2011 Dodge Challenger
The release of the 2011 Dodge Challenger is nearly up on us, so we thought it fitting to take a look at the new incarnation of this classic and see whats new!
Obviously the retro style stays, and who would complain about that? Looks like the 2011 Dodge Challenger will be get a 6.4L boasting around 500bhp and be more fuel efficient than the 6.1L unit currently found in the 2010 Dodge Challenger. Other changes for the 2011 Dodge Challenger include the usual raft of minor cosmetic changes and some reworking of the mechanicals.
Check out a PR from the Dodge Challenger guys below for some more specifics.
The 2011 Dodge Challenger’s styling won’t stray from the basic concept introduced with the model-year 2008 revival of this MoPar muscle car. The long-hood, short-deck shape, wide grille, graceful roofline, and full-width tail lamps will continue to honor the 1970 Challenger two-door coupe. Dodge, however, probably has additional trim packages in mind for the 2011 Challenger. Indeed, it’s kept a steady drumbeat of optional dress-ups, including recent SE Rallye-package and R/T Classic editions with body stripes and chrome gas caps right out of Challenger’s pop-art past. Model-year 2010 brought another retro-appearance option that added a hood scoop, rear spoiler, “strobe” body striping, and T-handle gear shift. Even “Plum Crazy” purple paint is back. Expect the 2011 Dodge Challenger lineup to repeat with SE, R/T, and SRT8 models. Dodge shoots down rumors that it’s considering a convertible body style; Mustang already offers one and a Camaro ragtop is in the works. Challenger is essentially a two-door coupe adaptation of the 2006-2010 Dodge Charger full-size four-door sedan. Compared to the Charger, Challenger rides a four-inch shorter wheelbase — the distance between the front and rear axles and a determinate of passenger space — so it has less rear-seat leg room. But Challenger’s body length is just 2.4 inches briefer than the 2010 Charger’s, and it’s actually wider and heavier. Dodge boasts that both cars have the same voluminous 16.2-cubic-foot trunk. All this makes for a somewhat paunchy pony, and Challenger is significantly larger than the Mustang and Camaro. The payoff is the softest ride, widest cockpit, and roomiest rear seat in the class. In fact, Challenger is the only one of the three that has seating positions for five passengers instead of four.
The 2011 Dodge Challenger will retain its rear-wheel-drive layout but could well revamp its engine roster. The 2011 Challenger SE will continue with a V-6, but Dodge surely is tempted to dump its old 3.5-liter V-6. This single-overhead cam design is rated at 250 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. It comes only with a five-speed automatic transmission and never really generates the excitement promised by Challenger’s looks. Kicking in the stall is the company’s hot new 3.6-liter dubbed the “Pentastar” V-6. Debuting in the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, it’s an advanced dual-overhead cam design with variable valve timing and is initially rated at 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. With the 2011 Mustang winning attention for a new V-6 with 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and the V-6 Camaro clocking in at 304/273, Challenger needs the Pentastar to remain competitive. Making the SE available with a manual transmission would also keep it abreast of the V-6 Mustang and Camaro models. The 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T is likely to retain its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, though a bump from 2010’s 376 horsepower/410 pound-feet of torque is possible. The Hemi is named for combustion-chamber ceilings that are hemispherical rather than flat or angled. This one links to a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. Challenger R/Ts are fast cars, but only with the manual transmission does this two-ton coupe feel like a bona fide muscle machine. No such qualifiers for the Challenger SRT8 model, which has used a 6.1-liter version of the Hemi V-8. With 425 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque, the SRT8 is a monster with either the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. However, the SRT8 is Challenger’s premium-priced model, starting around $44,000. That’s some $10,000 more than the 400-plus-horsepower Camaro SS and the 412-horsepowr 2011 Mustang GT. Some Dodge watchers speculate the 2011 Challenger SRT8 could get a new 6.4-liter version of the Hemi V-8 said to generate 475-525 horsepower. Meanwhile, Dodge hasn’t relegated all of Challenger’s recent updates to cosmetic features. Model-year 2010, for example, saw R/T models made available with the Super Track Pack, which added special 20-inch tires as well as performance-tuned shock absorbers, axle ratio, and brake linings, plus an antiskid system recalibrated to promote controlled tail slides through turns.
Some reports suggest a modest expansion of 2011 Challenger features will include a sportier new steering wheel and a remote entry system that allows the driver to unlock the car without removing the keyfob from briefcase, backpack, purse, or pocket. Otherwise, all 2011 Challengers will again have four-wheel disc brakes with antilock management for better control in emergency stops, traction control to limit tire slip during takeoffs, and antiskid traction control to mitigate sideways slides. Head-protecting curtain side airbags for both seating rows will also be standard. Same for a manual tilt/telescope steering wheel, power driver’s seat, and a split rear seat back that folds to create a cargo-passage from the trunk. The 2011 Challenger’s five-speed automatic transmission will again feature a separate gate for manual-type gear changes, while the six-speed manual’s lever will again be topped with a 1970s-style pistol-grip handle. Other returning options will include a power sunroof, remote engine start for automatic-transmission models, and xenon headlamps and a functional hood scoop for R/T models. SRT8 models come with xenons, function hood scoops, leather upholstery, special sport bucket front seats, and dashboard readouts that track 0-60-mph acceleration times, lateral G-forces, and other lead-foot data. Leather upholstery will return as an option on SE and R/T models, accompanied by heated front seats and mirrors. Also available again will be a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic information; Chrysler’s Uconnect multimedia system that includes USB iPod interface and steering-wheel audio controls; and sound systems that range to a 368-watt setup with seven Boston Acoustic speakers.
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