Tag - Charger

Dodge Unveils the 204mph Charger SRT Hellcat

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Dodge pulled the covers off the fastest sedan in the world today with the introduction of the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The Charger SRT Hellcat has the same 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat engine from the SRT Charger Hellcat and produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft of torque. Dodge says that the Charger SRT Hellcat has an NHRA certified 1/4 mile time of 11.0 seconds on street tires, and a top speed of 204 mph. We've got the full tech rundown and 69 photo gallery after the jump. Get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor. [gallery columns="4" ids="10673,10672,10671,10670,10669,10668,10667,10666,10665,10656,10664,10663,10662,10661,10660,10659,10658,10657,10647,10648,10649,10650,10651,10652,10653,10654,10655,10646,10645,10644,10643,10642,10641,10640,10639,10638,10629,10630,10631,10632,10633,10634,10635,10636,10637,10628,10627,10626,10625,10624,10623,10622,10621,10620,10611,10612,10613,10614,10615,10616,10617,10618,10619,10610,10609,10608,10607,10606,10605" orderby="rand"]

With 707 horsepower, an NHRA-certified quarter mile elapsed time of 11.0 seconds on street tires and a top speed of 204 miles per hour, the world’s only four-door muscle car is the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan ever

  • Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat engine produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful V-8 Chrysler Group LLC has ever produced
  • Unrivaled four-door performance includes quarter mile elapsed time in 11.0 seconds on street tires, 0-100-0 mph in under 13 seconds and a top speed of 204 miles per hour (mph)
  • Dodge and SRT designers re-sculpt and refined nearly every body panel with functional performance cues, including heat extractors in the hood, unique front and rear fascias and dramatic LED lighting in both front and rear
  • Segment-first TorqueFlite heavy-duty eight-speed automatic transmission capable of delivering fuel-efficient street driving and maximum performance track driving with 160 millisecond shifts with rev-matching
  • New performance attributes include the largest brakes ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle – 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers, 20 x 9.5-inch wide forged aluminum wheels with Pirelli P Zero performance tires, adaptive damping three-mode suspension and three-mode, heavy-duty eight-speed automatic transmission
  • New SRT Performance Pages allow drivers to tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, paddle shifters, traction and suspension
  • Two key fobs – one black and one red. The red fob unlocks all 707 horsepower
  • New interior design elements, including SRT three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel, 7-inch reconfigurable digital gauge cluster, 8.4-inch touchscreen, Nappa leather and Alcantara suede seating, premium materials and a choice of four new trim and color combinations
  • Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat features a slew of the latest high-tech features, including the new award-winning available Uconnect Access system, Uconnect Access Services with roadside assistance, theft-alarm notification, voice texting, new 3-D navigation and the ability to turn the Charger into a Wi-Fi hotspot
August 13, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Dodge is upping its high-performance game again with the unveiling of the new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The new Charger SRT Hellcat will feature the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine that produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque – making it the quickest, fastest, most powerful production sedan in the world, as well as the most capable and technologically advanced four-door muscle car in America. “For the last eight years, a large part of the Dodge Charger’s successful formula has been its many personalities. It’s a muscle car, a performance sedan, a family capable sedan; its success is that it can be any or all of those things, depending on how the customer chooses to equip their car,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge and SRT Brands. “And now, with a NHRA-certified quarter mile time of 11.0 seconds and a 204 mph top speed, the new 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat redefines itself again, as the quickest, fastest, most powerful sedan in the world!” The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat will be built at the Brampton (Ont.) Assembly plant. Production is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2015. Awe-inspiring