Traditionally, muscle cars go into hibernation with the first signs of winter.
The new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT launches a new tradition – a four-season modern muscle coupe.
The Challenger GT, now rolling into dealer showrooms, adopts the high-performance all-wheel-drive powertrain from the Dodge Charger AWD model. That setup includes the powerful Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, rated at 305 hp, and the eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, combined with the suspension used on the Charger Pursuit police car.
The real key to the Dodge Challenger GT is the active transfer case with a front axle disconnect. When the road is dry, the transfer case sends all the torque to the rear wheels – for that classic muscle car feel. When things get wet or slushy, the transfer case divides the torque between all four wheels for enhanced traction.
“The beauty of this setup is you still have all the fun and driving dynamics of a rear-wheel-drive car, and you don’t ruin any of that because the all-wheel-drive system only comes on when it’s needed,” says Alison Rahm, chief engineer for the Dodge Challenger and Charger.
Even when the all-wheel drive system is engaged, the Challenger GT keeps the spirit of rear-wheel drive by maintaining a rear-bias to the torque that is being actively distributed.
Enhancing the Challenger GT’s all-wheel drive is Vehicle Dynamic Control, which coordinates the AWD with stability control and traction control.
“Vehicle Dynamic Control allows us to enhance traction in wet and dry conditions, allows us to maintain stability control of the vehicle and, more importantly, allows us to maintain the rear-wheel-drive fun-to-drive character of the Challenger,” says Mike Gapski, technical manager of the Dodge Challenger AWD system.
The Challenger GT is a driver’s car. It comes equipped with die-cast shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel for quick gear changes. The Super Track Pack button on the center console activates the Dodge Performance Pages and launch control features in the 8.4-inch display screen. Those looking for some sliding fun can even set the stability control to “full off” mode.
The well-bolstered front seats are heated and cooled and covered in Nappa leather. The available GT Interior Package adds performance Nappa leather and Alcantara suede coverings, Dodge performance steering wheel and nine-speaker Alpine audio system with subwoofer. Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels are wrapped in 235/55R19 all-season tires.
“The Challenger GT lets the driver have a lot more confidence,” says Rahm. “When you’re a confident driver than you can really explore the spiritedness and dynamics of the car because you know it’s going to step in and do whatever you need it to, whatever the conditions.”
Check out this video of the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT having some winter fun: