The Modern Dodge Charger, Dodge Charger Daytona, and Dodge Charger SRT8
The 2006-2010 Dodge Charger is based on the LX platform, which also supports the 300C and, modified, the Challenger. Equipped with the Hemi V8, the Charger can race to 60 mph in around 6 seconds. The base engine was originally a 3.5 liter V6, but in mid-2007, the 2.7 liter V6 already in rental use was added to the retail roster. According to Burke Brown, Charger was planned from the start, though it took two years for it to launch.
The Dodge Charger SRT8, with its 425 horsepower (420 lb-ft) 6.1 liter Hemi (Dodge Charger SRT8 test drive), does 0-60 in five seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the mid-16s, and 60-0 braking in about 110 feet. It uses retuned dampers, spring rates, bushings, and anti-sway bars, a half-inch lower ride height, a retuned stability program, and 20 inch wheels with Goodyear Supercar F1 three-season tires (245/45/20 in the front, and 255/45/20 in the rear).
The Charger SRT8 also has Brembo calipers and vented rotors (360 x 32mm discs up front, with 350 x 26mm in the rear). Styling changes include revised that cool the brakes and reduce lift, a hood scoop, a spoiler, and an SRT badge in the blacked-out grille; it's sold in silver, black, and red. The interior has grippy seats, a special steering wheel trim, dark-faced gauges, and an LED display for oil temperature or pressure and tire pressure. The differential and axles have also been upgraded. SRT8 engine details.
As for the name of the car... stratocharger wrote: “When the dealers' association meeting was held and the LXs were shown to them for the first time, the names they were asked to vote on were Intrepid, Magnum, and Enforcer. The dealers overwhelmingly wrote in ‘Charger.’” Ralph Gilles confirmed that “it was never supposed to be called a Charger.”
The 2010 Dodge Charger continued with few changes. The Dodge Charger got standard side airbags and body-color sill cladding, and a chromed grille with black insert on SE. Charger SRT8 continued with 110-foot 60-0 stops, .89 g on the skid pad 0-100-0 in under 17 seconds, and under-5-second 0-60 times. There was LED lighting in the front cup holders and front- and rear-door map pockets. A new 2010 Dodge Charger Rallye replaced the SXT, with more styling cues and better handling; it uses the 3.5-liter V-6 engine, 18-inch aluminum wheels, rear sway bar, and rear deck-lid spoiler. 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels with P245/45R20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A all-season performance tires are available. A Rallye Chrome & Leather package adds leather, shiny wheels, numerous luxury features, and a powerful Boston Acoustics stereo.
The Dodge Charger police car is equipped either the 3.5 V6 or the Hemi V8; the V6 Charger squad is roughly equal to the Crown Victoria in performance, according to the Michigan State Police tests, while the V8 is best in class. Full details on the Charger squad car including agencies that have adopted it.
The Dodge Charger Daytona R/T
The original Dodge Charger spawned a 200-mph supercar, the Dodge Charger Daytona. Meant for NASCAR, it was farmed out to another company which modified the Charger R/T with aerodynamic modifications. A new Dodge Charger Daytona, a tweaked version of the regular Charger, hit the streets in 2006.
The 2006 Charger Daytona R/T had two "updated versions of original colors," Go ManGo! (metallic orange) and Top Banana (yellow). They also had a "chin spoiler" and black honeycomb grille, Daytona and Hemi decals, R/T badging resembling that of the 1970s, a small black rear spoiler, and bright exhaust tips with 18 inch polished wheels. The engine had a Hemi orange cover instead of the plain black one. The interior had suede inserts, Daytona logos on the front headrests, body-color accent stitching, a body-color center stack bezel, and sequentially numbered Daytona badge on the instrument panel. Added creature comforts were dual-zone automatic climate control, heated power front seats, and power-adjustable pedals.
