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Charger mpg boost confirmed

by David Zatz on

Dealer materials confirm a major gas-mileage boost for the Dodge Charger V6, from 18 city/27 highway to 20 city/29 highway with the ZF eight-speed automatic. This gas mileage rating is still an estimate, however, with final EPA numbers not yet confirmed.

The Charger V6 will, according to Chrysler reps, also have stronger acceleration than the current five-speed model. V8 models will continue with the five-speed Mercedes WA580 automatic for the time being, but many expect them to also move to the eight-speed or a Mercedes seven-speed in the future. The Hemi would benefit less from the eight-speed automatic because of its wider power band.

This bodes well for improved performance when front wheel drive vehicles gain the nine-speed ZF automatic unveiled today.

The Charger SRT8’s preliminary specs of 465 hp, 465 lb-ft, 0-60 in the “high 4s,” and top speed of 175 mph were reiterated, as well.

An eight speed automatic is a class exclusive for the Charger, and Dodge expects most Chargers sold to be equipped with the six cylinder engines. A new black top edition will arrive late in the year, based on Rallye and Rallye Plus; it will feature 20-inch gloss black wheels, bolstered front seats, performance suspension, paddle shifters, and 500-watt audio with subwoofer, in black, tungsten, and silver.

The eight-speed will not be used on the Dodge Challenger in 2011; Dodge expects most buyers to opt for the Hemi, in any case. Challenger SRT8 is rated at 470 hp and 470 lb-ft.

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