powertrain; largest brakes ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle The new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is powered by the new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 engine. Its 707 horsepower matches the highest rating of any V-8 engine in Chrysler Group’s celebrated history – that of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The all-new supercharged V-8 engine is mated to the beefy new TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission. This new Hellcat engine is Dodge and SRT’s first application of V-8 supercharger technology, featuring a forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces. The result is a crank so well-engineered it can withstand firing pressures of 110 bar (1,595 psi) – the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston, every two revolutions. And its unique, specially tuned crank damper has been tested to 13,000 rpm. High-strength, forged-alloy pistons, developed using advanced telemetry measurement, are coupled to powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like-carbon-coated piston pins. The supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 has premium-grade, heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads, which are optimized for superior thermal conductivity. And its die-cast aluminum rocker covers are HEMI Orange. Standard on the Charger SRT Hellcat is the largest front-brake package ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle, which were first introduced on the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat, featuring all-new 390-mm (15.4-inch) Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers for outstanding heat management and thermal capacity and longevity. The unrivaled four-door performance numbers tell an impressive story with the quarter mile in 11.0 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in under 13 seconds, and a top speed of 204 mile per hour (mph). All-new Drive Modes tailor the driving experience to each individual driver Whether its on-road or on-track,ChargerSRTHellcat owners can personalize their drive experience, via the all-new Drive Modes feature. Drive Modes tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds,paddleshifters, traction and suspension. Drive Modes are pre-configured for Sport, Track and Default settings, while the Custom setting lets the driver customize the drive experience to their favorite settings.
  • Custom — Allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance
  • Sport — Delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the Default Mode
  • Track — Delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces
  • Default — Activates automatically when starting the vehicle
  • Eco — Maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, pedal map and second-gear starts
The Drive Modesfeatureis controlled throughtheUconnect systemandmay be accessed by performing any of the following:
  • Pushing the SRT button on the instrument panel switch bank
  • Selecting “Drive Modes” from the “SRT & Apps” menu
  • Selecting “Drive Modes” from within the Performance Pages menu
Unlocking the power The all-new 2015 DodgeChargerSRTHellcat comes standard with two key fobs – red and black. The red key fob is the only key that can unlock the full horsepower and torque potential oftheSRTHellcat engine; while the black key fob limits the driver to a reduced engine output. When ValetModeis activated, the following vehicleconfigurationsare enabled:
  • Engine is remapped to significantly reduce horsepower and torque; limited to 4,000 rpm
  • Transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal
  • Transmission will treat the manual shifter position the same as the drive position
  • Traction, steering and suspension are set to their “Street” settings
  • Steering-wheel paddle shifters are disabled
  • Drive Mode functions are disabled
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) is enabled to Full-on
  • Launch Control is disabled
The driver can activate and deactivate Valet Mode with a four-digit PIN code they create.
