The 2008-2010 Dodge Challenger cars (SE, R/T, and Challenger SRT8)
Dodge Challenger cars (2008, 2009, 2010)
For 2010, the five-speed automatic finally replaced the four-speed across the board, and a deceleration fuel cutoff should improve gas mileage on both automatics and sticks. Super Track Pack is confirmed an R/T option with the manual transmission, including summer tires. Stability control is standard on all models; automatic headlights with LED cup holder and door-handle lights are standard on R/T. Changes to the Challenger SRT8 were new limited edition Plum Crazy and Furious Fucshia models, serialized dash plaque, and plum accent seat-stripe insert.
The Hemi had a six-speed manual option which achieved the same gas mileage as the automatic. Confirmed were a late-availability Super Track Pack option for R/T, UConnect multimedia with Sound Group I and II, steering wheel audio controls with Multimedia and Navigation, standard stability control on SE, and automatic headlights with LED cup holder and door-handle lights standard on R/T.
The long-rumored 6.4 liter engine finally showed up for SRT, midyear. One anonymous source claimed Hemi Orange had been dropped. There was reportedly a new Detonator Yellow color late in the year.
The 2011 Dodge Challenger SE’s mileage and power improved with the Pentastar V6 engines, generating 280 horsepower or more.
Gas mileage for the Dodge Challenger V8 is good for a car of its size and power, with the 5.7 liter Hemi getting 16 mpg city, 23 highway (automatic; the manual transmission drops down to 15 city, 23 highway, and requires premium rather than midgrade gas). On the highway, you can maintain 27 mpg if you have the stick.
When the new, bigger 6.4 liter SRT8 engine debuts, in midyear 2010 according to sources, it will have cylinder deactivation, helping real world gas mileage. The Challenger SE, with 3.5-liter V-6, is rated at 18/25. On the highway, at a straight 75 mph with the manual transmission, you can get 27 mpg with the Hemi.
Powering the Dodge Challenger R/T is a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine producing 370 horsepower (276 kW) with a five-speed automatic (375 hp, or 280 kW, with the six-speed manual transmission). The Hemi V8 belts out 398 lb-ft (540 Nm) of torque (404 lb-ft / 548 Nm with manual), and the Challenger R/T can do 0-60 in under six seconds.
Special Dodge Challengers
We have separate sections on the:
- Furious Fuchsia cars, Hurst Challenger, Challenger R/T Classic, SEMA V-10 Dodge Challenger
- Super Stock Dodge Challenger Drag Pack and Challenger 1320
- Mr. Norm’s Super Challenger and Super ’Cuda
- Moparized Dodge Challenger
- Dodge Challenger police cars
- SMS 570 and SMS 570X (street legal cars with supercharged Hemi engines)
- NASCAR Challenger
- ... and reviews:
Engines and transmissions
For 2009, the Hemi engine was upgraded to get higher gas mileage and more power, especially at lower engine speeds, thanks to variable cam timing, an expanded MDS range, an increased compression ratio, improved port flow, and reduced restriction exhaust and induction. Other updates are crankshaft structural upgrades, a dual-mass crankshaft damper, floating pin piston design, valve spring design and oil pump capacity increase for VVT.
The 3.5 liter V6 uses a dual-tuned intake manifold with electronically controlled manifold short-runner valves (SRV) — in other words, switching from short to long runners to achieve a “supercharging” effect at various engine speeds.
