From what I can see, I like…
We agree. To be shown at the Chicago Auto Show at the start of February 2008, this is the new Dodge Challenger SRT-8. From what we can see there are plenty of of hat-tips to the original, such as the rectangular exhausts the size of letter boxes (although they usually came in pairs) and a rear lip spoiler like the one on the tail of the 1970 Challenger T/A.
The grille is a mean, tight, dark mesh rather than the horizontal bars shown on the 2006 concept. Dustbin-size alloys are still five spokes, but not the deeply recessed style of the unique show wheels. No doubt we can expect some great graphics packages in the old style; the designers were doodling them from day one.
There’s a 6.1-litre HEMI V8 under that long hood (bonnet is such a girly word) and it’ll have been thoroughly fettled by the hot-rodders in the SRT department, so it'll leave the Bullitt Mustang in the dust.
I bet it’s selling like hot cakes…
Oh yes. Chrysler Group dealers have been having a tough time of late, so they were, no doubt, throwing parties to celebrate the books opening for the Challenger SRT8 this past Monday. More than 4300 orders were taken on the first day, and more than 6000 eager owners are now waiting to stomp a foot on the throttle when the car arrives next spring.
‘This is unprecedented,’ said Mark Mallie, Challenger brand manager. ‘Customers were actually coming to us and pushing us, so we thought this was a good time to take pre-sale orders.’
The Challenger comes in black, silver or HEMI Orange. Guess which one is selling best? ‘More than half of the orders are HEMI Orange,’ says Maillie. The suggested retail price is a very reasonable $37,995, making it £18,748 on this side of the Pond, where it almost certainly won’t be coming officially. A massive pity, because it'll look almost as the 2006 concept (above).