There were a total of 6.400 units of the G3 Challenger SRT8 power option leave the assembly line destined to be sold in the USA. The delivery’s begin June 2008, but every unit sold in the USA had been pre-purchased. The latest edition is reminiscent of the mid ‘70’s G1, but is more updated styling, longer and higher than its predecessor. The Challenger name is also used for a “G2” Challenger, but these units look a little like the marriage of a “K” car to an economical European import and a non-descript vehicle at best. The G2 Challengers bear no resemblance to the G3 muscle car Challenger that makes its first official appearance at the Detroit Motor Show in 2006. Dodge begins taking orders at this show for the new two door hard top Challenger packing a MSRP of $40,095 at that time.
The third generation entry level Challenger SE is equipped with a 3.5 L (214 cu in) SOHC V6 which develops 250 bhp or 190 kW using the SAE rating system and produces 250 lb-ft (340 N·m) of torque. The next step is the Pentastar 3.6 L (220 cu in) V6 engine (2011-present), a 5.7 L (345 cu in) Hemi V8, 6.1 L (370 cu in) Hemi V8 and the 6.4 L (392 cu in) Hemi V8 is the ultimate offer. The engine of choice is bolted to a four speed 42LRE automatic, but the W5A580 five speed automatic becomes basic equipment during the last half of 2009 until 2014. The five speed is replaced by the 8 speed 845RE automatic in 2014, but now a six speed Tremec TR6060 standard transmission is also available.
There is a wide choice of outside colors and the interior will come with a cloth covering plus a host of features including cruise control, power windows, power locks and power outside mirrors, as well as the 17 inch aluminium wheels. More choices include an uptown stereo set up with a GPS feature, heated front seats, leather upholstery and a sun roof. For ultimate in handling performance the 18 inch aluminum rims, ABS, plus the stability and traction control are all on the table. Our Canadian cousins initially in 2008 have a little more luxuriously equipped SXT model rather than the SE, but this unit also carries a higher price tag. The added goodies north of the border include the 18 inch rims, fog lamps, rear spoiler, lighted vanity mirrors, alarm system, and a leather wrapped shift stick. The SE is dropped in 2012 and replaced in the USA with the SXT.
The Dodge Challenger sits on the Chrysler LC platform, which is a modified version of the LX platform although the LC under-carriage is a shorter wheelbase. Both chassis are designed to accommodate either all wheel or rear wheel drive vehicles. The longer wheel base underpins the Charger, Chrysler 300 and the Magnum line-up. Much of the latest Challenger is a product of Mercedes-Benz inspired technology such as the ESP system and the rear wheel drive differential. Sometimes even Mercedes sourced components are used, such as the W220 S-class control arm front suspension and the W211-E-Class 5-link rear suspension which are designed to provide the optimum smooth ride for passengers along with superior performance handling in ail driving conditions. There were a grand total of 7119 units of the 2008 Challenger SRT8 assembled with the 6.1 L (370 cu in) Hemi coupled to the “AutoStick” 5 speed automatic transmission.