|2008-2010 Dodge Challenger cars||Horsepower (kW)||Torque: lb-ft (Nm)||mpg|
|Challenger SRT-8||425 (317) @ 6200||420 (569) @ 4800|
|Challenger R/T manual||375 (280) @ 5,800||404 (548) @ 4,200||15/24|
|Challenger R/T auto||370 (276) @5,800||398 (540) @4,200||16/23|
|Challenger SE||250 (186) @ 6,400||250 (339) @ 3,800||18/25|
C/R = Compression Ratio. Manual R/T is LEVII/Tier 2, Bin 5; Auto R/T is ULEVII/Tier 2, Bin 4; mpg is EPA estimate. • More specs / compare to the 2011 Dodge Challenger
The six-speed Tremec TR-6060 manual transmission was derived from the 600 horsepower 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10, with triple cone synchronizers in first and second gears and dual cone synchronizers for third through sixth gears, along with modifications including new gear ratios. The clutch is the Viper’s (ZF-Sachs) 250 mm twin-disc design for torque capacity and clutch life, low pedal efforts, excellent engagement qualities and optimized spinning inertia; it features a 1-4 skip-shift and reverse inhibit solenoids, with a 5:1 remote shifter.
Hill Start Assist (HSA) is standard with the manual transmission; it holds the brake for three seconds and allows the driver to seamlessly apply torque via throttle for an effortless start. The brake automatically releases when the system senses engine torque. Also included with the manual transmission is a unique dual exhaust that has two low-restriction bottle resonators replacing the underfloor muffler, and bright pedals.
The manual-transmission Challenger R/T has many differences from the automatic, including a variable displacement power steering pump, different rear shocks, and other tuning changes — and the ability to shut off the ESP completely, rather than having it in “rescue” mode. Gas mileage is lower than the automatic, because it cannot have the multiple-displacement system (cylinder shutoff). A special-edition Dodge Challenger Classic R/T will be available later in the 2009 model year, with B5 blue paint, black side stripes, unique badging, and 20-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels.
The five-speed automatic (V8) has an aggressive first-gear ratio for launch performance, and AutoStick to select a higher or lower gear. The four-speed automatic (V6) provides adaptive electronic control with an electronically modulated converter clutch (EMCC) that nearly eliminates torque converter slippage and enhances fuel economy up to 3%. Torque management is more sophisticated, for better wide-open throttle up-shifts and down-shifts.
Gear ratios for each transmission are listed under “specifications.”
There was an problem with some manual transmission cars fouling the plugs on cylinder #7 (ECM code P0307). The issue appeared to be sensor calibration, nothing mechanical; and it was fixed with a computer update.
Brakes and suspension
The Dodge Challenger R/T with a manual transmission has a variable displacement power steering pump which reduces fluid temperatures while decreasing the parasitic losses to achieve improved fuel economy (0.2 mpg); all Challengers have speed-sensitive power steering.
The front suspension is an independent short-long arm design with a high upper A arm, coil spring over gas-charged shocks and stabilizer bar, with lateral and diagonal lower links; the SRT-8 uses Bilstein monotube shocks. The rear suspension is a five-link independent setup with coil springs, link-type stabilizer bar, shock absorbers, and isolated suspension cradle; the SE and R/T (with automatic) use gas-charged twin shock absorbers, while the SRT-8 uses Bilstein monotube gas-charged shock absorbers, and the R/T with manual transmission uses gas-charged monotube Nivomat load-leveling shocks. SE doesn't get the fancy chrome fuel filler door; and the SRT uses a half-inch lower ride height. For 2009, SRT engineers fine-tuned suspension settings for both performance tires.
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all models. Ducts in the front fascia direct airflow to the front brakes, which reduces front-brake temperatures by as much as 15% in heavy use for enhanced performance and longer life. Brake pads are tuned to match the characteristics of each Dodge Challenger model.
- The Dodge Challenger SRT8 uses Brembo four-piston calipers on all four wheels, for a 60 to zero mph stopping distance of approximately 110 feet.
- The Challenger R/T uses twin-piston aluminum calipers and vented rotors in the front and single-piston aluminum calipers with vented rotors in the rear, for a 60 to zero mph stopping distance of approximately 125 feet.
- Finally, Dodge Challenger SE uses single-piston aluminum calipers and vented rotors in the front and single-piston aluminum calipers with solid rotors in the rear. These brakes have a larger effective radius than many competitive systems, providing a 60 to zero mph stopping distance of approximately 130 feet.
