New for '09: Dodge Challenger
Like the Chevrolet Camaro, the new Dodge Challenger is arriving to revive the pony car wars of the 1960s. Designed to replicate the look of the 1970-1971 Dodge Challenger, the new version comes to market first as a brute high-performance machine. The Challenger SRT8 comes with a 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 making 425 horsepower, coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel mileage is slightly reminiscent of the 1960s as well -- 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway. The price starts at more than $37,000, though dealers are asking far more than that for the first ones off the production line. For those who want something with better fuel mileage, Dodge will for 2009 roll out a 3.5-liter V-6 version, as well as an R/T model with the smaller 5.7-liter V-8. Base prices for those models will range from more than $21,000 to about $30,000. Built on the same chassis as the Dodge Charger sedan, the 2009 Challenger is bigger and heavier than the original Challenger, though the sounds and driving experience are definitely in the muscle car category. If this is your passion, buy one soon, because it's doubtful these new era muscle cars will last long.