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2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, Reviewed

Illustration for article titled 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, Reviewed

While Dodge won't even return our phone calls (something to do with this as well as insinuating Bob "The Builder" Nardelli tried to change the name of Home Depot to Home Despot), our friends at the magazine that finds being Popular just as important as being Mechanics did get a chance to drive the Ram-headed brand's new muscular pony car — the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8. The gist of what they had to say, below the jump:

Illustration for article titled 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, Reviewed

"This Hemi is most definitely not shy or watered down. But what surprised us the most about the Challenger SRT8 was its civility. Power is abundant, but never to the point that we couldn't rein her in. Our two-hour highway drive home from Willow Springs was quiet and smooth—characteristics more akin to a grand touring car than a muscle car. The only things we miss are a more vocal exhaust note and a manual gearbox, the latter of which will be available in the fall of 2009. "


So the Hemi's neither shy or watered down. Seems to us like it fits in quite well with that whole "delightfully tacky, yet unrefined" Hooters-like mentality of folks looking to buy this new pony express from Dodge. But most importantly for the Mechanics-inclined Popular party stars was their bottom line:

"After flogging the 2008 SRT8 on the track and driving home in insulated comfort, we can safely say that the Challenger ain't what it used to be—it's a whole lot better."

So it may not have the horsepower of the GT500KR, but apparently what it's lacking in get-up-and-go, it more than makes up for with beefcake and a buff bod. Perfect for Woodward Avenue cruising if you ask us. [via Popular Mechanics]

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Rob Emslie

@JeepyJayhawk: Actually, I'd consider a CNG-fueled version. The two major issues would be the trunk-space eaten up bay the tank, and the need to make the engine larger, or add forced induction in order to compensate for the lower BTU content of CNG. I think both issues could be overcome, and offering a CNG option would expand the market for what is admittedly a very niche product.