The newest addition to the third generation Challenger series keeps its apt namesake as retro-turned-rebirth competition once again burns bright.
Dodge’s classic is fit to do battle with the fifth generation Mustang and new Camaro. The 2012 Challenger gets enough firepower to excite fans of the past while keeping the future of modern muscle alive and well.
Check out what’s happening with the 2012 Challenger. If you’re ready, you can buy a 2012 Challenger through CarWoo! now.
But First, A Little Challenger History
Originally a late toss into the muscle car arena, Dodge birthed Challenger in 1970. Using their ‘E body’ platform, Chrysler went big with their Challenger and managed to sell 84,032 vehicles that initial year. However, the flame which ignited the muscle and pony car (American built compact sports car with affordable performance) market had been tempered to a flicker by this time for various reasons. Sales suffered and Challengers waned.
The early ‘70s Challengers remain collector’s items for enthusiasts.
Dodge Challenger Today
Updated and cocky, 2012’s Challenger recreates a bit of original flair- solidified by modern technology of course- for the best of both worlds. New highlights for 2012 include a renamed base model, the Challenger SXT, and a new 5-speed automatic transmission with available paddle shifters.
Keeping Challenger up to date are the available Uconnect infotainment system (on a 6.5” screen), navigation with SiriusXM traffic, and Harmon Kardon 18 speaker sound.
What’s more, with SXT Challenger starting at $24,995, it’s relatively economic enough to become a muscle-car enthusiast.
Dodge Challenger Performance
2012 SXT models get a 3.6 L engine which pushes 6 cylinders to 305 horsepower and 268 lb.-ft. of torque, creating a respectable starting point for anyone. Dodge has also reworked the 5-speed automatic transmission, making it 45 pounds lighter than last year’s version.
Challenger R/T owners gain access to a 5.7 L V8 HEMI engine which kicks out 375 HP and 410 lb.-ft. with a standard 6-speed manual. Output drops to 372 HP and 400 lb.-ft. with the 5-speed auto option.
The SRT8 392 will make enthusiasts drool. Don’t let the name fool you, that’s 392 cubic inches; the model actually produces 470 HP matched by 470 pounds of torque due to a 6.4 liter HEMI V8 with a standard 6-speed manual. This should be enough to make novices sweat and veterans smile.
Dodge Challenger Fuel Economy
Dodge is working on adapting the Challenger to today’s gas prices. Challenger SXT with its V6 achieves 18/27/21 (city/highway/combined) MPG, and the heftier R/T 5.7 liter HEMI gets 16/25/19 with an automatic or 15/23/18 with a manual transmission. Finally, Challenger SRT8 sucks up a truck-like 14/23/17 MPG- but then again every gallon seems worth it.
Dodge Challenger Interior Highlights
With a 116 inch wheelbase and bulkier size overall, Challenger’s dimensions create handling that can’t compete with rivals, especially imports like Nissan’s 370Z. Optimists, however, will point out the roomier interior with seating for five, with more overall backseat space than Camaro and Mustang in the 60/40 split seats. Critics will say that the interior styling doesn’t hold up to Challenger’s exterior beauty, but let’s call that a testament to how good it looks on the road. Trunk space is superb at 16.2 cubic feet.
Dodge Challenger Safety
Challenger standards include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (SRT8 gets Brembo Performance brakes), Stability/traction control, and front-seat side & side curtain airbags. Critics do say that rear visibility can be tricky. Government crash ratings are not finished, but as of now 2012 Challenger gets 4/5 stars for rollover crashes.
Challenger’s Bottom Line
Today’s Challenger will bring recollections of glory days past, but its intentions are to leave bygone memories in the dust and off its custom racing stripes. Edmunds.com calls the 2012 Challenger “the most livable of the reborn muscle cars,” but it’s also strong and sexy enough to make its parents proud. Check out Challenger now.