Since Dodge introduced its third-generation Challenger in 2008, we"ve tested 19 the them—spanning 11 share powertrains and also one modified powertrain from among the myriad pairings of seven engines, 4 transmissions, and also rear- or all-wheel-drive choices Dodge has actually offered. Somehow, though, us missed among the many popular and also enduring combos: The dodge Challenger 5.7 hem V-8 v an automatic transmission.

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Rectifying this monitor wasn"t easy. An international automotive push fleets have been distilled newly to encompass only the newest and newsiest offerings, yet we managed to source a lovely 2021 evade Challenger T/A model with about 1,500 mile on the odometer indigenous Stellantis" internal company fleet external Detroit.


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If you"re hazy ~ above the T/A nomenclature, it stands for "Trans Am," as in the race series, for which 2,539 Challenger T/As were constructed in 1970 to homologate the car. Each to be powered by a 340-cubic-inch V-8 v "six pack" induction (three two-barrel carbs) that created 290 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of speak (SAE gross).


Nowadays the T/A badge upgrades the level Dodge Challenger 5.7 hem by including a Mopar cold-air intake system complete with illuminated waiting Catcher "headlamps," a sensible hood scoop, black color 9 x 20-inch wheels, and also appearance items like a satin black hood, roof, and also decklid through spoiler, plus side graphics, white gauge faces, and other various goodies. The T/A expenses $3,995 more than the R/T, and no strength bump is connected with the cold-air intake. T/A trim can likewise be ordered on the 6.4-liter 392 Scat Pack and Scat fill Widebody models.


Fortunately, the Stellantis exec who spec"d this 2021 dodge Challenger T/A 5.7 hemi ordered the $3,095 plus package, therefore our latest test car came equipped with the dodge Performance Pages. These allow the driver come tailor assorted drive modes and also to fine-tune the rpm in ~ which the vehicle will launch throughout a "brake torque" (pedal overlap) start. The initial setting of 2,000 rpm resulted in means too much wheelspin on our asphalt track, however when us dialed earlier to 1,000 rpm, the engine bogged on a launch. We completed our best runs through a half-throttle brake-torque at between 1,500 and 1,800 rpm, feathering the accelerator to completely open only after the tires hook up completely. Floorboarding the gas injudiciously outcomes in a tire-smoking early on upshift the kills the run.


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Our ideal run struggle 60 mph in 5.0 seconds and the 4 minutes 1 mile in 13.6 secs at 103.6 mph. That"s nipping at the heels of our last six-speed hands-on Challenger test auto (5.0 and 13.5 in ~ 105.9), but remember the manuals get 4 more hp and 10 extr lb-ft. That 2011 car additionally weighed 122 pounds much less than this one.


Hannibal Lecter can say, "She"s a huge girl—roomy." and heavy: increase 340 pounds ~ above our last Ford Mustang GT 5.0 and 461 pounds top top our critical Chevrolet Camaro SS automatic test cars. Both the Mustang"s 5.0-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8 and the Camaro"s 6.2-liter pushrod V-8 out-muscle the Challenger"s 5.7-liter Hemi—by 88 hp and 20 lb-ft for the revvy Ford, and also by 83 hp and also 55 lb-ft for the bigger-lunged Chevy. And the Challenger cedes two transmission ratios to these 10-speed rivals. So it"s no surprised the other ponies are perkier. The Camaro SS access time its 60-mph and also quarter-mile benchmarks in 4.1 and also 12.4 seconds at 115.8 mph, if the Mustang GT needs simply 3.9 and also 12.1 secs at 118.8 mph.


More than the other ponies, this 2021 dodge Challenger T/A 5.7 hem is a straight-line car—at the very least until you obtain into the widebody variants. Ours Michigan test venue"s braking and also skidpad surfaces may be partly to blame because that this car"s 121-foot avoiding distance indigenous 60 mph and its 0.85 g best lateral tight measurement, however even our last hands-on Challenger"s 112 feet and 0.89 g follow the performance of the automatically Mustang GT (104 and 0.97) and also Camaro SS (103 and also 1.00) by one uncomfortable margin.


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Buyers plainly aren"t hung up on any type of of the over analysis. So far this year, Challenger sales are more than triple those of the Camaro, and they trace the vastly newer Mustang by simply 6 percent. The retrolicious Challenger styling has many features you deserve to enjoy indigenous the driver"s seat. Even if it is it"s the large hood scoop (or engine-mounted optional shaker scoop), the Mopar hood retainer clips, or the huge rear shoulder haunches that you can see conveniently in the rearview mirror, you never forget what you"re driving. Also the instrument panel is retro "70s chic; native the font offered on the gauges to the vintage Challenger manuscript under the right-side wait vent, it"s all an extremely on-brand. The dash is therefore vintage, we can forgive it for having molded-in-plastic stitching, but in reality it supplies real thread.


Those evade Performance Pages provide endless show-and-tell funny when giving rides come like-minded automobile nuts. As soon as you"re simply loafing along, the 5.7-liter typically operates in four-cylinder mode—technology girlfriend can"t gain with the manual, which describes the automatic"s 1-mpg city/2-mpg highway benefit in EPA fuel economy. The Uconnect 4 mechanism ($995) is among the most user-friendly infotainment setups in the biz, and also the nicely bolstered Nappa leather/Alcantara suede power seats are comfy.


On the an unfavorable side, the long, heavy doors make climbing into and also out of the vehicle a consistent headache—especially for those that sit closer to the wheel—and the Challenger"s underlying style is borderline ancient. The huge tires clomp over bumps, developing even much more noise than they do jolting vibration, and the large passenger cell v its huge door openings lacks the rigidity the its more modern competitors. Resolution indigenous the supposedly VGA-grade reverse camera and also the lack of a capless fuel-filler space two an ext clues to the age of this car"s bones. Finally, the cylinder deactivation system creates a lugging sensation and also low-frequency vibration at speeds that placed the engine at 1,500 rpm.

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The 2021 evade Challenger T/A 5.7 Hemi has actually a many going because that it. Tremendous trunk space (remember, it"s really a two-door Charger), cool styling, a vast selection of trim and powertrain choices to suit any kind of purse or purpose, good infotainment, and fun performance-page apps. Basically, unless you"re searching for a four-cylinder or convertible muscle/pony car, there"s more than likely a Challenger that"ll occupational for you. Just tamp down those expectations for dealing with prowess, fuel-sipping economy, bleeding-edge tech, and a supple, quiet ride.


BASE PRICE
2021 evade Challenger T/A Specifications
$41,060
PRICE together TESTED$51,630
VEHICLE LAYOUTFront-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 2-door coupe
ENGINE5.7L/372-hp/400-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION8-speed automatic
CURB weight (F/R DIST)4,200 lb (55/45%)
WHEELBASE116.0 in
LENGTH x broad x HEIGHT197.9 x 75.7 x 57.7 in
0-60 MPH5.0 sec
QUARTER MILE13.6 sec