Production for Dodge’s long-awaited Challenger SRT8 muscle car officially kicked off yesterday at Chrysler’s Brampton assembly plant, with the first car’s scheduled to hit dealer showrooms next week. They won’t be sitting idle for long, however, as the SRT8’s entire first year production run – about 7,000 cars – is already accounted for.

Priced from $37,995, the new SRT8 Challenger flagship has created a level of excitement around the Dodge brand that hasn’t been seen since the launch of the first-generation Viper more than a decade ago. Chrysler needed to spend more than $151 million on refurbishing and tooling at the Canadian plant to accommodate the new Challenger line, but this amount is the smallest the carmaker has ever spent on a new model, reports The Detroit News.

Things is because of a number of new cost cutting measures implemented by Chrysler engineers including increased use of new computer design processes and flexible manufacturing. The Challenger is built on the same production line as the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans and uses most of the same machinery.

Dodge Challenger SRT8