2008 Dodge Avenger SE, 4 cylinder, Automatic, Power windows, power locks, power mirrors
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Auto blogSun, 28 Sep 2014 14:00:00 EST
$60,000 doesn't strike us as a lot to pay for a muscle car with 707 horsepower on tap. $825,000... now that's a different story. But, according to the official SRT blog, that's how much one generous and eager buyer paid for the privilege of getting his (or her) hands on the very first new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Decked out in Stryker Red paint that's usually reserved for the Viper, the supercharged Challenger bearing the VIN 0001 went up for auction at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas on Saturday under the auspices of Barrett-Jackson. By the time bidding ended, the gavel dropped at $825,000 - nearly 14 times the sticker price - 100 percent of which will benefit Opportunity Vehicle, a charity that aids the intellectually handicapped in the Las Vegas Area.
Chrysler owners are hopping mad after experiencing a series of electrical gremlins in some of the company's vehicles. Issues range from mere annoyances - windows rolling down and radios turning off of their own accord - to serious safety issues, with headlights that randomly shut off at night and cars that stall and refuse to start.
The issues are being blamed on the total integrated power module, which can cost up to $1,000 for customers to replace. This, of course, has led to a hefty batch of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with 240 owners expressing their displeasure so far. Another site, CarComplaints.com, has registered over 300 complaints relating to the 2010 to 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, alone, according to The New York Times.
Chrysler has acknowledged that it's investigating the complaints and is analyzing the faulty TIPMs, but that isn't quite enough for customers of the affected vehicles. The newspaper has snagged a few of the more harrowing tales with the electrically challenged Chrysler products, culled from the NHTSA complaints.
The annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas can often be a sensory overload of overwrought madness, with cars that don't even look drivable anymore. But every once in a while, a modestly modified show car graces our presence, like the customized Dodge Durango you see here, which, in addition to giving us our first glimpse at the aftermarket possibilities for the refreshed-for-2014 model, proves that a car doesn't have to be slammed, scooped, donked and Lambo-doored to have presence.
Sure, this Durango has custom hood inserts, dark 22-inch wheels and custom fender flares, but as far as external modifications go, that's it. Inside, Dodge has fitted new door sill guards, an ambient lighting kit, bright pedals, premium floor mats and - of course - Katzkin leather. The automaker has even added wireless internet connectivity as part of the excellent Uconnect infotainment system.
Performance upgrades are minimal on this Durango R/T, which comes packed with Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Larger brakes have been fitted, as have lowering springs (though it certainly doesn't look that much lower) and a custom exhaust.