Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger: More than just pure muscle cars


For V8 enthusiasts with a penchant for making impressive appearances on the drag strip, the Stellantis brand, Dodge, offers two fitting choices: Alongside the four-door sedan Charger, which boasts up to 797 HP, the Americans claim that their two-door Challenger is the fastest and most powerful muscle car in the world, with up to 1025 HP. However, both models are also available in more subdued, yet still very sporty versions.

Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger The Dodge Challenger (front) and Charger, especially in their SRT versions, leave no doubt about their performance capabilities. Photo: Manufacturer

Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger: Tailored for the young America of the 1960s

The names Charger and Challenger first appeared in Dodge's price list during the wild 1960s. The Ford Mustang had created an entirely new market segment for young buyers since 1964, and the parent company, Chrysler, wanted a piece of the pie with these two new designs – just like GM with the Pontiac Firebird or the Chevrolet Camaro. Initially, the concept was successful, but by the 1980s, it seemed the era for the products of the Flower Power generation had passed: The Challenger disappeared from the lineup in 1983, followed by the Charger four years later.

The return of the two legends with the help of Mercedes-Benz

It took almost 20 years before the Dodge Charger could celebrate its comeback in 2005. The technical foundation for the rear-wheel-drive four-door came from the Chrysler LX platform, which in turn was based on numerous technical solutions from Mercedes-Benz's toolkit. At that time, Dodge was part of the DaimlerChrysler conglomerate – hence, there was ample developmental assistance from Stuttgart. For the two-door coupe Challenger, introduced in early 2008, developers utilized the modified and shortened LX platform named LC. The basic concept of these two technically closely related vehicles has changed little since then.

Five seats in both the Charger and Challenger

With its four doors and five seats, the Charger, depending on the version, measures up to 5.11 meters in length, presenting itself as a sports sedan that offers space for the whole family plus luggage. Things are a bit tighter in the Challenger, even though the coupe, with a total length of 5.03 meters, almost matches the sister model. However, the two-door has a 102 millimeter shorter wheelbase compared to the Charger, leading to significantly less legroom in the back seats.

Quality craftsmanship and numerous equipment options

Even in the Dodge Challenger, three passengers can fit in the back seat, but getting in requires some agility. Thanks to the four doors, passengers in the Charger have a much easier time with this task. While the spatial economy of both models generally earns mediocre grades, the quality of the interior workmanship, as well as the lavish equipment with countless options, regularly receive praise from testers.

Classic interior design Dodge Challenger Classic interior design with an integrated central monitor and intuitive controls. Photo: Manufacturer

V6 and V8 engines across various models

Beyond the striking appearance, it's primarily the drive that contributes significantly to the unique allure of these two cars. With the Charger and Challenger, the top-tier engines, such as the 6.2-liter V8 supercharger, which in certain models delivers up to 797 HP in the Charger and up to 1025 HP in the Challenger, solidify their status as muscle car icons. However, Dodge offers a broad range of engines for both models. The base engine is a 3.6-liter V6, which in the Charger delivers between 292 and 300 HP, and in the Challenger, 305 HP. Additionally, there's the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with 370 HP in the Charger and 375 HP in the Challenger, as well as the 6.4-liter HEMI V8, producing 485 HP in both models.

Rear design. Dodge Challenger and Dodge Challenger Distinct differences in rear design. Dodge Challenger with a pronounced curve towards the rear, larger trunk access, and elongated lines in the four-door Dodge Charger. Photo: Manufacturer

Diverse drive options and transmission variants

The variety of drive options continues with the transmission variants. While the Charger is exclusively equipped with an eight-speed automatic, the Challenger offers both the eight-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission in certain models. This provides customers with the opportunity to tailor their driving experience to their individual preferences.

Dodge Charger Model Variants and Engines:

Model VariantEnginePower
Charger SXT3.6 Pentastar V6292-300 HP
Charger GT3.6 Pentastar V6300 HP
Charger R/T5.7 HEMI V8370 HP
Charger Scat Pack6.4 HEMI V8485 HP
Charger SRT Hellcat6.2 HEMI V8 Supercharged707 HP
Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye6.2 V8797 HP
Charger SRT Hellcat Daytona6.2 HEMI V8717 HP

Dodge Challenger Model Variants and Engines:

Model VariantEnginePower
Challenger SXT3.6 Pentastar V6305 HP
Challenger R/T5.7 HEMI V8375 HP
Challenger R/T Scat Pack6.4 HEMI V8485 HP
Challenger SRT Hellcat6.2 HEMI V8 Supercharged717 HP
Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye6.2 HEMI V8 Supercharged797 HP
Challenger SRT Demon 1706.2 HEMI V8 (900/1025 Hp) Ethanol900-1025 HP

Exciting models at affordable starting prices

In the US market, Dodge offers the Challenger starting at $30,825, while the base price for the Charger is $32,500. Not a lot of money for cars that, with their high-capacity engines, stand for both driving pleasure and a unique lifestyle. However, the end of this era is also looming for Dodge, as from 2024, the brand plans to introduce an electric muscle car.