Dodge Challenger T/A — More performance from Dodge

By David Finkelstein

It seems that with every new version of the Dodge Challenge we're seeing an undeniable pattern of sought-after performance cars being cultivated. A great example would be the new 2017 Challenger T/A Sports Coupe. The version I had “seat time” with was equipped with their standard 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine producing 375-horsepower. It came with Dodge's all-new electronically controlled active performance "throaty" exhaust system.

Production of the Challenger T/A models began last fall, aimed at car enthusiasts wanting quick acceleration and contemporary styling. As Fiat/Chrysler reminds me, this attractive automobile was initially built for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Trans Am racing series back in 1970 with only 2,399 ever manufactured. At that time, it was considered one of the most sought after muscle cars of all time.

Legendary inspired exterior appointments evoke a new satin black painted hood, front fascia assembly, roof line and deck-lid graphics - all paired with the T/A bodyside stripes. The revised wheel center caps also feature the Dodge signature stripes mounted on the wider, 20 x 9-inch Mopar lightweight forged-aluminum wheels. They are also finished with an attractive Hyper Black painted texture.

There is a unique Challenger front grille badge plus a black fuel-filler door lid with heritage “FUEL” lettering in clear view, coupled with a black deck-lid spoiler that also includes additional Challenger T/A badging. For an even bolder throwback look to the original 70's model, factory-installed “hood secure hitch pins” are available along with the all-new and limited-production Green Go and Yellow Jacket paint color palette.

Functional performance is enhanced with special hardware which includes the new “air catcher” assembly. The ducted hood is designed to force air to a modified SRT Hellcat air box with a Mopar conical air filter engineered to optimizes cold air intake through two signature fresh-air inlet housings.

“Ram” or “forced” air intake isn't new in the racing community, however it's unusual to see this enrichment as a factory extra.

A “Super Track Pak” feature is added for a full complement of race-bred chassis upgrades, including a 0.5-inch lowered suspension system linked with high-performance Bilstein shock absorbers, performance brake linings, three-mode electronic stability control with driver input calibration and high-performance Goodyear Eagle F1 style tires.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while the innovative TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission is available and includes Sport mode with paddle shifters. Fuel saving built-in technologies are included such as the applied science interactive de acceleration fuel shut-off feature.

Authentic aluminum interior bezels combined with varying degrees of blackened trim appointments provide Challenger T/A with a racing inspired cockpit. Premium performance seats with signature hounds tooth cloth inserts give the driver and front passenger greater lateral support. The performance steering wheel features attention-getting contouring and for that added retro styling, the dash gauge cluster features a bright white concave face and gloss black details. Premium, velour-bound floor mats with the embroidered Dodge logo is also included.

The 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A model has a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $37,390. The model lineup builds on it's notable lineage with two additional track-capable models — all loaded with unique appointments and performance extras.

The added variety includes their Challenger T/A Plus model and the Challenger T/A 392 version. The Challenger T/A Plus model’s include exclusive heated and ventilated Nappa leather performance seats in black with tungsten accent stitching and the embroidered “T/A” logo.

The all-new fourth-generation Uconnect 8.4 system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integrations include faster startup time, enhanced processing power and bright vivid imagery plus higher resolution with sharper graphics also included.

Dodge Performance leather-wrapped steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescoping column and six premium speakers together with a 276-watt digital amplifier are also included.

The Challenger T/A Plus model has a starting U.S. MSRP of $40,140. With a factory MSRP of $43,995, the Challenger T/A 392 includes their best-in-class 485 horsepower, 6.4-liter (392 cu in) V8 engine designed to rocket the car from 0-60 mph in just over 4 seconds.

Other performance features include ultra-high performance Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes with vented rotors, unique front suspension geometry, all-new 20 x 9.5-inch forged aluminum wheels finished in low gloss black, P275/40ZR-20 Pirelli performance tires, “392” fender decals, 180-mph primary speedometer, electronically controlled active performance exhaust system and a heavy-duty 220-amp high-output alternator.

All prices exclude $1,095 destination charges. Challenger is often cross shopped with the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro.