2009 Dodge Challenger R/T
Muscle cars are back, and though their timing couldn’t be much worse, there’s no denying how much fun they are. New versions of Ford's Mustang, Chevy’s Camaro and Dodge’s Challenger have all made their debuts, and now the fight is on to see which is going to claim the crown. Consider this, then, Round 1 of the fight.
The week I spent with the 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T was one of the most fun and satisfying weeks I’ve had with a car, and I do this for a hobby as well as a living. The combination of the 375hp (280kW) Hemi, the pistol-grip six-speed and the retro-modern styling is plain intoxicating.
That’s not to say it’s all peachy-keen when it comes to the finer points, but as an overall experience, it's easy to understand the whole muscle car thing, and it gets me.
Styling and Exterior
The styling of the Dodge Challenger is by this point no surprise to anyone - blanketed across the internet and television during its debut year when only SRT8 versions were available, those with our heads in the car world have pretty much grown accustomed to it by now. But out on the street, wow, this car draws looks, honks, thumbs-up and friendly smiles.
And it’s American. And it’s not a Corvette or a classic.
The aggressive styling is a hit with men and women alike, especially middle-American salt-of-the-earth types - in short, the most likely buyers. Inside, the car is similarly big and bold, though it lacks the character of the exterior.
Plain black surfaces and materials shared with the Charger, chunky yet effective switchgear and very simple lines leave a lot on the table, but on the other hand, it gets the job done and doesn’t detract from the experience.