat’s engine is a 6.4-liter V8 good for 485 hp and 475 lb-ft, which is mated to either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine comes with the R/T Scat Pack, T/A 392, 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker, and SRT 392 trims, which are again differentiated by unique performance and comfort features.

The last of the returning Challenger trims is the 707-hp SRT Hellcat, which gets a new grille and fender badges; a new Nano Steel wheel finish; optional black, orange, and gunmetal brake calipers; new Demonic Red Laguna leather seating; and a new red IP badge. Power comes from the same 6.2-liter V8 found in the new SRT Hellcat Widebody trim.

In terms of interior feature updates, the 2018 Challenger receives a Uconnect 4 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard across the lineup. Nappa and Alcantara performance seats are now included with the Super Track Pak on the SXT Plus and R/T Plus trims, and all models now feature a ParkView reversing camera and one-touch-up windows. Pricing for 2018 starts at $26,995 for the base SXT trim.

Updated

Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, and Be Car Chic and blogs all things geek over at TotalFanGirl.

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