The Dodge Challenger GT: More Than Meets the Eye?

2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD

Few modern car designs manage to convey their heritage as well as the Dodge Challenger. Granted, from “Vanishing Point” to “Archer,” not many cars are endowed with the Challenger’s legacy. Even still, the Toyota Corolla might be turning 50 this year, but I doubt many of us would recognize the similarities between one today and a 1968 original.

As far as the Challenger’s competition is concerned, when it comes to looks, Chevrolet and Ford seem conflicted, with the Camaro and the Mustang toeing the line between wanna-be-retro and forward-thinking. Even the Dodge Charger lacks the Challenger’s attention-grabbing silhouette. The Challenger’s long hood and short rear deck evoke classic muscle car: big engine up front, plenty of power on tap at the back.

Except, of course, when you’re looking at a Dodge Challenger GT.

Encouraged by strong all-wheel-drive Charger sales (particularly in northern climes, like ours), Dodge fitted the same system underneath the Challenger GT’s skin. The result is exactly what you’d expect: a handsome two-door coupe with plenty of power, but now capable of taking you to the ski slopes.

Of course, there is one caveat (naturally): Dodge isn’t selling any all-wheel-drive Challengers with V8 engines. No, the brawniest Challengers will still be available with only rear-wheel drive.

Still, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 under the GT’s hood produces a respectable 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque, and there simply isn’t another 2-door, all-wheel-drive sports car that makes that kind of power at the same price point.

At an expected MSRP of $34,490, the Challenger GT will cost significantly less than the Audi S4. Outside of the Charger, its closest competitor will be the Subaru WRX STI—pretty much the only other car turning out the same performance while still living in the same-priced neighborhood.

Sure, some shoppers might bemoan the lack of a V8 turning all four wheels, but considering how well the Challenger delivers on the muscle-car motif, would you really turn your nose up for lack of a couple cylinders?

Would you rather drive an all-wheel-drive Dodge Challenger or a Subaru WRX STI?

-Matt Smith

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