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EPA Confirms Snow-Conquering All-Wheel-Drive 2017 Dodge Challenger

Illustration for article titled EPA Confirms Snow-Conquering All-Wheel-Drive 2017 Dodge Challengerem/em

The Dodge Challenger is built on the same heavy bones as its Charger sibling, and has even received all the same engine options. But the Challenger has never felt the sweet, sweet love of powered front wheels, meaning all across the great white north, the big coupe has been relegated to dark lonely garages during winter time. But this stops now.

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We kind of expected Dodge to roll out a production all-wheel drive Challenger ever since the brand brought a basically-production-spec V6 all-wheel drive Chally to SEMA last year. Anytime an automaker rolls out something that boring and production-feasible, I begin to wonder how much of a “concept car” it really is.

Illustration for article titled EPA Confirms Snow-Conquering All-Wheel-Drive 2017 Dodge Challengerem/em
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And then just last month, we reported an Automotive News story that said Dodge’s future lineup would include a V6 AWD Challenger called the “Challenger GT,” which would launch this fall.

Of course, this was all unconfirmed. But hop over to the EPA’s fuel economy website, and you’ll see mpg ratings for a “2017 Dodge Challenger GT,” which, as confirmed by the “specs” tab, is all-wheel-drive.

And in case you’re curious, the fuel economy rating is 18 city, 27 highway and 21 combined, compared to the rear-wheel drive version, which scores 19 city, 30 highway 23 combined.

So, yeah, you give up a couple of MPGs over the standard V6, and you don’t have a V8 or manual transmission option, but you also get to rip awesome all-wheel-drive donuts in the winter instead of having to drive your rusted out beater Jeep Cherokee.

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Can’t say there’s anything wrong with that.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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DISCUSSION

This is the grand deception of 2016. Somehow we’ve been led to believe that if you live in the snowbelt you NEED an AWD car / truck / SUV / CUV. Witness the birth of the AWD AMG E63, Jag F type, etc. I don’t know where this originated from, but somehow I suspect the manufacturers are the culpable ones, scaring us into heavier, more complicated cars that drive all 4 wheels. Newsflash to consumers: you don’t need an AWD car. What you need are proper snow tires (read this does not mean “all season” tires) and a winter driving school, which by the way is probably the most fun you can have on 4 wheels (but, ideally, not all 4 being driven). I not only survived the 2015 winter in a rusted out 2001 AMG E55 with snow tires on it, I conquered and enjoyed every snow storm that swept the NJ coast. So get your big boy pants on people and start enjoying the god given hoonage your RWD car was intended to display.