History Review of the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger

February 13th, 2018 by

Over 50 years ago, the first Dodge Challenger was built in 1958, known as the Dodge Silver Challenger, to rival the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Following that was the Dodge Charger, produced to introduce the new 426 HEMI engine from Dodge. Today, both vehicles are still going strong thanks to constant innovation like the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, or simply the performance and control a Dodge vehicle delivers.

Dodge Charger

The first of muscle cars to come from the Dodge automaker was actually a sedan that soon transformed into a bit of sports car with pony car power. When the Charger was first introduced as a concept in 1946, the national public didn’t care too much for it, and the concept was shelved until 20 years later. The first-generation Dodge Charger was produced in 1966, only six years after the first generation Challenger.

Based off of the Dodge Coronet, the first-generation Dodge Charger was designed to be a high-speed street racer with a fastback roof design and full-width tail lamps. Although based off of the Coronet, early Dodge Chargers could easily be mistaken for a Dodge Challenger given that early Dodge Chargers also came with a two-door setup. In its seventh generation today, the Charger resurrected the aerodynamic look of its second generation and consisted of only three trims – the SE, R/T, and R/T AWD, all powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.

Nowadays, the 2018 Dodge Charger has nine trims to its name, two of which come with an all-wheel drivetrain, two more are a blast from the past, and then we have the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the sedan version of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The most powerful, of course, is the SRT Hellcat, powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine, capable of generating 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque with a top speed of 204 mph for the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

A comeback for the 2017 model year and returning again for the 2018 model year is the Dodge Charger Daytona. Having first been produced in 1969 when Dodge was well known in NASCAR, the Dodge Charger Daytona was strictly a racing car. Since then, the model popped up as a limited edition vehicle several times, but in 2017, the Daytona was revived so far for good as a modern Dodge Charger Daytona powered by a 370 hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine and Dodge Charger Daytona 392, powered by the second most powerful engine in the lineup, a 485 hp 6.4-liter HEMI SRT V8 engine.

The Dodge Charger is also the second most popular vehicle modified by Mopar. A whole chunk of the Mopar performance parts catalog is dedicated to the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger, able to install things like cold-air induction systems and an all-new electronically controlled active performance exhaust systems. For the 2018 model year, the Dodge Charger is available in up to twelve colors, some of which are from the Dodge High-Impact Paint (HIP) vault – Go Mango, Green Go, Yellow Jacket, and TorRed.

Dodge Challenger

The first Dodge Challenger, the Dodge Silver Challenger, was seen in 1958 and had a two-year run. What many may not know was the Dodge Challenger had a lot of ups and downs before it became the muscle car it’s known as today. After the Silver Challenger ended, it wasn’t until 1970 that the first-generation Dodge Challenger made its introduction, based off of the Chrysler E platform while taking components from the Plymouth Barracuda.

Offered in two styles, as a coupe or a convertible, the lineup had eight engines available and nearly as many trims. The first-generation Challenger saw the dawn of the R/T trim and the Dodge Challenger T/A (TransAm), both made for racing and the street. However, an oil crisis in 1973 shut the Challenger down, along with many performance vehicles, until 1978 when the second-generation of the Dodge Challenger was revived. What many may not know is when breaking back into the auto industry, the second generation Dodge Challenger was a rebadged Mitsubishi vehicle, the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda coupé, and sold it under the name “Dodge Colt Challenger.”

Since performance cars were taking some hits, Dodge started making vehicles that could stand out for more than just their power. This is when the automaker developed the iconic features Dodge vehicles are known for , such as the Shaker hood, High Impact Paint colors, and the Scat Pack trims. These developments continued until 2008, nearly twenty years without a new Dodge Challenger, when the third generation Dodge Challenger came to be. Sharing elements of the first generation Dodge Challenger, this model was powered by a V6 engine capable of generating 250 horsepower.

Over time, the Dodge Challenger made a name for itself. The third generation Dodge Challenger was the first to be powered by the SRT8 engine, a 6.1-liter HEMI engine. Mopar took the Dodge Challenger into shop for a limited edition Mopar ‘10 Challenger R/T, a special edition that sold out of all 500 units soon after it was announced. In 2015, the high-performance group of Chrysler, “Street Racing and Technology” (SRT), replaced the SRT8 engine with the 392-cubic-inch 485 hp 6.4-liter V8 SRT HEMI engine and the 707 hp supercharged 6.2-liter SRT HEMI engine.

Two years later in 2017, the Dodge Challenger received its first all-wheel drive model, the Dodge Challenger GT, and Dodge also revived the Challenger T/A for 2017 with three new trims – the T/A, T/A Plus, and T/A 392. These trims also returned again for 2018, and that wasn’t even the biggest of news. In 2018, Dodge released the muscle car to usurp the mighty Hellcat, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. No other automaker has built a vehicle like the Dodge SRT Demon before .

Today, Dodge even has a racing school dedicated to it, the Bondurant Racing School , where Dodge consumers and drivers can learn how to handle the power of various Dodge Challenger trims in situations that require skill and a cool head. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was awarded with the Roadshow Driveline Technology of the Year award at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Soon enough, although only 3000 units of the Demon was made, orders were filled, and the rest unspoken for will be arriving at dealerships around the country.

* The Dodge automaker has been through some rough patches, but it takes a lot of time and a lot of pressure to turn coal into diamonds. You can find your own Dodge Challenger muscle car or Dodge Charger sedan in our inventory at Miami Lakes Dodge. *

* Photo Source/Copyright: Dodge.com *

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