Perhaps more significant for true Daytona fans, the Charger Daytona R/T had a mild horsepower boost - 10 hp - for 350 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, coming from a less restrictive intake and straight-through (instead of three-pass) muffler. The engine comes with multiple displacement, and the Charger comes with stability control, ABS, and traction control. The high-performance suspension package (discussed later on this page) is standard.
Dodge Charger performance, handling, and cornering
The Dodge Charger's short-and Long-arm (SLA) multilink front suspension allowed for tuning of both bushing compliances (to cut road noise) and vehicle dynamic handling performance. The five-link independent rear suspension allows independent tuning of handling and ride comfort so that each can be maximized.
All rear suspension components, except coil springs and shock absorbers, mount on a steel cradle that attaches to the body structure through four large rubber mounts that effectively isolate the passenger compartment from road and axle noise.
Three levels of suspension tuning were available on the Dodge Charger. A standard “touring” package with 17-inch tires included an athletic suspension with nimble steering and handling attributes. Eighteen-inch tires and tuned dampers added performance to HEMI-equipped Dodge Charger models, while an optional Performance Handling Group, has firmer damping and enhanced steering, with wider 18-inch performance tires and Nivomat™ self-leveling shock absorbers. This suspension was tuned to offer slightly more feedback from the road to enhance the glued-to-the-road feel. The package’s performance front seats with perforated suede inserts offer significantly improved lateral control in both the seat cushion and seat back. The Performance Handling Group package also includes a 9-land steering gear.
What is a 9-land steering gear? Chrysler's Joe Grace wrote: "The steering gear for the Charger has a nine land valve which improves steering feel by improved damping characteristics especially in aggressive cornering." Another engineer described it more thoroughly:
"Imagine a shaft that is not round, but has nine sides, and is inside a round tube. That creates 9 separate passages (between the outside flat surfaces of the shaft and the round inner surface of the tube). When the engine is running, power steering fluid enters at the base, and exits through ports in the tube's sides. When you drive straight, there is no power assist because the fluid is passed through the tube tangentially, so all the road feel from the tires come up to the steering wheel. As you enter a turn, at slower speeds, you can turn the wheel faster with less effort because the 9 sides act like a vane pump or pinwheel in a garden sprinkler; the faster the wheel turns, the more fluid passes through, and the more assist you get. In reality it's a little more complicated, but this gets the gist of it across. In my opinion, it is simply a band-aid to a poor, probably Mercedes-based design."
The 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine pushed out 340 horsepower (254 kW) @ 5000 rpm and 390 lb.-ft. torque (525 N•m) @ 4000 rpm (it was power boosted for 2009 ). Dodge Chargers equipped with HEMI engines can go from zero to 60 mph in just 6.0 seconds. The multiple displacement system features fast electronic controls, moving from eight cylinders to four in 40 milliseconds (0.04 seconds). More on the new 5.7 / 6.1 Mopar Hemi engine.
A 3.5-liter High Output V-6 engine had 250 horsepower (186 kW) @ 6400 rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque (340 N•m) @ 3800 rpm. An active three-plenum intake manifold spread power over the entire operating band, with electronic control of the manifold tuning valve and short-runner valves and an Electronic Throttle Control (ETC). 3.5 liter V6 engine.
The five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick provided fully automatic or manual shift selection on the 3.5 and Hemi. The Charger’s transmission uses electronic shift controls and adjusts the hydraulic pressure as needed, with an electronically modulated converter clutch. The clutch provides partial engagement in third, fourth or fifth gears, which improves shift feel, fuel economy, driveability and cooling.
The 2.7 liter engine was added mid-year 2007 and has an output of under 200 horsepower, with a four-speed automatic.
Dodge Charger SRT8 vs Pontiac G8 GXP
The Pontiac G8 was General Motors’ answer to the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger; the GXP version listed at $1,000 below the SRT8. Road and Track tested both vehicles, though they loaded up the Charger with options including the Kicker 13-speaker upgrade (with a weighty subwoofer) and TV. The end SRT8 ended up toting around an extra 170 pounds. The G8 GXP, normally 185 pounds lighter, somehow ended up with the same extra 170 lb, despite only having a sunroof.
