Dodge Challenger AWD Hopes to Gain Muscle Car Traction

Early 2017 will see Dodge become the first Detroit automaker to bring four-wheel traction to the muscle car class when it launches the Challenger GT.

The Challenger GT will use the same AWD system as the Charger sedan, pairing it with the company's ubiquitous 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, rated for 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. So unfortunately no V8 or manual transmission version when production of the '17 GT starts in January at FCA's Brampton, Ontario plant, for the foreseeable future.

Like the Charger, the Challenger's AWD setup will feature an active transfer case and a front-axle disconnect feature it says helps reduce fuel consumption. That means the Challenger GT is effectively a rear-driver until those wheels slip and power is sent forward.

Paddle shifters will be standard, along with a sport drive mode that alters the transmission's shift program to hold gears longer and make quicker changes. A Super Track Pak feature activates the Dodge Performance Pages and a launch control system, and allows the driver to see stats like reaction times, lap times and G forces. That said, AWD or not, we're not sure buyers of V6 Challengers are all that likely to hit the drag strip; with 305 hp, the GT will be nothing like a competitor for AWD import sports cars, even those with similar power outputs, like the Subaru STI.

Also standard in the Challenger GT will be 19-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, deck-lid spoiler, rear park assist and a backup camera.

Canadian pricing will start at $38,545, with Challenger GT models scheduled to arrive in dealers in the first quarter, with official fuel consumption averages of 12.8 L/100km city, and 8.7 L/100km on the highway.

Dodge first to bring AWD to an American muscle car 12/7/2016 11:19:08 AM