NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2013 Dodge Challenger Preview

5/2/2013
Fast Facts:
  • 2-door coupe
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • V-6 or V-8 power
  • Only 5-passenger pony car on the market
  • New Rallye Redline package for V-6 model
  • Garmin navigation system updated

Introduction
The Dodge Challenger is a 2-door coupe with styling inspired by the 1970 Challenger. It's based on Chrysler Group's full-size LX platform but it's considered a pony car, which has traditionally been a smaller coupe or convertible with a large engine. The Challenger comes only with rear-wheel drive, and it offers V-6 or V-8 power. The Challenger SRT8 392 is a high-performance version of the Challenger; it is covered in a separate preview.

The Dodge Challenger competes most directly against the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, but it also vies for sales against the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Nissan 370Z.

Exterior Features
While the Challenger rides the same platform that underpins the full-size Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, its wheelbase is 4.2 inches shorter at 116 inches overall. The Challenger comes standard with 18-inch tires on alloy wheels. Twenty-inch wheels are also offered and seven total wheel designs are available. Buyers can also choose from a variety of hood, fender and bodyside stripes, as well as numerous colors, some of which are inspired by Chrysler's High Impact colors of the late 1960s and early '70s.

Interior Features
Thanks to a wider rear seat, the Dodge Challenger seats five instead of four like its Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang competitors. The rear seat folds down in a 60/40 split to expand upon the trunk's 16.2 cubic feet of cargo volume. Standard interior features include cloth upholstery, 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, automatic climate control, tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, keyless access and starting, AM/FM/CD audio, auxiliary input jack, trip computer, and theft-deterrent system.

Optional Features
To the base SXT model, the Challenger R/T adds a limited-slip differential, larger brakes, satellite radio, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, rear spoiler, fog lights, and a sport-tuned suspension.

The Challenger offers lots of options and option packages. The Rallye Redline Appearance package adds body side stripes, Mopar bright pedals, Mopar T-Grip shifter, body color and accent color grille, and 20-inch black chrome wheels.

The R/T Classic package comes with a 3.06 axle ratio, rear park assist, leather upholstery, heated front seats, heated power mirrors, Boston Acoustic sound system, universal garage door opener, outside-temperature indicator, compass, tire-pressure display, alarm, functional hood scoop, dual black side stripes, xenon headlights, and P245/45R20 tires.

The Super Track Pak features performance brake linings, performance steering gear, performance-tuned suspension, and 20-inch tires, while the Super Sport Group comes with a 3.06 rear axle ratio, performance brakes, steering wheel shift paddles, body-color rear spoiler, sport-tuned suspension, and 20-inch Firestone Firehawk all-season performance tires on chromed alloy wheels.

The Electronics Convenience Group adds heated power mirrors, universal garage door opener, compass, outside-temperature display, tire-pressure display, and an alarm, while Sound Group II has a Boston Acoustics sound system and a music hard drive.

The Mopar Interior Appearance Group has a T-grip shifter, bright pedals, bright door sills, unique floormats, and a car cover, while the Mopar Exterior Appearance Group features a hood scoop, decals, and rear spoiler.

Two navigation systems are offered, a Garmin system and a non-branded system. Both come with satellite radio, a 28-gig music hard drive, 6.5-inch touch screen, and real-time traffic information, but the non-branded version adds voice commands. Other options include a sunroof, xenon headlights, and hood and fender stripes.

Under the Hood
The 2013 Dodge Challenger is offered with a 3.6-liter V-6 or 5.7-liter V-8 engine. The V-6 produces 303 horsepower and 268 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with Dodge's AutoStick manual shift capability. The 5.7-liter V-8 churns out 372 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque with the 5-speed automatic transmission, and 375 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque with a 6-speed manual. When paired with the automatic transmission, the V-8 has Dodge's Fuel Saver Technology that shuts down 4 cylinders under light loads to improve fuel economy.

Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Dodge Challenger are:

  • Challenger with V-6 engine: 18/27/21 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Challenger with 5.7-liter V-8 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission: 16/25/19 mpg
  • Challenger with 5.7-liter V-8 engine and 6-speed manual transmission: 15/23/18 mpg

Safety
The 2013 Dodge Challenger comes standard with dual front air bags, front side air bags, curtain side air bags, anti-lock 4-wheel-disc brakes, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, tire-pressure monitor, active front head restraints, traction control, and electronic stability control. It is also available with rear park assist.

In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program, the 2013 Dodge Challenger received the best rating of 5 stars in the frontal and side crash tests, 4 stars in the rollover test, and a 5-star overall rating. The Challenger has not been tested for crashworthiness by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Additional Research:

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