After having written about what is a muscle car, and even about can a four door be a muscle car, I thought I would write about a modern car that there is little doubt about it being a muscle car, the Dodge Challenger SRT-8.
The styling of the new Challenger definitely takes its design from the original 1970-1974 Challenger:
The similarities are rather obvious, but I like the lower height of the original.
The muscle car genes of the SRT-8 are definitely their. The 2008-2010 models had a 6.1L Hemi with 425 horsepower. That number sounds familiar, since it is the rated horsepower of the legendary 426 Hemi. And it comes with vastly improved fuel economy and drivability. It does loose the awesome sound of the original and the cool looking chrome or black wrinkle finish valve covers. The 2011 + Challenger SRT-8s have the 6.4L Hemi with 470 horsepower.
The 2008 + Challenger is based of a shortened version of the Chrysler LX platform that is the basis for the Charger, 300 and late Magnum. Kind of like how the original E-body Challenger was a shortened B-body with different sheet metal. That means the new Challenger has independent rear suspension as well as an available manual that was first available in 2009. And at least in the newer ones, it is possible to completely disable the traction control which eliminates my main complaint with the new Charger being a muscle car. I will have to see if the traction control can be turned off on the newer Chargers also.
The R/T model also has the power to be a muscle car, with the 5.7L Hemi. More along the lines of the classic Challenger with the 383 or 440, versus the SRT-8 comparing to the 426 Hemi models.
Now if I could just manage to cram three car seats into the back of a Dodge Challenger SRT-8….