It’s the end of an era: Dodge is phasing out production of its beloved Challenger and is making the “Last Call.” In honor of this quintessentially American muscle car, we’ve dedicated an entire post to it. Check out our list below for 10 things you may not have known about this classic car.
- The 2008 Dodge Challenger came exclusively as an SRT8 with the 6.1-liter Hemi V8 engine and a five-speed AutoStick automatic transmission. SRT actually stands for Street and Racing Technology, and all Dodge SRT vehicles are made with the highest-quality parts designed for optimum performance. The entire 2008 Canadian production run of 6,400 vehicles for the U.S. market was sold in advance and production began May 8, 2008.
2. The most powerful Dodge Challenger was the 2018 Demon (until March 2023). The coupe with 840 hp 6.2-liter Hemi V8 was topped by the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, which is powered by a 6.2-liter Hemi – supported by a 3.0-liter IHI supercharger. Running on E85 (85% ethanol), it produces 1,025 hp and 1,281 Nm at 4,200 rpm. Even on E10 gasoline (93 octane), output is still 900 hp and 1,098 Nm. With standard Mickey Thompson Street ET R drag radial tires, the Demon 170 sprints from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 1.66 seconds. NHRA has certified the Demon 170 with a This is so fast, that in factory configuration the Demon 170 is not permitted to run on NHRA-certified drag strips – wow! With a perfect launch, the SRT Demon 170 measures a force of 2.004 Gs – the highest measured for a production road car. In 2023, Dodge announced a new Demon as the seventh and final Last Call buzz models and a worthy sendoff for the legendary Challenger generation.
3. The classic Dodge Challenger was produced mainly for the US and Canadian markets, and only a few vehicles were ever shipped overseas. From a collector’s perspective, these vehicles are highly desirable. That’s where AEC comes in – find out how we can get you your very own Challenger right here in Europe from a dealer near you.
4. In the late 1970s, Dodge attempted to revive the Challenger with a model based on the Mitsubishi Sapporo Galant Lambda. The first-generation Challenger was retired in 1974, so the second generation was badge-engineered. The hardtop coupe was known as the Dodge Colt Challenger from 1978 before being called just the Dodge Challenger from 1981. It was available with two four-cylinder engines, a 1.6-liter with 77 horsepower or a 2.6-liter with a whopping 105 horsepower.
5. The Dodge Challenger Hellcat comes with two key, one in red and one in black. The black key is used when power is limited. It limits the engine power and the RPM is kept below 4,000 RPM. It also blocks the vehicle’s first gear and launches in second to limit acceleration. The red key is used when the vehicle is to be driven at higher speeds. Only this key unlocks the vehicle’s full performance with unrestricted powertrain, transmission, and steering set-up.
6. The Dodge Challenger is one of the most famous movie cars of all time. In 1971, a white Dodge Challenger R/T with 440 Magnum V8 was featured in the movie Vanishing Point in probably its most famous role. Due to a bet, Barry Newman’s character has to transfer the car from Denver to San Francisco in just 15 hours. During the filming, eight Challengers were wrecked and only one survived the film production. Later, the Dodge Challenger was featured in popular movies such as 2 Fast 2 Furious, Gone in 60 Seconds, and many others.
7. After many years as the pony car champion, the 2021 Ford Mustang was dethroned by the aged Dodge Challenger in the US in 2021. The Dodge Challenger continued to be the best-selling muscle car in the third quarter of 2022. From January through September 2022, the Challenger held a commanding lead with 42,094 deliveries, confidently relegating the Ford Mustang to second place with 36,598 deliveries and the Camaro to third place with 19,177 units.
8. Reminiscent of one of the most memorable Plymouth commercials from the muscle car era, where a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda was covered with 25 vertical stripes in different colors, there was a custom Dodge Challenger with all 14 of Dodge’s “High Impact” colors in a rainbow-colored foil ranging from “Plum Crazy” to “Frostbite,” “B5 Blue,” “Sublime,” “F8 Green,” “Go Mango,” “Sinamon Stick,” “Octane Red,” “Torred,” “Triple Nickel,” “Destroyer Grey,” “Granite,” “Pitch Black” and “White Knuckle.” The film design could be ordered from DodgeGarage for $3,700 and applied by any 3M-certified installer.
9. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the first production vehicle in the world to lift the front wheels at (quarter-mile) launch – in conjunction with the Transbrake and Torque Reserve Technology – and set the world record for the longest wheelie by a production vehicle from a standing start at 2.92 feet, certified by Guinness World Records. In addition, the Challenger SRT Demon also records the highest g-force (1.8 g) ever measured on a production vehicle at launch, prior to the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170.
10. The rarest Dodge Challenger is probably the 2021 Challenger Drag Pak. The Drag Pak was designed and built exclusively for the racetrack or off the road, and is not street legal. The professional motorsports Challenger is powered by a 354-ci Hemi equipped with a 3.0-liter Whipple supercharger and was designed for drag racers competing in the NHRA and NMCA Sportsman classes. The 2021 Challenger Drag Pak completes the quarter mile in under eight seconds and was limited to just 50 units.
The Challenger doesn’t stand alone, though – together with Dodge’s Charger, the two muscle cars are true American icons. Learn more about the Dodge Charger here.