The previous day was miserable. An icy rain fell over Portland, Maine, coating the pavement and creating even walking a chore. Driving a muscle car like the Dodge challenger looks ill-advised. But this is precisely the weather Dodge awaited for, because we are here to test the new all-wheel-drive 2017 challenger GT. The morning of our test drive dawns sunny and cold.
The remnants of a late January nor’easter now past, we nonetheless steel ourselves for every day of unruly roads. Stepping into an inch of slush, we open the huge door, climb inside, and nestle into the heavily bolstered driver’s seat. Immediately comfy, we know the challenger well. It’s an old friend. Late in life, it’s finally finding stability. Heading onto the Maine turnpike, we’re smitten by the Challenger’s poise.
All-wheel drive civilizes the coupe’s brutish nature. We with confidence navigate the first on-ramp – still wet from the storm – and merge onto the highway. A real-wheel drive (RWD) car would come unsettled here, still this Challenger’s 19-inch wheels wrapped in all-season Michelin rubber aren’t disturbed. At the very least, the specter of tire spin would have created us attentive.
Dodge Challenger GT Features
All-wheel Drive (AWD) does not morph the challenger into a Subaru Outback, but it does create the Mopar a realistic year-round choice for consumers north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Naturally, the Dodges share an AWD system, that has an energetic transfer case and the ability to disengage the front shaft, making the challenger a rear-wheel-drive car in certain conditions to assist save fuel.
Wheel slip, Sport mode, ambient temperature, passing situations, and the driver’s behavior can trigger the all-wheel capability. Power also can be distributed to the front wheels solely if circumstances dictate, with 38 % of the engine’s torsion available to go forward. With still-slick roads and temperatures in the 30s, our challenger GT remains all-wheel all the time.
In the case of the GT, that muscle could be a sturdy Pentastar V6 rated at 305 Horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torsion. The Charger no longer has an all-wheel-drive V8 version, and Lyons maintains the V6 is the volume chance for the challenger. Enthusiasts can bristle, however keeping the muscle coupe fresh and feeding sales demand is the whole point of an all-wheel-drive challenger.
Dodge’s Challenger GT Performance
The V6, which was updated for the 2016 model year, has lots of juice. It sounds good, too, manufacturing a healthy naturally aspirated growl as we accelerate energetically. At the end of the day, it’s all about all-wheel drive for the challenger GT, something we are good for as we ease into the hotel lot at the end of this day of winter journey.
Is it enough to bite into Ford mustang and chevy Camaro sales? maybe, though those pony cars are lighter and sportier, arguably catering to a different audience. However do not underestimate the enduring appeal of the challenger. Perhaps you are not looking to track your car or do not have dyed-in-the-wool loyalties to one of the Detroit three.
Perhaps you live somewhere cold, and rear-wheel drive’s foibles have kept you from buying a muscle car in good conscience. A challenger that is good when the weather are bad – that is intriguing. As Dodge’s Lyon put it, “People really want this all-wheel-drive feature.” To that we add, “let it snow.”