The two cars look evenly matched, with similar weights and similar power; the G8 has a six speed automatic, the SRT8 a five speed. The horsepower was close, with the SRT having an extra 10 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque to handle its extra weight.
Handling was identical in the skidpad at .88g; slalom speed was close with the SRT8 having a slight, .8 mph edge. Acceleration was likewise close, with the SRT8 even with the GXP or up to .2 seconds slower in the 0-80 mph range (0-10, 0-20, etc.), but after 80 mph - where the two cars were different by a mere .1 seconds - the GXP increased the edge to .3 - .4 seconds up to 0-120 mph. The SRT hit that in 16 seconds flat, the GXP in 15.7. Quarter mile times were close, with the SRT8 taking 0.1 seconds more (hitting the traps 0.6 mph slower). The SRT8 had around the same braking, taking four more feet from 60 and 1 less foot from 80. Interior noise was also nearly identical.
In the end, with observed gas mileage of 18.5 mpg for the SRT and 17.8 for the GXP — the EPA claims 13/18 for the SRT and 13/20 for the GXP — the two cars look very closely matched indeed. (Thanks to J.P. Joans for the summary.)
2007-2009 Dodge Charger car changes
For 2007, two addition models, the SXT and R/T with all-wheel drive (AWD) were offered. The rear-wheel drive (RWD) SXT remained a package offering. The 2007 model year included a limited production run of Plum Crazy Purple cars, according to Joseph Nunn, with numbered dash plates.
An updated color palette offered eight exterior colors: Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Marine Blue Pearl Coat, Silver Steel Metallic Clear Coat, Steel Blue Metallic Clear Coat, Stone White Clear Coat, TorRed. A new decklid spoiler and 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels were optional on the SXT (RWD) package. An AM/FM/Six-CD/full-map DVD-based navigation radio with GPS was optional on SXT. The Sirius Satellite Radio with first-year subscription was standard on R/T. New 18-inch ultra-bright aluminum wheels were standard on R/T, and new 18-inch chrom-clad aluminum wheels were optional on SXT and R/T (RWD) models. New 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels and 245/45ZR20 all-season performance tires were standard with the DAytona R/T package and Road/Track performance group. An automatic oil change alert, low-rick deployment airbags, and power adjustable pedals were all standard on the R/T.
The Charger SRT-8 got TorRed and Super Bee Special Edition with Detonator Yellow. Inside, the rear seat video with Kicker Mobile Surround Sound was optional.
For 2008, Dodge Magnum and Dodge Charger were refreshed on the outside with a restyled hood for SRT8, optional high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, and new wheels; Magnum got a lowered and stretched front grille, chrome elements added to the front, and dual angled healamps. The interior of both cars was moderately redesigned, with a freshened instrument panel, center console, and door trim; chromed highlights throughout the driver's area; carbon fiber highlights on SRT8; soft touch points throughout the interior, including arm rests on the doors and top of the center console; new seat mounted airbags in addition to side curtain airbags; new radios including MyGIG; Sirius back-seat TV optional; iPod interface on UConnect models; MDs status display (four vs eight cylinders firing) added to Hemi models; and a new tire pressure monitoring system.
The 2009 Dodge Charger got the revised Hemi V8 with variable cam timing, giving it 370 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque (fleet versions have 355 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque). A new all wheel drive system increases gas mileage by 1 mpg, by only connecting the front axle when it's needed.
New tail lamps, standard aluminum wheels on SE, and a rear-window antenna freshened the exteriors; inside, the Charger SE interior was upgraded with better floor mats and silver accents, while the trunk got a cargo net and scuff plate. The SXT with leather and the R/T got LED lights in the map pockets; all models got LEDs in the front cupholders. The EVIC provided an indication of whether the driver was in rear or all wheel drive (on AWD models). R/T models switched to an axle ratio of 2.65:1, while AWD models went to 3.06:1. Finally, a new Super Bee model was added, in Hemi Orange with numbered dash plaques, silver calipers, special wheels and decals, hard-drive stereo, and orange seat accents.
