Chicago Auto Show Blog

Up to the Challenge

Posted by: Mark Bilek

Still looking out for that perfect gift to give your macho man crush? Look no further than the 2011 Dodge Challenger. Yes, it will set you back  some large coin, but its definitely got the stones to throw down against competitors Camaro and Mustang.

The Challenger is the "least" new of the six new-for-'11 Dodges. That might be an understatement though as upgrades for 2011 include new engines, revised suspensions, upgraded interior, new models and packages and more features.

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392
Wouldn't a 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 "392" look great under the tree?

The biggest news for the 2011 Challenger lives under the hood. Six-cylinder models get an all-new Pentastar 3.6-liter engine. Producing 305 horsepower, it makes 44 more than the engine it replaces. The engine is all-new from the crank up and includes dual-independent cam phasers, integrated exhaust manifolds, polymer-coated piston skirts, forged connecting rods and a high-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block in a 60-degree configuration. In addition, Dodge Challenger engineers added an all-new cold-air induction system and dual exhausts from the headers back to the exhaust tips for maximum output.

As if that's not enough, performance fans will also find a new present under the hood of the SRT8 model. Iconicly badged "392" for 2011 only, the new SRT8 mill goes from 6.1-liters to 6.4 liters bumping displacement to a magic 392 cubic inches. It thumps out 470 horsepower and an equal amount of torque. According to Dodge, that's enough giddy up to push the '11 Challenger SRT8 from 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds and through the traps in the quarter mile at just 12.4 seconds.

But let's not forget the enhancements extend beyond the engine bay. All 2011 Challengers get upgraded interior with the corporate three-spoke steering wheel and additional soft-touch surfaces. Rear-seat riders will appreciate the new tip and slid memory front passenger seat as well.

Rounding out the changes is an all new suspension with negative camber setting front and rear--a la BMW. There's also new electro-hydraulic power steering system and revised shock and spring rates that give the Challenger a 0.90 g rating on the skid pad.

Combined, the changes give the 2011 Challenger new life in the hotly contested pony car segment. Not only that, but wouldn't it look great under the tree with a bow on the hood?

2011 Dodge Challenger R./T
The R/T model gets a revised suspension geometry for improved handling.

2011 Dodge Challenger interior
All 2011 Challengers get a freshened interior with new steering wheel.

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