Dodge has used this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise – touted as being the world’s largest one-day automotive event – to reveal the reintroduction of two of its most well-known “race-bred” nameplates: the Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona.
Promising to deliver “even more performance and precision”, the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A and 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona are both available with either a naturally-aspirated 280kW 5.7-litre HEMI V8 or a 362kW 6.4-litre HEMI V8 and either a Tremec six-speed manual transmission or eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic with paddle shifters.
With three variants of the new Challenger T/A joining two variants of the new Charger Daytona on offer, US buyers are spoilt for choice with the two- and four-door muscle cars.
Tracing its lineage back to the 1970 Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Trans Am racing series, the new Challenger T/A range starts at US$37,390 ($48,700) for the ‘entry-level’ model.
Based on the Challenger R/T, the Challenger T/A (pictured above) comes with ‘Air Catcher’ headlights, a NACA bonnet scoop, modified SRT Hellcat air box with Mopar conical filter, and an all-new electronically controlled ‘active performance exhaust system’.
Tying the old-school look together are wider-than-standard 20-by-nine-inch lightweight black Mopar forged aluminium wheels, satin black exterior highlights, ‘T/A’ decals, a script-type ‘Challenger’ grille badge, satin black boot-lip spoiler with ‘Challenger T/A’ badge, and factory-installed Mopar bonnet pins.
Ensuring the package is more than just aesthetic, Dodge has also fitted the new Challenger T/A with a ‘Super Track Pak’, which includes chassis upgrades such as lowered suspension, high-performance Bilstein shock absorbers, performance brake pads, Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres, and a three-mode stability control system with “full off” option.
Step up to the US$40,140 ($52,300) Challenger T/A Plus and spec levels rise to include heated and ventilated ‘T/A’-embroidered Nappa leather performance seats, a leather-wrapped Dodge performance steering wheel, an 8.4-inch infotainment screen with Uconnect, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a six-speaker stereo.
And at the top of the tree, and sporting ‘392’ fender decals and five-inch wider 20-inch forged aluminium wheels wrapped in Pirelli tyres, is the US$43,995 ($57,300) range-topping Challenger T/A 392 (pictured above).
With power coming from the 362kW/644Nm 6.4-litre (392-cubic inch) HEMI V8, Dodge claims 0-96km/h (0-60mph) in four seconds and a “low 12-second” quarter-mile time.
Boosting equipment beyond the Challenger T/A Plus, the flagship Challenger T/A 392 gains a Brembo brake package comprising six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers out back, along with ventilated rotors all round, as well as “unique front suspension geometry”, and a 180-mph (290km/h) primary speedometer.
Harking back to the original 501 1969 Charger Daytonas purpose-built for NASCAR racing, the new 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona is offered with the 5.7-litre HEMI for US$39,890 ($52,000) and US$44,995 ($58,600) with the 6.4-litre HEMI.
Based on the standard Charger R/T, the new Charger Daytona (pictured below) receives a Mopar cold-air induction system with a conical air filter, an active exhaust, SRT- and R/T Scat Pack-inspired bodykit, satin black rear spoiler, ‘HEMI’ NACA bonnet scoop decal, ‘Daytona’ decals and badging, 20-inch lightweight black Mopar forged aluminium wheels, HID headlights, and rear parking sensors.
Inside, heated and ventilated ‘Daytona’-embroidered 12-way power adjustable Nappa leather performance seats join ‘Brazen Gold’ stitching, a leather-wrapped Dodge performance steering wheel, sports pedals, and LED ambient cabin lighting.
And, while Dodge has equipped the Charger Daytona with a similar ‘Super Track Pak’ to the new Challenger T/A – in this case made up of “performance-tuned suspension”, performance brake pads, Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres, and a three-mode stability control system with “full off” option – in a bid to improve acceleration and speed, the Charger Daytona has also been fitted with a revised rear differential (with a 2.62 ratio) and had its top speed lifted from to 217km/h to 241km/h.
Matching the 6.4-litre HEMI-equipped Challenger T/A 392, the US car maker claims the top-shelf Charger Daytona 392 (pictured below) should equally hit 96km/h (60mp/h) from a standstill “in the mid four-second range” and chew up and spit out a quarter mile “in the low 12-second range”.
It does this with help from a new air box, cold-air induction system and Mopar conical air filter, a 3.09 final drive with 230mm limited-slip rear axle, and Pirelli tyres.
Completing the package are ‘392’ fender decals, six-piston front/four-piston rear Brembo brakes with ventilated rotors, 20-by-9.5-inch black forged aluminium wheels, a 180-mph (290km/h) primary speedometer, and an electronically controlled active performance exhaust system.
With production of the new Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona models due to begin in September, Dodge North America passenger car head Tim Kuniskis hinted that there’s more to come from the brand.
“More than 1.5 million enthusiasts are expected to come to Woodward to celebrate classic muscle cars this week, so it’s a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona with new special editions,” Kuniskis said at the unveiling of the new heritage-inspired models, before adding, “We’ll continue to celebrate the brand’s muscle car performance heritage with another special-edition announcement later this fall.”
Taking place on August 20 (from 9am to 9pm) up Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan – purported to be America’s first concrete highway – the Woodward Dream Cruise is an annual mass classic car cruise for some of the most iconic US hot rods and muscle cars.
If you could get your hands on any of these new specials, which would it be? Tell us in the comments section below and in the meantime, click on the Photos tab for more images of the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A and 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona.