autoevolution

DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 Review

OUR TEST CAR: 2014 DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 6.4 HEMI V8 477 HP Automatic

The golden age. This is what the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 is all about.
DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 - Page - 1
As many have observed though, people always tend to place this golden age in the past. Alas, out of all those who complain about this error in judgement, not too many seem to be willing to correct it. Fortunately, Dodge is one of the exceptions and with its Challenger, they are showing us the golden age is now.

When you look at are intimidated by the Challenger, balance is probably the last thing that comes to mind. And yet this is precisely what this muscle car displays. Whether you’re cruising on the highway with your significant other or trashing the car on mountain roads, the Challenger knows how to deliver its brutal presence in a comfortable manner.

This shouldn’t come so much as a surprise, given the fact that the Challenger is a story written back in the day of the Daimler-Chrysler affair. Yes, there is quite a bit of Mercedes under the hood of this car. If only Mercedes would make an AMG version of the E-Class Coupe, we’d be in for a pretty tasty comparison.

Still, our Challenger SRT8 392 test car is truly spicy on its own. Just look at it! This has to be the most American-looking car you can find in a showroom today. Its sheer appearance serves as one of the sweetest pieces of US history lessons ever.
Whereas the Mustang has allowed itself to be influenced by Europeans, the Challenger looks just right for the American dream.

Despite this, we find ourselves amused by all the fuss people make about the two fat stripes running across the entire body of the SRT8. To our eyes, the car would look even better without them. This iron fist needs no leather glove to make it appear more menacing.

Perhaps this is the reason for which the visual differences between our 6.4-liter V8-powered tester and a V6 Challenger are limited. The wheels, front fender spats and the rear deck lid spoiler are all the added visual drama this bad boy will ever need.

As we climb aboard, the solid door closes with an adequate feel. This is all to prepare us for the surrounding environment - the seats, steering wheel, dashboard instruments, almost everything in here is extra large.

Perfectly suitable, but this still doesn’t save the cabin, which simply falls behind the exterior. Sure, the retro theme is here, but it could’ve been deeper and, more importantly, implemented in a nicer manner (read: with superior plastics).

DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 - Page - 1
Well, at least the ergonomics are good - the shifter is placed so that you could grab it while blindfolded.

The tilted center console guides you to it. The steering wheel serves as another good example of this. It has all sorts of controls, including on its back and they’re all very easy to operate. Despite having been shrunken with the last facelift, the wheel is still massive. All the better to make it feel masculine. Now... where are those dumbbells?

We didn’t manage to find them, but, instead, we noticed a pair of brilliant front seats lying around the Dodge Challenger SRT8’s cabin. You could probably turn this into a seven-seater just by replacing the front seats with thinner units, but we love them this way. These butch-looking seats are extra comfortable and provide decent support.

On top of that, or rather around it, we find quite a lot of space, even for the passengers riding in the back. And since a man also needs his tools, the boot is pretty generous. 16.2 cubic feet (460 liters), to be more precise.

Still, before we exit the Challenger’s cabin, we have to mention that the visibility is good. You wouldn’t necessarily expect that given the sleek appearance of the greenhouse, but it’s the truth. A nice treat to tackle the city around us.

You can feel the weight as you move from one traffic light to another. Then again, this sensation is only there because we focused on it. Switching out attention to the way in which this muscle car moves itself on the boulevards, we find ourselves smiling.
The serious manner in which the Challenger travels makes you glad you’re aboard.

This is not an easy car to drive around town, but we’d be glad with having to do this every day.

The moderate manner in which the coffee is shaking in the cupholder means the adaptive suspension is doing a pretty nifty job at filtering out the menacing tarmac issues underneath us. As for the steering, the hydraulic setup does make you work a bit, but only when parking. All for the better to keep yourself connected.

Still, you will have to watch the throttle a bit. The overall feel is pleasingly docile for 470 horses running around the city, but the gas pedal mapping is a different story. As we dip into the throttle a little, the car tends to be on the sensitive side, willing to surge forward. Nonetheless, as you go past the first 30 percent of pedal travel, things soften up a bit and you can use the Challenger with ease.

That is exactly the kind of activity we’ve immersed ourselves in at the moment. One doesn’t position the Challenger SRT8 392 on the road. The car does this all by itself, as it hunkers down for the long haul.

DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 - Page - 1
The squared-off hood in front of us feels like the perfect spot to see the world from.

While many cars have what they call a power dome these days, half of the Challenger’s hood is basically a power dome.

The highway is pretty busy at this time of the day and yet the Challenger makes us feel more than confident.

The Challenger is stable at high speeds and it puts no strain on its driver whatsoever, while managing to make you feel alive at any speeds.

Sure, the Camaro and the Mustang can pull similar stunts, but the Challenger does it better.
This muscle car is ideal for a trip across the country.

We’re cruising at a little 2,000 rpm, with the car in the four-cylinder mode. Ah, yes, this is one of the treats offered by the six point four liters of Hemi under that massive hood. Still, you can only have this on the automatic models.

This is just one of the updates the V8 offers. Another one would be the plastic air intakes. How is plastic better than the aluminium on the previous engine, the 6.1, one might ask. Well, the new construction allows for a two-stage plenum with air flaps to be present. This can vary the intake ram length according to the rpm requirements.