Sinister, functional exterior designInspired by its performance-enthusiast roots when Charger first launched more than 45 years ago, the new Charger successfully pays homage to past muscle cars while offering distinctly modern all-new exterior and interior appointments. The Dodge and SRT design team builds upon the 2015 Dodge Charger’s new modern four-door fastback coupe’s already iconic exterior styling by adding a sinister-looking, unique front fascia, hood, rear fascia and spoiler. The new exterior of the 2015 Dodge Charger is spiritually inspired by the iconic second-generation Charger from the late 1960s, and for 2015, specifically draws its cues from the 1969 model. With its rear-wheel-drive (RWD) platform and proven power, the Charger’s modern take on old-school muscle is sure to resonate with today’s enthusiasts. Up front, the Charger SRT Hellcat receives the larger, power-bulge aluminum hood, which features a dedicated “cold-air” intake – a visual styling cue from the first Viper coupe built in 1996 – and dual air extractors to ensure effective removal of heat and reduced air turbulence in the engine compartment. The redesigned front fascia and grille use unique, blacked out upper and lower textures to produce the menacing look that is sure to make onlookers notice the ultimate performance sedan. An integrated front splitter optimizes airflow to the cooling modules without compromising vehicle balance. Filling the wheel wells are “Slingshot” split-seven spoke 20 x 9.5-inch, lightweight forged-aluminum wheels with either standard Matte Black or available Brass Monkey/dark bronze finishes. Two new 275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero tires provide performance for all seasons. Both Pirelli P Zero Nero and P Zero tires are Y-Plus rated to handle the extreme speeds the Charger SRT Hellcat is capable of producing. At the rear, a single piece decked spoiler is painted in body color while the unique fascia and valence showcase the 4-inch round exhaust tips. The Dodge Charger SRT’s signature “racetrack” LED tail lamps take on the same continuous glowing ribbon of light that debuted on the new 2014 Dodge Durango. The center high-mounted stop lamp is relocated from the top of the deck lid to the roofline inside the back glass, allowing centering of the Charger SRT’s backup camera. The rear styling makeover begins at the touchdown point of the C-pillar, which is moved rearward to create an even more pronounced fastback appearance combined with a shorter rear overhang.
High-performance driver-oriented interior The 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat’s restyled driver-focused interior features premium, soft-touch materials, a new 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster and a new instrument panel center stack with the latest generation 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen media center. New for 2015, drivers can select one of the many offered backgrounds to connect the digital look and feel with their chosen interior package. In addition, the Charger SRT Hellcat comes standard with a premium 900 watt, 18-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. An all-new and class-exclusive electronic shifter with an all-new driver-oriented T-handle provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. A redesigned SRT-branded heated steering wheel features a flat bottom and thick rim for the high-performance driver. Standard paddle shifters are located on the back of the upper spokes. The buttons to control the driver-configurable, full-color thin-film transistor (TFT) display are large and illuminated. Buttons for Uconnect and phone access now reside along the bottom edge of the horizontal spokes. Optional adaptive cruise control is configured by buttons that are symmetrically opposite on the right-hand side of the wheel. As before, the highly praised audio controls are still found on the back of the upper spokes. This new power tilt-telescoping steering wheel also has a 360-degree heat element. The new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat features redesigned seats with improved cushioning and more comfortable contours. For improved comfort and convenience, the SRT Hellcat includes standard heated and ventilated front high-performance seats and heated rear seats.
Charger continues to grow its market share The 2015 Dodge Charger competes in the U.S. full-size car market, but stands alone in a class by itself as the only American-bred four-door muscle car. In March of 2014, the Dodge brand reached a significant milestone, with Challenger and Charger sales combining to sell a total of more than 1 million units in the United States. The Charger’s combination of aggressive and youthful image, full-size functionality and world-class engineering and quality resonates with young and affluent buyers. Charger’s purchasers on average are 15 years younger than its competitors’ buyers within the segment, with more than half identifying themselves as millennials or Generation Xers. The Charger’s appeal is attracting a high number of conquest buyers, helping drive a 62 percent increase in sales since 2009 – double the growth of the standard full-size car segment. In 2013, Charger posted its best sales year since 2007, further fueling a 3.2 percentage point gain in market share since 2009.

