Aaron Turpen writes: Bo and Luke Duke may have been driving a Charger back in the day, but the 1969 Charger’s successor is definitely the current-generation Challenger. Put behind the wheel of the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT in bright orange paint – as we drove it – you may want to change your name, too.
The Challenger GT is Dodge’s all-wheel-drive muscle coupe, offering something that those of us living in the land of inclement weather and dirt roads have long wanted. When the 2017 Challenger GT was shown as a concept back in November of 2015, we were drooling. When it finally dropped a year later, there was some disappointment on the engine choice.
The engine chosen for the production version of the Challenger GT is the venerable V6 that, it turns out, is the most popular engine for the Challenger lineup. Many people might be surprised to know that in the arena of American muscle, including the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, the six-cylinder engine has become the most popular engine for buyers in recent years. Plus, for Dodge, using the V6 meant not having to do any major retooling of the AWD drivetrain already used in the Chrysler 300, with which the Challenger shares a common platform.
So the beefy V8 shown in the concept car back in 2015 was not to be. That’s disappointing, until you drive the Challenger GT as it is. The 3.6-liter V6 under its hood is putting out a solid 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 268 foot pounds (363 Nm) of torque. Both at between 4,800 and 6,350 peak RPM, making it relatively easy to keep the engine at high output. Top speed in the Challenger GT is 130 mph (209 km/h). It’s also important to remember that all of that power is being output in all-wheel drive.
This means takeoff traction for the 2017 Challenger GT is far better than it is in the rear-drive versions of the car. Our best 0-60 mph (96.6 km/h) time average was 6.9 seconds on a public roadway. Professionals can probably shave a few tenths off of that. Dodge says that the Challenger GT is capable of 6.5-second 60 mph sprints.
At the same time, the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT is EPA-rated at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway (13.0, 8.7 l/100km). Our average was about 21 mpg (11.2 l/100km) overall in our week with the car. It was a week that saw a lot of … (read more)