Moreover, the timing is variable, with the intake valves being able to play games. Together with the variable exhaust valve timing, this allows the Hemi V8 to offer better mid-range punch. Sure, the big V8 still feels better when you take it higher in the rev range, but it won’t complain about the rest either.

There aren’t many things in this world that feel as raw as putting the pedal to the metal in a Challenger SRT8. It’s still comfortable, there’s no explosion of power, but the sheer force of it makes the feeling become addictive. Up from 2,500 rpm you can ask anything you like from the beefy V8. Still, once you go past 4,000 rpm it all feels like you’ve added a miniature nitrous shot.
12
80user rating 57 votes
Rate this car!
 
autoevolution May 2014
82
Value for money: 10/10
History
9
Exterior
10
Interior
7
In the city
6
Open road
9
Comfort
9
Tech facts
6
Gadgets
6
Safety
8
Conclusion
10
80user rating 57 votes
Rate this car!
 
Key Specs
USEU
Engine
V8 6417 cm3
Fuel
Petrol
Power kw
350
Power hp
470
Power rpm
6000
Torque val
470
Torque rpm
4200
Transmission
5-Speed Automatic
Traction
RWD
Acceleration
4.6
Top speed
175 mph
Length
197.7 in
Width
75.7 in
Height
57.1 in
Wheelbase
116.0 in
Ground clearance
4.8 in
Cargo volume
16.2 CuFT
Weight
4160 lbs
Seating
4
Power
350 KW/470 BHP @ 6000 RPM
Torque
470 Lb-Ft @ 4200 RPM
Engine
V8 6417 cm3
Fuel
Petrol
Power kw
350
Power hp
477
Power rpm
6000
Torque val
637
Torque rpm
4200
Transmission
5-Speed Automatic
Traction
RWD
Acceleration
4.8
Top speed
282 km/h
Length
5022 mm
Width
1923 mm
Height
1450 mm
Wheelbase
2946 mm
Ground clearance
122 mm
Cargo volume
458.7 L
Weight
1887 Kg
Seating
4
Power
350 KW/477 HP @ 6000 RPM
Torque
637 Nm @ 4200 RPM
fuel efficiency
mpgOfficialOurs
City14-
Highway23-
Combined1711.6 mpg
fuel efficiency
l/100kmOfficialOurs
City16.8-
Highway10.2-
Combined13.820.3 L
base price
$
46,480
this review's
Guest Opinions

Sir May B. Bach

This is, by all means, the least refined Mercedes I have ever encountered.

I find such automotive manifestations as being rather... ahem... vulgar. The sheer visual impact is too strong for my personal taste. I prefer something more discrete. And if it must be intimidating, then I usually opt for something with a tad more grandeur. To put it another way, the appearance of the vehicle is not imposing enough for me.

In spite of this, I found a pretty reasonable proposal here. From what I understand, these so-called “muscle cars” are here to provide power that is affordable for all people. Well, if the population is convinced power resides within owning a car that looks in a certain manner, I see myself forced to agree.

I sincerely consider that this represents a suitable manner to control the population. One may point out that the amount of money required to acquire one can still be translated into years of... ahem.... normal work. I agree to that and, in fact, this is a key part of my point.

Such a vehicle appears to be affordable and thus the dream of owning one can keep a man busy and obedient towards the system for a decent number of years. Once the goal has been achieved, the apparently strong impression can keep one in a state of mental sedation.

This vehicle is certainly a proper instrument of manipulation. I still fail to understand how acquiring a vehicle that is... ahem... cheap can make one feel contempt and yet I have to notice the effectiveness of the mechanism. I shall even applaud this.

Photo gallery (56)
DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 burnoutDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 bootDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 rear lightSRT8 badge on DODGE ChallengerDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 fuel filler capSRT8 392 Hemi badge on DODGE ChallengerDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 Brembo brake calipersDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 Hemi V8 engine392 Hemi V8 on DODGE Challenger SRT8DODGE Challenger SRT8 392DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 front grilleDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 air intakeDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 door cardDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 taillightsDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 fuel filler capDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 cabinDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 side airbagDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 seatsDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 automatic shifter2014 DODGE Challenger rear seat accessDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 dashboardDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 infotainmentDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 steering wheelDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 steering wheel adjustmentDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 interiorDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 rear seatsDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 front seatsDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 badge on dashboardDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 key fobDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 dashboard instruments2014 DODGE Challenger side viewDODGE Challenger SRT8 3922014 DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 frontDODGE Challenger SRT8 392DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 decalsDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 front grilleDODGE Challenger SRT8 392DODGE Challenger SRT8 392DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 front wheelDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 frontDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 headlightsDODGE Challenger SRT8 3922014 DODGE Challenger SRT8 392DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 decklid spoilerDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 rearSRT8 badge on DODGE Challenger2014 DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 side viewDODGE Challenger side viewDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 driving2014 DODGE Challenger SRT8 392DODGE Challenger SRT8 burnoutBurnout marks - DODGE ChallengerDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 burnoutDODGE Challenger SRT8 392 drivingDODGE Challenger SRT8 dynamic burnoutDODGE Challenger roadtrip