Four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control with brake assist are all standard on R/T, SRT8, and, when the Popular Equipment Package is ordered, on the SE.
The SE’s Popular Equipment Package will probably be popular indeed; it includes anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
with traction control and brake assist, 18-inch aluminum wheels, tires better than those found on economy cars, eight-way power driver’s seat,
fog lamps, luxury ﬂoor mats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, security alarm, and
dual-illuminated visor mirrors.
The popular equipment package for the R/T is less to the point: it includes leather, six-speaker stereo with big amp, satellite radio, heated front seats, “luxury floor mats,” keyless ignition, seatback map pocket, automatic headlights, and heated otuside mirrors.
Track Pak includes a six-speed manual transmission, Hill Start Assist, anti-spin differential (3.73 w/18-inch, 3.92 w/20-inch wheels), and ESP full-off switch.
2008-2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8
The list price for the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 was just under US $38,000, including destination:
- 0-60 in 4.9 seconds; quarter mile, 13.3 second
- Zero to 100 mph and back in under 17 seconds
- 60-0 braking of 110 feet
- Skid pad performance of 0.88 g
With a 116-inch wheelbase, the Challenger coupe is four inches shorter than the Charger and 300C; it has a brake-lock differential, all-speed traction control, and specially tuned stability control. The manual transmission cost $695 - less than the gas guzzler tax.
The 2009 Dodge Challenger SE (V6, late production) started at $21,995, while the Challenger R/T (Hemi) started $29,995 and the SRT-8 started at $39,995. Popular options for the SRT8, according to “CudaAAR,” included a sunroof, $950; MyGIG with GPS, $890; high-performance tires, $50.
Dodge Challenger SE Rallye
The 2009 Challenger SE Rallye added a five-speed automatic transmission and new trim to the V6-powered Challenger, and started at $26,490. Additions were 18 inch wheels, a spoiler, chromed fuel door, and faux carbon fiber interior accents. It was the first V6 Challenger to have accented dual stripes, the first V6 Challenger to step up from a four-speed automatic, and the first Challenger to have deck lid stripes.
Combinations on the Challenger SE Rallye included...
- Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl—with Dark Gray dual stripes and Red accent stripes
- Bright Silver Metallic—with Dark Gray dual stripes and Red accent stripes
- Deep Water Blue Metallic—with White dual stripes and Red accent stripes
- Inferno Red Crystal Pearl—with Black and Dark Gray accent stripes
- TorRed—with Black dual stripes and Dark Gray accent stripes
- Dark Titanium Metallic—with Black dual stripes and Red accent stripes
- Stone White—with Black dual stripes and Red accent stripes
The V-6 engine was rated at 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, with 250 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque. The V6 Challenger has been praised for its balance; the five-speed automatic, with an aggressive first gear ratio, should provide greater responsiveness.
Dodge Challenger in person
The Challenger has undeniable presence, whether up on a rotisserie, in photos, in video, or in person, where each color - but especially the orange - looks phenomenal, low, wide, and lean. The large running lights provide a neat touch of color and a unique look. The tail is excellent, with full-length, even lighting around a single backup-lamp bar. It is amazing that the designers were able to get approval for the full-length tail-lights, the single-bar reverse light, and the real coup de résistance, the separate sidelights (later copied by the Camaro) and dual-headlight-style grille. The main battle was reportedly to get approval for the grille without the trademark Dodge crosshairs.
Christopher Nowak, senior manager of the RWD product team and lead engineer on the Challenger “base car,” was enthusiastic about what he described as the superior combination of ride and handling; the SRT8 Challenger should be considerably better as a daily driver than current SRT8s, due to new tuning of the suspension. It's a car that you can live with every day.
