Why The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT: The Charger Is Its Biggest Competitor?

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By Dave Ashton

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT in all wheel drive format may have been a surprise to some, displeasing others who only want a muscle car in rearwheel drive and a revelation to others. However, the Dodge Challenger is almost in a niche of its own, being the nearest and dearest to a pure muscle car, which means its biggest rival could arguably be the Charger.

Gone from the Dodge lineup is the Dart and the Viper and those wanting pure muscle in their vehicle with all wheel drive was starting to look elsewhere. With no new vehicles apart from the upcoming Dodge Demon, which is expected to be optimised for the dragstrip, a four-wheel-drive Challenger must’ve seemed like the best way forward to round out the sales.

Being called the ‘The World’s First and Only All-Wheel-Drive American Muscle Coupe,’ is a great headline and an AWD Challenger can pull most of its parts from the Charger and give another vehicle to its lineup and hit a wider audience.

Having a modern-day muscle car with all wheel drive, space in the backseats and an eight speed transmission with reasonable gas mileage will definitely make potential buyers stop and think. The old rivals of Mustang and Camaro are now leaning more towards sports vehicles than anything else, while the Challenger stays closer to its heritage, the pony car or muscle car. It may only have the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 rather than the huge Hellcat engine, but it’s arguably more efficient for everyday use and weight factor.

Boosting sales is one of the main priorities so Dodge have been wise to take their bestselling SXT Plus model and added four-wheel-drive capability. Most of the power still goes to the rear wheels, with the AWD engaged for tricky terrain. The all wheel drive system only adds a few hundred pounds to an already weighty vehicle, with the added extras of a 9-speaker Alpine audio system and sports steering wheel.

For those wanting the modern muscle car experience and living in bad weather climates, the Challenger GT now makes sense and I think it’s only purists that will take a dislike to this latest model. the Challenger will still be compared to the likes of the Mustang, Camaro and other competitors, but for a pure modern pony/muscle car experience which can now arguably go on any terrain, makes the Challenger that more appealing.

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