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Vehicle Preview: 2020 Dodge Challenger

For decades, you could distill the Dodge Challenger into the same key three ingredients. Every Challenger must have two doors, aggressive style and abundant amounts of power. The 2020 model is perhaps the most accomplished of all its predecessors at combining all of those ingredients into a delicious, flavorful muscle car dish.

Exterior and interior design

As with all Challengers from this generation, the 2020 model’s cool factor is through the roof. The recipe is no secret: It’s directly inspired by the 1970s Challengers, with the same deeply set, wide grille and headlights, wide haunches and a long, long hood. If you can believe it, the car and its tires get even wider with the available Widebody version, which looks truly muscular. Inside, you’re looking at big bucket seats, durable hound’s tooth cloth and a small rear seat that’s better used as a supplemental storage area than for hauling around passengers. Every Challenger is highly customizable, so if you want unique graphics and colors, exclusive wheels and performance packages that add shakers and hood scoops, there’s only your wallet to stop you.

Hair-raising performance

There are a lot of available powertrains in the 2020 Dodge Challenger, so strap in. In the base Challenger SXT and Challenger GT, you get a 3.6-liter V6 producing 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque, which is already a healthy dose of power for not a lot of money. Power can be distributed to either the rear wheels or all four wheels, and while novice drivers may be satisfied by the V6, it will more likely whet their appetite for the V8 offered in the Challenger R/T — a rumbling, 375-hp, 5.7-liter beast that gets supplanted by an even rumblier and beastlier 6.4-liter unit in the R/T Scat Pack, this one producing 485 hp and pulling the Challenger from 0-60 mph in a blistering 4.4 seconds.

As if that weren’t enough, there are still two upgrades to go. The Challenger SRT® Hellcat adds a supercharger to that last V8 to raise horsepower to 717, and the Challenger SRT® Hellcat Redeye brings horsepower up yet again, this time to a hair-raising 797. With an eight-speed automatic transmission, it runs from 0-60 mph in only 3.4 seconds, and covers the quarter mile in less than 11 seconds.

Modern amenities

The 305-hp, V6-powered 2020 Dodge Challenger SXT starts at under $30,000, but it’s more than just a performance bargain. The base Challenger also comes with dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels and a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ smartphone compatibility. And at every trim level, there’s an assortment of features and options that make the upgrade titillating, even before you take into account the performance increase. Material quality is impressive at the top of the line, but even on the SXT the fit-and-finish is above average for the segment.

The 2020 Dodge Challenger ticks all of the boxes, combining incredibly potent and incredibly loud performance with vintage head-turning looks. But thanks to its high-quality interior and generous features, it also offers more than what you might be looking for in the segment, which means that the Challenger isn’t just a good muscle car — it’s also a good car all around.

This article is presented by Eastchester Chrysler Jeep Dodge.

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