The R/T and SE seats are comfortable and supportive, with a more classic appearance and less aggressive side bolsters than the SRT8. Getting into the back seat is fairly easy from the passenger side, thanks to the high position of the seatback tilt-n-slide control, though you have to duck under the seat belt (or disconnect it from its seat loop). The driver's seat has no tilt-and-slide control and it's harder to get in on that side.
The interior of each model has subtle changes, as chrome is selectively removed; the R/T does not get the SRT's performance metrics, and the SE has a dechromed logo above the glove compartment. The trim changes patterns as one gets moves around in the price range. None of the three interiors looks or feels cheap; the SE provides a solid value, especially compared with the smaller Mustang. The stick-shift Challenger gets chromed pedal covers with rubber grips.
Dodge Challenger Suspension
The unibody Dodge Challenger has a multilink short and long arm (SLA) front suspension. The front suspension cradle combines hydroformed steel tube side rails with a stamped box section lateral member for stiffness. The multilink SLA suspension allowed engineers to tune bushings to reduce vibration and noise, while maintaining performance.
The Dodge Challenger SRT8 sports a five-link Independent Rear Suspension (IRS); multiple links maintain independent control of camber and toe. Lowering unsprung mass improves the ride while decoupling left and right wheels maintains better tire contact and ride comfort. Stabilizer bar attachments to the knuckles provide maximum response to vehicle lean. For 2008, SRT-exclusive fully-forged 20-inch Alcoa aluminum wheels with 4-season Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires were standard; three-season Goodyear F1 Supercar tires were optional.
The 6.1 Hemi matched the horsepower of the legendary “Street Hemi.” The transmission is an electronically controlled five-speed automatic, with a lockup torque converter and AutoStick. Three sets of planetary gears provide the individual transmission ratios, while six friction clutches and two overrunning clutches select them. As with other SRT8 models, an aggressive first gear ratio provides outstanding launch performance. AutoStick gives the driver the ability to select a higher or lower gear while the transmission controller calibration prevents fuel shutoff during power shifts.
Electronic control and engine torque management provide smooth full-throttle launches, quick wide-open-throttle up shifts, and quick, smooth two-step, kick-down shifts. An electronically modulated converter clutch improves gas mileage.
Braking is delivered via a specially designed system. All four wheels are equipped with red, painted Brembo calipers that feature four pistons for even clamping performance. 360 x 32mm vented rotors are found up front and 350 x 26mm vented rotors are in the rear. When the stability control registers over .6 g, the pads automatically go closer to the discs for instant action.
The drag coefficient of 0.353 (9.01 CdA) is fairly high for a modern car, and similar to the 300C SRT8 (at 0.355).
Dodge Challengers in Canada: SXT, SRT8 500, and more
Canadian buyers had two models featured only in the Great White North: the Dodge Challenger SRT8 500 and SXT (thanks, Geo Nazos). The SXT is essentially the SE with an option package. The SRT8 500, only available for 2008, had a certificate of authenticity, carbon fibre hood striples, Kicker 13-speaker audio, 6-disc DVD radio, UConnect, alarm, and badging.
2008 Dodge Challenger styling and such
Three colors were sold in 2008: orange, silver, and black. Each 2008 SRT8 had a numbered dash plaque.
The lead exterior designer was Jeff Gale, the famous Tom Gale’s son, and owner of a classic Road Runner. He said, “We used the original Challenger as an inspiration. The side mirrors actually started with a mold from the mirrors of an original Challenger. We tweaked a few details for fit and finish, then put them through our modern aerodynamic testing metrics and ended up with a body-mounted mirror that is remarkably similar visually to the original, but offers significantly better aerodynamic performance.”
Brian Nielander, manager of design for the Dodge Challenger, wrote, “The dark headliner was very important to us when designing the interior. It not only stays true to the original Challenger, but it also gives a sinister, more businesslike atmosphere.” Many interior themes were based directly on the original 1970 Dodge Challenger.
A fascia directs air around the front of the vehicle, dual snorkel hood scoops brought cooling air into the engine compartment, and ducted air cooled the brakes.
