Dodge Challenger SRT-8 (2008): first official pictures | CAR Magazine

Dodge Challenger SRT-8 (2008): first official pictures

Published: 07 February 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

Finally the Dodge Challenger SRT-8 is here. Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show this week the striped orange muscle car is running a Hemi V8. That means 425bhp and 420lb ft from 6.1-litres. Dodge hasn’t yet released any performance figures but hopes for a 0-60mph sprint in the low five second range. Not bad considering this Yank tank weighs 1878kg.

But don’t fret, because the SRT-8 will still smoke its rear tyres (as the pictures show). That’s despite the five-speed auto ‘box. Whether the SRT-8 lives up to its ‘race-inspired, street legal’ tag is another matter.

It’s definitely not a stripped-out racer though. Sat-nav, keyless go, leather and a 522 watt stereo system all feature in the interior. An aura of quality does not. It’s not retro, or particularly nice.

But this car will sell on exterior looks alone. The full-width grille and rear lights, plus the twin hood scoops give the Challenger gorgeous retro styling. Apparently that rear spoiler also produces significant rear downforce.

All 2008 Challengers come in just three colours; the distinctive orange hue, the silver we spotted on a prototype, or black. Each 2008 car also gets a special plaque, and carbonfibre-esque hood stripes. Prices start at a piffling $37,995 (£19,500) but buy one from a UK importer and you’ll be looking at a bill for £40k-plus.

The equivalent V8-powered Mustang starts at $26,080, and doesn’t have the Challenger’s independent rear suspension. Roll on 2009 when Chevrolet’s Camaro goes on sale and we’ll have a three-way V8 fight.

Click on the media player below to see video of the Dodge Challenger in action

This is the default player used to display virally syndicated titles via the Get the Code button.

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large