Decoding the 2015 Challenger line-up

Clockwise starting from top: 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT, 2015 Dod
Trying to figure out which 2015 Challenger best fits your desired performance goals and options list requires poring over a labyrinth of commingled model names and trim packages; we figured a basic primer would be helpful coming out of our press introduction with the cars yesterday in rainy Portland. Here goes: SXT – Also known as the base model. 3.6-liter V6, 305hp/268lb-ft. 8-speed automatic only, 18-inch wheels, 5” uConnect system. Starts at $27,990. Adding the Super Track Pack for $1,600 nets 20” Hyper Black wheels, high-performance brakes, steering and suspension, a rear spoiler and park assist. There’s also a Super Sport group below the track pack that features 20” wheels, paddle shifters, and performance brakes, but that’s it. This one hasn’t been priced yet but figure a few hundred bucks cheaper than the Super Track Pack. SXT Plus - Starts with the SXT and adds some cosmetic touches and 20” wheels outside, and the nicer 8.4” uConnect, heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats, and a 276-watt Alpine stereo on the inside. $30,990. The $1,600 Super Track Pack is available here, as well. SAMSUNG CSC

SXT Plus

R/T – This is the first foray into V8 Challenger territory. Featuring the 5.7-liter HEMI (375hp/410tq) w/ a standard 6-speed Tremec manual or optional 8-speed TorqueFlite auto ($1,400), the R/T starts at $32,490. For that price, you’ll have cloth seats, the base 5” uConnect system and 20” wheels as standard. You can add a R/T Classic Package, which gets you retro-looking polished wheels and stripes plus suede seats (not yet priced), and the aforementioned Super Track Pack. R/T Shaker - To the base R/T above, the Shaker adds the functional scoop hood and cold-air intake, different badging and satin black accents, performance seats w/ black cloth, 20” satin finish wheels and a beefier rear diff. This one’s not yet priced, but figure close to $34k. R/T Plus - Similar to the difference between SXT and SXT Plus, the R/T Plus gets you the base R/T with added luxuries like polished 20” wheels, heated and cooled Nappa leather seats, 8.4” uConnect, etc. $35,490. The same available option groups apply here, too. Add $1,400 for an automatic transmission. R/T Plus Shaker – Same deal with the R/T and R/T Shaker – add a couple grand to the R/T Plus’ price for the Shaker equipment. Around $37.5k would be likely. 6.4-liter Scat Pack – Here’s where it starts to get tricky. $39,490 buys you the big SRT- (but not Hellcat) engine from last year’s top dog SRT8, at 6.4-liters and 485hp/475lb-ft. But this one’s not actually an SRT model. It is, however, easily the performance bargain of the lineup. The rest of the car is pretty well-equipped, too: the 8.4” uConnect system is standard here, as are performance suspension and active exhaust systems, 20” wheels, Brembo 4-piston brakes, and cloth seats. Add $1,400 for the 8-speed auto; a six-speed manual is standard. You can add heated and cooled Nappa leather seats to the mix for $1,500, and the confusingly named Scat Pack Appearance Group (since it’s already a Scat Pack, wouldn’t it already have that appearance?) which brings matte black 20x9” forged wheels, black rear quarter stripes, and HID headlamps for $1,995. IMG_5474

6.4-liter Scat Pack (no Appearance Group)

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6.4-liter Scat Pack w/ Scat Pack Appearance Group

392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker – To confuse things even further, there’s another Challenger model with the 6.4-liter, “Powered by SRT” HEMI V8, but this one’s called the 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker, instead of simply 6.4-liter Scat Pack Shaker. Same 485 hp/475 lb-ft as the model above, but this one’s the self-proclaimed “King of all Shakers” – basically, it’s a 6.4-liter Scat Pack with a Shaker hood, different wheels and stripes, and a new model name. Clear as mud, right? No pricing yet, but figure around $41,500. SRT 392 -  Alright – we’re finally in SRT territory! This would be the top Challenger in the lineup were it not for the Hellcat. So, it’s basically a SRT chassis, with the 6.4-liter naturally aspirated HEMI V8 making the same 485 hp/475 lb-ft featured elsewhere in the lineup. Over a Scat Pack, the full SRT 392 gives you 15.4-inch, two piece front brake rotors and 6-piston front Brembo calipers, a unique center-intake hood, special 20x9.5” Slingshot alloy wheels and 275mm wide Pirellis, adaptive dampers, a 900-watt Harman Kardon sound system, heated and cooled Nappa leather seats, and a price tag of $46,990 with the manual transmission. Add just $400 to step up to the 8-speed auto. SRT w/ HEMI Hellcat Engine – This is the one everyone’s buzzing about, for good reason. To the SRT 392 outlined above, we add the 707hp/650lb-ft supercharged Hellcat HEMI engine, a Viper-sourced 6-speed Tremec manual (or beefed-up 8-speed auto), and unique driveline, cooling, and active exhaust systems to support that massive powerhouse of an engine. $60,990, all-in for the manual. SAMSUNG CSC

SRT w/ Hellcat Engine

Daunting, right? It seems deliberately setup to deceive everyone but forum jockeys, because even major automotive news outlets have published incorrect model names since the media embargo lifted. All of the information above has been pulled straight from the press materials supplied by Dodge - if you spot any discrepancies, you know where to send your letters.  Our driving impressions will be for the model everyone’s calling simply the “Hellcat”, but which is published in Dodge’s literature as the “Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI Hellcat”. Try listing that on your registration slip. More news tomorrow, when I’ll post the track review of the Challenger SRT w/ Hellcat engine.