Interior Dodge Challenger SRT8 highlights included leather seats with added bolstering and an orange accent stripe, stitched accents, gauges with tachometer and 180 mph speedometer in the center, and an SRT-exclusive Reconfigurable Display (RCD) with Performances Pages that provide drivers instant feedback on 0–60 mph time, 60–0 mph braking, g-forces and ¼-mile time. Standard on the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 was a 13-speaker Kicker High Performance audio system with a 322-watt amplifier and 200-watt subwoofer, and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
The Charger’s "big bulgy edges" styling has been dramatically toned down, leaving a plain but generally inoffensive appearance. The Challenger uses the new chrome-ringed climate controls, which are both attractive and functional; the performance indicators are in the lower half of a gauge pod.
Dodge Challenger Specifications
- Dodge Challenger Specifications
- Dodge Challenger interior and features
- Specialty Dodge Challengers (production, concept, and aftermarket)
- Dodge Challenger police cars
One Lap of America
Some of you may remember Mopar Action’s Rick Ehrenberg winning the One Lap of America in his Plymouth Duster. Some may remember the film Vanishing Point with its white Dodge Challenger. The two were put together in 2008 by Ralph Gilles and vehicle dynamics supervisor Erich Heuschele with a modified pre-production SRT8; however, despite dressing the part, after a good result on the skid-pad, they lost control of the Challenger around a turn and crashed it badly enough that it was no longer in the running.
Repairs and issues
TSB 18-006-09, dated February 11, 2009, notes that a computer “flash” upgrade is free, under warranty, for customers with 6.1 liter engines and manual transmissions built before February 6, 2009 (MDH 0206xx). This prevents unnecessary engine-light activation for cylinder 7 misfires (P0307) and may prevent the misfires themselves, smoothing the idle.
Other 2009 Dodge Challenger news and rumors, and more
- We’ve moved the Dodge Challenger concept car to its own page.
- The 2011 Dodge Challenger has its own page now
- oh20 got a 100% for an incredible level of Challenger detail, as did our other anonymous source who predicted the interior and exhaust. The accuracy and detail oh20 provided months in advances was simply amazing, especially given that he brought out the Trak Pak and HSA before anyone else had a clue.
- Challenger convertibles were to be added in the 2010 model year. This explains the front seat belt mounts, are mounted ragtop-style instead of being bolted to the bottom of the B post (Courtesy oh20; first released at allpar). The convertible was reportedly cancelled in light of cash and engineer shortages.
Trivia: Stutz had Hill Start Assist (they called it the Noback) in 1929.
2008-09 Dodge Challenger sales figures by color, model, and transmission
For 2008, 7,051 Dodge Challengers (all SRT8 models) were built for North America: 6,400 for the US, 500 for Canada, 151 for Mexico. 4,137 were orange, 2,207 were black, and 708 were silver. (Geographical distribution was posted at Allpar and both geography and color were printed by Mopar Muscle.)
SE is LCDH22, R/T is LCDP22, SRT8 is LCDX22. Some of these colors (e.g. B5 Blue) were not generally available or were only available for part of the year. Hemi Orange and B5 Blue were not available on Challenger SE. The four-speed automatic was dropped for the 2010 model year. Many thanks to Mike V. for providing this information.
|2009 Challengers||4-Speed||5-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Manual||Total|
|Deep Water Blue||951||3||898||901||450||450||2,302|
Total by model: 8,031 Challenger SE; 14,883 Challenger R/T; 8,586 SRT8.
The Brampton facility makes the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300C on one line, eliminating the need for separate conveyor lines for each product. Forty-two robots were added in the Body Shop to weld the Challenger’s unique body sub-assemblies.
Pre-production cars were built and tested on the regular assembly line, without interfering with production. Flexible manufacturing of this type was first used in the launch of the 2001 minivans at the Windsor Assembly Plant.