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Challenger T/A: faithful to 1970?

by David Zatz on

Reaction to the release of the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A has been mixed, with some critical of what they see as a “sticker package” and others praising the performance upgrades and inclusion of both the 5.7 and 6.4 liter Hemis (375 and 485 horsepower).

The Challenger T/A comes with larger, lightweight wheels, high-performance summer tires, a free-flowing cat-back exhaust, cold air intake, and higher performance brakes and wheels (taken from SRT cars) along with their graphics packages.  (See our prior coverage for pricing by model.)

The satin black hood includes a functional cold air intake that feeds the airbox, and is lit by LEDs at night. It has the traditional T/A h

In essence, the 392 version, which has Hellcat wheels, tires, and brakes, with  SRT seats, is the Scat Pack with more upgrades.

The Challenger T/A comes standard with the normally-optional Super Track Pak, which includes a half-inch-lowered suspension,  Bilstein shocks, better brakes, a special stability-control setup, and high performance tires.

T/A Plus and T/A 392 buyers get the Dodge Performance Pages, which provide performance information (e.g. 0-60 and G-force).

The Challenger T/A 392 starts with the T/A Plus and adds the 392 engine, Hellcat-type “headlamp style” cold-air intakes, six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brakes, unique front suspension geometry, P275/40ZR20 Pirellis, 180 mph speedometer, and 220 amp alternator, among other things.

In the end, while all the new parts are “off the shelf” in one way or another — from Mopar or from Hellcats and other SRT cars, with the Track Pak option included — the new cars are indeed higher performance than the standard models, as the original Challenger T/A was. These are not “sticker packages” or cosmetic upgrades; they are mainly performance upgrades with appearance updates included.

The original Dodge Challenger T/A was created for 1970, to qualify for SCCA’s Trans Am racing rules, which required 2,400 regular-production cars. They started with the Highline, and added a  290 horsepower 340 with performance and durability upgrades. Appearance changes included a lift-off fiberglass hood and spoilers.  Suspension upgrades were increased rear camber, G60 tires,   suspensions from the Hemi and 440 Six-Pack cars, K-frames with a skid plate, thicker torsion bars and sway bars, and torque boxes welded ahead of the rear leaf springs. The T/A cars had a fast ratio steering box and differently sized front and rear tires.

The Challenger T/A did not have the most powerful engine you could get — neither the 440 or 426 Hemi were in it. Overall, the new Challenger T/A seems to be in the same spirit as the original.

Now, the Charger Daytona… that might be a different story.

Dive deeper into the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Challenger SRT / Hellcat.

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