Driven: 2014 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee

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SAMSUNG CSC The Charger SRT8 Super Bee, in its General-Lee-aping shade of orange, is a two ton slab of complete un-subtlety. As someone who values fast cars that also fly below the radar, I feel a bit ashamed admitting that I completely love it. SAMSUNG CSC For those who don’t value anonymity, the Charger SRT8 Super Bee might epitomize the modern American muscle car. Our tester and its bright exterior hue (it’s actually Header Orange, not General Lee Orange), flat black rear wing and tape stripes, and coal bin black interior look decidedly throw-back. But its road manners are actually quite composed and modern. Perhaps too composed, in fact. SAMSUNG CSC That honking 6.4-liter "392 Hemi" V8 up front makes its 470-horsepower presence clearly felt every time you stomp the right pedal, but in terms of sound, a little more wouldn’t go amiss. The exhaust note from outside the car is heavenly, according to various friends who drove behind me during my week in the car. But from inside the well-insulated cabin, there’s little drama to be heard. SAMSUNG CSC The ride is similarly polished – it’s resolutely firm, but actually manages to be surprisingly composed over rough pavement. Cornering is flat up to about eight-tenths, at which point the Charger’s poundage starts to make itself known and threatens to overwhelm the relatively narrow 245-section Goodyear summer rubber at each end. The rear tires are especially easy to overwhelm, again aided by a less-than-judicious right foot. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing. SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC Interior comfort is high, but design and feature content come up short for the $50k price tag. A back-up camera, sunroof, and heated leather seats are all on the long list of items that didn't make the spec sheet. Of course, that’s simply the trade-off you need to be prepared to make if you crave a four-door that will happily turn mid-12-second quarter mile times, as well as tote five adults out to dinner. And at the very least, you’ve got the 8.4-inch uConnect system, covered on these pages to great acclaim many times before, served with a decently loud stereo and navigation. SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC Putting the Charger SRT-8, especially in its lowest-price Super Bee form, into context within the new vehicle marketplace is a bit of a challenge. On paper, its closest competitor is the Chevy SS, what with them both occupying the same sticker price range in the mid-$40s and both offering large pushrod V8s that drive their rear wheels through automatic transmissions. The SS is down on power compared to the Dodge, though, and in terms of visual firepower it comes up short. In the European realm, an Audi S4 or BMW 335i M-sport with a few added options both squeeze under the $50,000 price barrier and provide similar poke, but offer a vastly different driving experience and are about as comparable to the American duo as apples and hand grenades. SAMSUNG CSC Sheer brute horsepower-per-dollar, as well as styling that rivals a Gallardo’s for attention-grabbing ability, is the Super Bee’s trump card. Play that one every time, and it’ll never let you down. [gallery ids="10005,9997,9996,9995,9994,9998,10008,9999,10006,10001,10000,10002,10003"]   2014 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee Base price: $45,380 Price as tested: $49,710 Options on test car: Convenience Group II ($595), HID headlights ($595), Black roof ($1,500), Uconnect touch-screen navigation system ($1,195), Summer tires ($150), Paddle shifters ($295) Powertrain: 6.4-liter V8 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive – 470 horsepower, 470 lb-ft torque S:S:L-observed fuel economy: 18.2 mpg  