The 2009 Dodge Charger SRT8 got the Dodge Challenger suspension tuning for a nicer ride, along with the new tail lamps. Made standard were dual-zone auto temperature control, automatic headlamps, express up/down windows, remote start, air filtration, and heated front seats; and the front head rests were redesigned. The ABS was recalibrated for less brake knockback, and better gas mileage (no mention of how this was done) lowered the gas tax.
A new Super Bee model was to be added, in Hemi Orange with numbered dash plaques; this package included silver calipers, special wheels and decals, standard hard-drive stereo and orange seat accents.
The other Dodge Chargers
Even the classic 1968-71 Chargers had the 318 available on base models (slant six as a "credit delete option"), with the 440 standard only on R/T and Daytona...and the Hemi only available as an option. The "personal luxury" Charger SE does not seem to have affected the Charger's reputation any more than those 100-horsepower sixes; nor has the Omni-based Charger, which at the time was a performer. The early, boxy Chargers seem to have been forgotten. (Australians also had a Valiant-based Charger whose triple-carbed straight-six engine made it the fastest Australian production car for decades, and the most successful racing car in New Zealand history).
Dodge Charger’s rear structure was designed so that the spare tire rotates out of the way during a rear impact. The manual-adjust steering column used two hydroformed coaxial tubes that move relative to each other, which allows the column to move forward for enhanced energy absorption during a crash.
The 2006 Dodge Charger received the government’s highest rating
for frontal-impact crash protection. Low-volume production (200 vehicles) for quality testing began as early as December 2004, most of those cars used as “fast feedback” test units.
Chrysler hypes up the Dodge Charger's styling
The front end of the Dodge Charger carries the Dodge look of bold, powerful, capable, and street smart. Dodge DNA can be seen in the bold grille and Viper-like eyes. The profile of a fast roof and strong shoulders grab the attention of muscle car enthusiasts, while the Dodge Charger’s performance, handling and power complete the package. Even when sitting idle, the car looks menacing, ready to move at a moment’s notice, hinting at the power beneath the bulging hood.
The Charger’s rear decklid has the effect of a race-car-like, sheered-off cam tail. This gives the car a no-nonsense appeal and improved aerodynamics. The fast backlite is flanked by sculpted pillars, which hint at the flying buttress C-pillars of past Chargers. With its aggressive roofline, bold rear fender forms over the rear wheels, distinctive tapered side-glass opening and flush door handles, the new Dodge Charger is truly a four-door sports coupe.
The Dodge Charger offers seating that is more than two inches higher than the Intrepid/Concorde/300M for a better command of the road, without compromising headroom.
Inside, the Dodge Charger sports a driver-oriented cockpit designed with a performance mindset. The car features a sleek instrument panel and Viper-inspired tunneled gauges highlighted with white faces and silver-colored accent rings. The instrument cluster’s electroluminescent display is easy-to-read in all lighting conditions.
A two-tone interior color scheme featuring a darker upper color and a lighter lower color provide the cabin with an open feeling and surround the driver with a sporty, functional yet simple environment.
Fabric and leather are both available. Exterior colors are two shades of silver (one a new color called "steel silver"), red, black, "magnesium pearl," "midnight blue pearl," and white.
