The Dodge Challenger is a two-door muscle car, superfast and aggressive. With the Challenger, Dodge counts among its rivals the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. Unlike those two, the Challenger is a coupe only. FCA doesn’t sell a convertible version.
For 2019, Dodge uses the equipment from its 2018 Challenger SRT Demon to create the line-topping 797-horsepower Challenger Hellcat SRT Redeye as well as a new dragstrip-special option package called Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320. Also new is the R/T Scat Pack model, the sportiest and most track-focused in the range. Finally for 2019, AWD becomes available on the base SXT model.
The SXT and GT get a 3.6-liter V6 good for 305 hp and 268 pound-feet of torque. You can expect a zero-to-60 time in the low-6-second range, which is pretty quick, but ultimately pokier than the four-cylinder Camaro and Mustang. An eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard, but you can add all-wheel drive – the only engine so offered. Fuel economy estimates for the 2020 Challenger were not available at the time of this writing, but we think it’s safe to say that those from 2019 should carry over. For the base engine, that means 23 mpg combined with RWD and 21 mpg combined with AWD.
Next up is the 5.7-liter V8 found in the Challenger R/T good for 372 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque with the standard eight-speed automatic. It goes up to 375 hp and 410 lb-ft with the optional six-speed manual, which seems like a pretty great reason to get a three-pedal car. Fuel economy is 19 mpg combined with the automatic and 18 mpg combined with the manual. This engine basically shaves a second off the 0-60 time.
The R/T Scat Pack model has a 6.4-liter V8 good for 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque regardless of whether you get the automatic or manual. Fuel economy is 18 mpg (auto) or 17 mpg (manual). Again, you’ll be knocking another second off the 0-60 time, which should be in the low 4’s. (For those really interested in taking their Scat Pack to a drag strip, the1320 package adds several mechanical upgrades and subtracts weight for improved quarter-mile times).
Now for the heavy artillery. The Hellcat (pictured below) gets a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 good for an absurd 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque. It can be paired with the automatic or manual, and if you’re asking about fuel economy, you shouldn’t be considering a Hellcat. Its 0-60 time is likely only a few tenths of a second quicker than the Scat Pack, but that says more about the limits of rear-wheel-drive grip. Don’t worry, the Hellcat feels like it has an extra 232 horses.
Finally we have the Hellcat Redeye, which is effectively a detuned version of the one-year-only Demon. Its version of the Hellcat engine produces 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque. Its 0-60 time should be 3.4 seconds, according to Dodge, while the quarter-mile should disappear in 10.8 seconds.
Pricing for the 2020 Challenger will be announced closer to the showroom appearance later this year, but Dodge has confirmed that the R/T Scat Pack will come in less than $40,000. Its 6.4-liter V-8 delivers a meaty 485 horsepower, providing the best bang for your buck. The R/T Scat Pack can also be ordered with a 1320 package that adds dragstrip goodies originally developed for the SRT Demon, such as the TransBrake and Torque Reserve. These see the car scoot down the strip in 11.7 seconds at 115 mph.
For buyers who prefer a bit of luxury, there’s an available Plus Package that adds several premium touches inside and out. Among the items are heated and ventilated leather seats, power tilt/telescope steering column, and unique wheels.
Most Challengers come standard with an 8-speed automatic but the R/T, R/T Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat models come standard with a 6-speed manual and are available with the 8-speed automatic.