Many people love muscle cars; however, many are turned away by the fact that you cannot drive the car all year long. Well, Dodge has the answer. The automaker has introduced a 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD to the coupe making it the first ever muscle car with an AWD system. The system is sourced from the Dodge Charger, the model the Challenger shares its platform with. With the AWD system, Dodge is stretching the functional and geographical boundaries of muscle cars. Read along to find out more:
2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD Exterior
The exterior is almost unchanged compared to the outgoing model. It features a similar grille as that of the Challenger SXT Plus. The grille features retro-styled nostrils. The lower part of the grille features a black mesh that improves airflow to cool the power-plant inside. It also comes with round-shaped parking lights while LED headlights flank its sides.
Dodge has retained the car’s short greenhouse that is complimented by narrow windows. This is what gives the model a sinister stance. It also retains the flip-up fuel door that adds to the model’s nostalgia. The same level of styling continues at the rear where the model features revised taillights that remind me of the 1971 Challenger.
The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD rides on 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels. The wheels are wrapped in P235/55R-series tires that suit all-season driving. I understand that the model will be offered with 12 color choices.
2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD Interior
Well, it seems that the new Challenger is all about the AWD system. On the inside, the model continues with minimal changes compared to the standard Challenger. Its seats are wrapped in Nappa leather as standard. The automaker uses bucket seats for the front seats. The seats are also cooled and heated. The driver seat is 4-way powered. The model also features a heated steering wheel that has tilt and telescoping functions. Like the standard Challenger, the new AWD GT comes with a 276-watt amp Alpine audio system and the fan-favorite 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system that integrates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Opting for the GT Interior Package gets you Alcantara seat inserts and a 9-speaker Alpine audio system that features a subwoofer and a 506-watt amp. The package also adds a performance steering wheel. The second package offered for the model is the Super Track Pack, a software-based system that activates the model’s Performance pages as well as launch control features that can even be displayed onto the vehicle’s 7.0-inch TFT that is mounted on the vehicle’s main instrument cluster.
Engine specs and performance
Well, the biggest news is the addition of the AWD system. As said earlier, no other automaker offers an AWD system on its muscle car. Depending on the success of the model, do not be surprised if Chevrolet or Ford follows suit and hook their Camaros or Mustangs respectively with AWD systems. I bet Ford and Chevrolet did not see this coming.
Powering the model is a 3.6 L, Pentastar V-6. The engine produces 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. The model’s induction system combines with its dual exhaust system to help generate around 90% of peak torque from only 1,800 rpm.
The engine is paired with an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission sourced from ZF. This system combines with the Dodge Charger sourced AWD system to send all power to the rear wheels during normal driving. The system automatically transitions power to the front differential when the system detects the slightest wheel spin within milliseconds. The system works independently without any driver input. It is however aided by the GT’s exceptional traction control software.
Price and release date
The 2017 RWD Dodge Challenger GT has an MSRP of $34,490. To get the AWD version, you have to spend an extra $3,400. In essence, the AWD system represents a 10% increase of the RWD model’s price, a pretty sum to pay but it’s worth it, as it transforms the coupe into an all-weather and all-season beast.
The Super Track Pak is available for an extra $695, $995 for the GT Interior Package. For $1,595, audiophiles will get the impressive Harmon Kardon audio system. The Technology Groups is offered for an extra $1,195 while the Driver Convenience groups goes for $1,095.
The decision by Dodge to offer an AWD drive may shoot the Challenger to the top of this segment that is currently occupied by the esteemed Ford Mustang. The new Chevrolet Camaro has also made things in the segment quite exciting.