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by Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
When the production version of the original Dodge Viper RT/10 was introduced for the 1992 model year, it really was like nothing else. Sure, Carroll Shelby’s legendary Sixties-era Ford-powered Cobras provided inspiration, but Viper’s in-your-face, all-American design and 400-hp V-10 engine captured the public’s imagination.
It’s all about the launch.
That was the lesson we learned when Dodge invited a group of journalists up to US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, to pilot its new Challenger SRT Demon down a gen-u-ine drag strip – complete with burn-out box, gooey starting-line surface, staging lights, and a full quarter-mile run. The real deal. Personally, it was the first time I’d ever driven a car on a drag strip … at least, one that didn’t have center stripes and a grossly ignored speed-limit sign (don’t tell the feds). We also learned that getting the launch right is not nearly as easy as one might think.
Class: Sporty/Performance Car
Miles driven: 415
Fuel used: 16.0 gallons
Presented here is an unedited press release issued by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles this week.
New Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Completes Dodge’s Most Powerful Muscle Car Lineup Ever for 2018
After a months-long social-media campaign of teaser videos and cryptic clues, Dodge finally pulled the wraps all the way off its new king-of-the-hill muscle car at a special event in conjunction with the 2017 New York Auto show. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a factory hot-rodded muscle car that is more relentlessly focused on straight-line, drag-race-style acceleration than any regular production vehicle in history.
At the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ aftermarket division took the wraps off the latest in a long line of special-edition Dodge Challengers. The 2017 Mopar ’17 Challenger commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Mopar brand. It’s a limited-run model that adds a special paint job and other unique trim features to a 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker Challenger with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Dodge is unveiling a muscled-up version of its already muscular large SUV at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT takes the SRT sub-brand’s usual high-lux, high-performance tricks—an uber-powerful engine, performance suspension tuning, unique styling cues, and upscale interior trimmings—and applies them to the biggest SUV in Dodge’s model lineup.