Lord Byron — Bad Company

Earlier this week, the Chrysler Communications blog ran a piece that we all knew was coming, but few true enthusiasts wanted to see. The Dodge Viper SRT-10 Final Edition is here. It's bittersweet, to be sure, the end of the line for the consummate American two-seater. Apologies to the boys and girls down in Bowling Green, but no other vehicle embodies the history of American sports car racing the way the Viper does--the biggest engine in the smallest car with the fewest frills. It's a legacy that goes back to the days before closed circuits and seat belts. And for the first time in nearly twenty years, the world will be without it. The departing Viper carries with it a certain bit of contemporary symbolism as well. It's an American car with an engine and body both exhibiting foreign influence. The V10, though rooted in the domestic Ram Truck program of the late 1980s, was first designed during the Lamborghini era. Thanks to that, at least in part, we got the best of both worlds--a stout, lazy powerhouse of a motor that also happened to be somewhat lightweight for its size. And then there's the body, penned by an Asian gentleman (I believe) who was also responsible for the previous-generation Toyota Camry. And in the same way that its halo car is a hodgepodge of the automotive world, so too has the company been for the past twenty years. Anybody who pays attention is familiar with the Daimler years, and to bring the Italian connection full circle, we have the Fiat years before us, with a little help from our own federal government. But I'm here to talk about the cars. Because the problem is, everybody seems to have forgotten about them. And that's troubling. What's there to talk about? Plenty. And just to be fair to the other automakers, let's strike Jeep from the conversation entirely. There's no manufacturer, foreign or domestic, who can touch the Jeep brand philosophy or execution. Off-road prowess? Unmatched. Compact and mid-size SUVs with light-duty diesels? Nobody else had anything affordable, and even Volkswagen still hasn't done with the Tiguan what Jeep did with the Liberty five years ago. To listen to the average import fan talk of light-duty diesels in the United States market, you'd think it had never happened. With Jeep out of the picture, we're left with Chrysler and Dodge (the majority of this discussion will involve cars that predate the Ram brand spin-off, so forgive the simplification). And what have they done for us lately? More than their share. Because when everybody else had virtually abandoned the mainstream V8 car, Chrysler built us the 300C, the Magnum and the Charger. While Ford was gussying up Expeditions and GM was trying to get the Escalade formula just right, Chrysler was selling us cars--wonderful cars. American cars. And make no mistake, the LX platform is indeed American. The front and rear subframes, transmissions and differentials were sourced from the outgoing Mercedes E-Class for cost saving purposes, but the LX cars were ground-up Chrysler designs modified for the Daimler era. And though the LX platform is ageing, its the 300's contemporaries that appear dated by comparison. Don't mistake the above for an assertion that these cars are perfect. Far from it. They suffer from outclassed drivetrains, sub-par interior appointments, and $1.15-a-gallon-gasoline-era curb weights (and corresponding EPA figures) that stunted their handling potential, but they're so sublimely executed in every other way that it takes a particularly jaded individual to find no redeeming qualities, even six years after the platform's debut.

To look upon an LX car is to view design without any shame or cynicism. There's no obscure angle or hidden corner from which you get the impression that the men and women who sculpted these cars left anything on the table. You get the distinct impression that the stylists, when confronted by accountants, simply threw them off the premises (  perhaps those who penned the interior were not so well-equipped to defend themselves). And they show no sign of stopping. Look no further than the Challenger. Look at its monstrous proportions, at its HEMI­ Orange or Plum Crazy paint job.  Look inside and imagine sitting in the preposterously small back seat. Slip the wonderful 6-Speed manual into gear and drop the hammer. Go ahead and smile. So what if somebody's watching? They're smiling too, because the Challenger's exterior bestows that same emotion upon the observer. It’s a big, fat, obnoxious muscle car. If the styling doesn’t turn heads, the bark of the HEMI V8 will. And yeah, when the road straightens out and the minivans start stacking up, just plant your right foot (downshift entirely optional) and permanently scar grandpa’s retinas as you slingshot 4,200lbs of bright orange “What the hell was that?” through his peripheral vision.

As enthusiasts, we like to talk about what manufacturers stand for. If the worst we can say about Chrysler is that they built a fleet of bland appliances that surround a group of cars so clearly inked with honest emotion, then I think the rest can be forgiven. You can see in every line, crease and curve that the designers were penning something they wanted to drive home every evening for the rest of their lives. It's so palpable in these cars that you'd have to ignore them on purpose to miss it. I suppose it's fitting then that they've been purchased by Fiat. If anybody can nurture true passion in the automotive design process, it's the Italians. Yet, while General Motors continues to push their products into the European sphere and Ford relies on safe, efficient, FWD-based sedans, Chrysler continues to single-handedly deliver on the legacy of an entire industry. And for that, we need to take a moment to set aside our distaste for the Sebring and the Avenger and the Caliber and the Compass and, well, you get the idea. Let's cleanse the bad taste of the former from our mouths by drinking in the beauty of these great cars, and tip our hats to the Pentastar. They've earned it.