For Sale By:Dealer
Exterior Color: Purple
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Number of Doors: 2 Doors
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Motorweek's decades of history on television make it the perfect medium to look back into the automotive past and see how things are different now. It recently added old road test videos to its YouTube channel of the Acura NSX and Toyota Supra, as well as the Ferrari F40. For one of its newest flashback clips, Motorweek has exhumed an affordable five-car challenge of 1986's premiere hot hatches.
By today's standards, this is an eclectic field that features fondly remembered classics like the Volkswagen GTI 16-valve and Acura Integra. However, it also throws in some nearly forgotten contenders like the Dodge Colt Turbo and Ford Escort GT. The angular Toyota Corolla FX16 GT-S rounds out the group.
It's fascinating to watch Motorweek run the quintet through the slalom, down the drag strip and on various roads. What's most striking in this clip is the difference in the definition of a performance car between then and now. With its 16-valve, 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the GTI is the burliest of the contenders with 123 horsepower, but it still takes 8.8 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. By today's standards, that would make it a plain-jane economy car, and not even a particularly quick one.
It was the Ford Mustang that kicked off the retro-styled muscle car renaissance back in 2005, but it was the Dodge Challenger that served as the movement's poster child, with its unabashedly retro looks. Over the years, though, as the Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro were freshened and upgraded, the look of the big Dodge has remained largely consistent since its 2008 debut. For 2015, the Challenger has received a big freshening, boasting strongly revised front and rear ends and (finally, finally, finally) a redesigned interior.
Let's talk about that new cabin first. It's basically been plucked directly from the redesigned Charger, and boasts the same seven-inch IP display. The center stack's miserable, last-gen display has been replaced by an expansive, 8.4-inch UConnect system. Material quality should see a solid boost with the new cabin, as well.
The exterior, meanwhile, sees a revised front fascia with LED halo lights, as well as new grille inserts. A functional shaker hood scoop is a must-have extra on the V8 models, while the back of the car is highlighted by a new set of LED taillights that don't use the "Racetrack" design of Dodge's other models.
NASCAR's Nationwide Series may have switched (in appearance anyway) to muscle cars, but American racing fans know that if they want to see real muscle cars on the street circuits, the only place to look is Trans Am. The all-American racing series is packed with Mustangs, Camaros and even Corvettes. The one thing it's been missing is the Dodge Challenger, but now SRT Motorsports has announced it's bringing its muscle car back where it belongs.
Rather than waiting until next year, the Miller Racing team is switching mid-season to the new Dodge Challenger SRT Trans Am racer you see here, just in time for this weekend's race at Mid-Ohio. And not just that - it's lined up a compelling pair of drivers to pilot it, as well.
The No. 11 car will be driven by Trans Am legend Tommy Kendall, a four-time series champion who's been off the grid since 2004. Backing him up in the No. 1 Challenger will be none other than Cameron Lawrence, the driver who has won five out of six races in the Chevy Camaro so far this season, losing out only once to American racing scion Adam Andretti.