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2009 Dodge Challegner R/T Classic Road Test

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on September 1, 2009
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Every now and then we get the chance to get behind the wheel of a truly awesome car. True, we are a truck magazine, this is our first love and our primary focus, but who doesn’t love a good muscle car? Over the years you may have noticed that we slip in the occasional cool car for your viewing pleasure and this time is no exception. Keeping in line with the idea of throwback styling on modern cars Dodge is proud to launch the all-new 2009 Challenger R/T Classic.

The new Dodge Challenger is a real “blast from the past” retro-styled modern muscle car and the R/T Classic package takes this notion a step further. This car boasts vintage flair with modern styling and engineering. The Challenger R/T Classic takes its styling cues from the R/T package of old and combines them with the powerful 372hp 5.7 liter Hemi V8 engine, Tremec 6-speed manual transmission, sport tuned fully independent suspension, all while riding on 20-inch wheels with high performance tires. Dodge has really stepped up the muscle car game with the introduction of the Challenger R/T Classic.

On the inside of the vehicle we see that luxury was not lost on this muscle car. Seating comes to us by way a pair of leather-trimmed heated bucket seats. On the floor we have three gorgeous pedals that are made from brushed aluminum. The R/T Classic’s pistol-grip shifter is another throwback to the R/T of old while at the same time mating your hand with the Tremec’s six gears. The dash board in its self is a bit of a bore but it spruced up by a set of white faced gauges with brushed aluminum accents. And providing the tunes is a hot 368-watt, 7-speaker, Boston Acoustics sound system.

Putting power to the ground is a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 that punches out an amazing 372hp and 401lb-ft of torque. Power is then routed through the 6-speed, dual-clutch, Tremec manual transmission to a rear axle with a 3.92 gear ratio and limited slip differential. What does this all mean? This means that the Challenger R/T Classic puts its power down immediately with a force and traction level that are unmatched and does all this while still achieving impressive fuel economy numbers thanks to Hemi’s MDS system.

Dodge has brought back the memories of the original Challenger R/T with this throwback’s bold looks while keeping true to the roots of the Challenger muscle car and has done it in a way that no other vehicle has been able to. We look forward to seeing what comes next.

What’s Hot: Classic styling, powerful Hemi engine, great exhaust note, comfortable interior

What’s Not: Car is not light by any means, handling could be better, lots of hard plastic on the interior

Our Take: Classic muscle car styling meets modern muscle car technology. This car is simply a joy to drive and leaves us grinning from ear to ear.

Vehicle/model: 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic
Base price: $29,320 / As Tested: $37,320
Engine (tested): 5.7 liter HEMI V8
Max hp & torque (lb-ft): 372hp / 401 ft-lbs
Transmission (tested): Tremec 6-speed manual
Low-range ratio: N/A
Frame type: Unitbody
Suspension, f/r: Sport-tuned coil-sprung SLA front / 5-link rear
Ring and pinion: 3.92:1
Steering: Rack and Pinion
Brakes, f/r: Heavy Duty, ABS
Wheels: 20”x8”
Tires: 245/45/18 OWL All Season
Wheelbase (in.): 116in
Length (in): 197.7in
Height (in): 57in
Base curb weight (lb): 4041lbs
Max ground clearance (in): 5.5"
GVWR (lb): 5,300lbs
Max cargo volume (cu ft): 16.2 cu. Ft.
EPA mileage figures, city/hwy (mpg): 16city / 25highway
Mileage as tested: 16.3 city / 23.1 highway / 25.9 max
Fuel capacity (gal): 19gal

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