|Classic Dodge Chargers||Origins of the Hemi||2011 Dodge Chargers|
|Charger Daytonas: 180 mph||New Hemi||Dodge Charger squad cars|
|Magnum (Charger SE)||426 Hemi||Australian Chrysler Valiant Chargers|
|Dodge and Plymouth at NASCAR||440 engines||The 2005+ LX Large Cars|
|Insider history: the first Chargers||Other Engines||South American Valiant Chargers|
|Charger History||Transmissions||Four-Cylinder Chargers|
|“photochopped” Chargers||1999 Dodge Charger R/T Concept|
2006 Dodge Charger pricing and specifications
Pricing for 2006 models started at $22,995 for the Charger SE. The 2006 Dodge Charger SXT, at $25,995, added a split folding rear seat, power driver's seat, fog lamps, premium sound system, and heated mirrors. The Hemi (Dodge Charger R/T) started at $29,995, including all SXT features and touring suspension, 18" aluminum wheels, heated folding mirrors, leather, and dual exhaust. The limited edition Daytona is $32,495. Fleet buyers and Canadians could get a cheaper Charger with a 2.7 liter V6.
V6: 250 hp (186 kW) at 6,400 rpm; 250 lb-ft (340 Nm) @ 3,800 rpm. Prefers midgrade (89 octane). Regular's OK.
V8 (: 340 hp (254 kW) @ 5,000 rpm; 390 lb-ft (525 Nm) @ 4,000. Prefers midgrade (89 octane). Regular's OK.
V8 power increased in 2009 to 370 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque (fleet versions have 355 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque).
Gear ratios: 3.58, 2.19, 1.41, 1.00, 0.83; reverse, 3.17; final drive ratio, 2.87 V6, 2.82 Hemi; OTGR, 2.38 V6, 2.34 V8
|2005/06 models||Chrysler 300||Dodge Charger||2000 Intrepid||Camry|
|0-60 (3.5 / Hemi)||8.5/6.4||8.9/6.0||7.6/n.a.||8.3 (V6/Stick)
|Mileage (3.5/Hemi)||17/27; 17/25||19/27; 17/25||18/26; n.a.||20/28 (V6 Auto)|
|Weight||3,700 - 4,000 lb||3,800 (V6) - 4,031 (V8)||3,446-3,556 lb||3,340|
|Weight distribution||53/47 (V6)||53/47 (V6), 54/46 (V8)||64/36||n/a|
|Interior volume||106.6 cubic feet (122.2 EPA)||104 cubic feet (120.2 EPA)||107.6 cubic feet
|102 cubic feet
(reg. / EPA)
|Cargo volume||15.6 cubic feet (442 L)||16.2 cubic feet (460L)||18.7 cubic feet (530L)||16.7 cubic feet|
|Built in...||Brampton, Ontario||Kentucky|
|Front head room||38.7 (983)||38.7 (983)||38.3 (974)||39|
|Front leg room||41.8 (1061)||41.8||42.1 (1070)||42|
|Front shoulder room||59.4 (1510)||59.3||59.1 (1500)||57.5|
|Front hip room||55.9 (1420)||56.2||56.4 (1431)||54|
|Seat travel||10.6 driver, 8.7 passenger||10.6 driver, 8.7 passenger||8.7 (220)|
|Rear head room||38.0 (965)||36.2||37.2 (945)||38|
|Rear leg room||40.2 (1020)||40.2||41.6 (1056)||38|
|Rear knee clearance||4.8 (122)||4.5||5.9 (151)|
|Rear shoulder room||57.7 (1466)||57.6||58.3 (1482)||57|
|Rear hip room||55.9 (1421)||55.5||56.8 (1442)||54|
All models have standard four-wheel antilock brakes with traction control, electronic stability control, and electronic brake assist.
Levels as of 2006
Dodge Charger SE has a 3.5 liter V-6 engine. It included:
The Dodge Charger SXT added machined-face aluminum wheels, an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat and 60/40 split folding rear seat with center armrest, fog lamps, and visor mirror lamps.
The Dodge Charger R/T added the Hemi engine, 18 inch aluminum wheels, a larger 19-gallon fuel tank, six Boston Acoustics speakers with a 276-watt digital amplifier, dual tailpipes, heated mirrors, leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a tire pressure monitor. Optionals included:
Remember the rumors?
Thanks to Chris (E8502) for collating Dodge Charger rumors and updating this page in the pre-launch days.