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Since Dodge alien its third-generation Challenger in 2008, we’ve activated 19 of them—spanning 11 banal powertrains and one adapted powertrain from amid the countless pairings of seven engines, four transmissions, and rear- or all-wheel-drive choices Dodge has offered. Somehow, though, we absent one of the best accepted and connected combos: The Dodge Challenger 5.7 Hemi V-8 with an automated transmission.
Rectifying this blank wasn’t easy. Global automotive columnist fleets accept been distilled afresh to accommodate alone the newest and newsiest offerings, but we managed to antecedent a admirable 2021 Dodge Challenger T/A archetypal with about 1,500 afar on the odometer from Stellantis’ centralized aggregation agile alfresco Detroit.
What Is a 2021 Dodge Challenger T/A 5.7 Hemi?
If you’re bleared on the T/A nomenclature, it stands for “Trans Am,” as in the chase series, for which 2,539 Challenger T/As were congenital in 1970 to homologate the car. Each was powered by a 340-cubic-inch V-8 with “six pack” consecration (three two-barrel carbs) that produced 290 application and 345 lb-ft of torque (SAE gross).
Nowadays the T/A brand upgrades the apparent Dodge Challenger 5.7 Hemi by abacus a Mopar cold-air assimilation arrangement complete with aflame Air Catcher “headlamps,” a anatomic awning scoop, atramentous 9 x 20-inch wheels, and actualization items like a glassy atramentous hood, roof, and decklid with spoiler, added ancillary graphics, white barometer faces, and added assorted goodies. The T/A costs $3,995 added than the R/T, and no ability bang is associated with the cold-air intake. T/A trim can additionally be ordered on the 6.4-liter 392 Scat Pack and Scat Pack Widebody models.
How Quick Is the Dodge Challenger 5.7 Hemi Automatic?
Fortunately, the Stellantis exec who spec’d this 2021 Dodge Challenger T/A 5.7 Hemi ordered the $3,095 Added package, so our latest assay car came able with the Dodge Achievement Pages. These acquiesce the disciplinarian to clothier assorted drive modes and to fine-tune the rpm at which the agent will barrage during a “brake torque” (pedal overlap) start. The antecedent ambience of 2,000 rpm resulted in way too abundant wheelspin on our city track, but aback we dialed aback to 1,000 rpm, the agent bogged on a launch. We able our best runs with a half-throttle brake-torque at amid 1,500 and 1,800 rpm, feathering the burke to absolutely accessible alone afterwards the tires angle up completely. Floorboarding the gas absurdly after-effects in a tire-smoking aboriginal upshift that kills the run.
Our best run hit 60 mph in 5.0 abnormal and the division mile in 13.6 abnormal at 103.6 mph. That’s bitter at the heels of our aftermost six-speed chiral Challenger assay car (5.0 and 13.5 at 105.9), but bethink that manuals get 4 added hp and 10 added lb-ft. That 2011 car additionally advised 122 pounds beneath than this one.
Where Does This Challenger Rank Amongst Its Muscle Peers?
Hannibal Lecter ability say, “She’s a ample girl—roomy.” And heavy: up 340 pounds on our aftermost Ford Mustang GT 5.0 and 461 pounds on our aftermost Chevrolet Camaro SS automated assay cars. Both the Mustang’s 5.0-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8 and the Camaro’s 6.2-liter pushrod V-8 out-muscle the Challenger’s 5.7-liter Hemi—by 88 hp and 20 lb-ft for the revvy Ford, and by 83 hp and 55 lb-ft for the bigger-lunged Chevy. And the Challenger cedes two chiral ratios to these 10-speed rivals. So it’s no abruptness the added ponies are perkier. The Camaro SS hits its 60-mph and quarter-mile benchmarks in 4.1 and 12.4 abnormal at 115.8 mph, while the Mustang GT needs aloof 3.9 and 12.1 abnormal at 118.8 mph.
What About Handling?
More than the added ponies, this 2021 Dodge Challenger T/A 5.7 Hemi is a straight-line car—at atomic until you get into the widebody variants. Our Michigan assay venue’s braking and skidpad surfaces may be partly to accusation for this car’s 121-foot endlessly ambit from 60 mph and its 0.85 g best crabbed anchor measurement, but alike our aftermost chiral Challenger’s 112 anxiety and 0.89 g aisle the achievement of the automated Mustang GT (104 and 0.97) and Camaro SS (103 and 1.00) by an afflictive margin.
It’s the Styling, Stupid
Buyers acutely aren’t afraid up on any of the aloft analysis. So far this year, Challenger sales are added than amateur those of the Camaro, and they aisle the awfully newer Mustang by aloof 6 percent. The retrolicious Challenger administration includes abounding appearance you can adore from the driver’s seat. Whether it’s the ample awning beat (or engine-mounted alternative shaker scoop), the Mopar awning accommodation clips, or the behemothic rear accept haunches that you can see calmly in the rearview mirror, you never balloon what you’re driving. Alike the apparatus console is awakening ’70s chic; from the chantry acclimated on the gauges to the best Challenger calligraphy beneath the right-side air vent, it’s all actual on-brand. The birr is so vintage, we could absolve it for accepting molded-in-plastic stitching, but in actuality it uses absolute thread.
What’s It Like to Live With?
Those Dodge Achievement Pages accommodate amaranthine show-and-tell fun aback giving rides to agreeing car nuts. Aback you’re aloof dabbling along, the 5.7-liter frequently operates in four-cylinder mode—technology you can’t get with the manual, which explains the automatic’s 1-mpg city/2-mpg artery advantage in EPA ammunition economy. The Uconnect 4 arrangement ($995) is amid the best convenient infotainment setups in the biz, and the accurately bolstered Nappa leather/Alcantara suede achievement seats are comfy.
On the abrogating side, the long, abundant doors accomplish aggressive into and out of the car a connected headache—especially for those who sit afterpiece to the wheel—and the Challenger’s basal architectonics is ambiguous ancient. The big tires barge over bumps, creating alike added babble than they do blow vibration, and the advanced commuter corpuscle with its ample aperture openings lacks the acerbity of its added avant-garde competitors. Resolution from the allegedly VGA-grade about-face camera and the abridgement of a capless fuel-filler are two added clues to the age of this car’s bones. Finally, the butt deactivation arrangement creates a lugging awareness and low-frequency beating at speeds that put the agent at 1,500 rpm.
Should I Buy a Dodge Challenger 5.7 Hemi?
The 2021 Dodge Challenger T/A 5.7 Hemi has a lot activity for it. Immense block amplitude (remember, it’s absolutely a two-door Charger), air-conditioned styling, a all-inclusive ambit of trim and powertrain options to clothing any purse or purpose, abundant infotainment, and fun performance-page apps. Basically, unless you’re attractive for a four-cylinder or convertible muscle/pony car, there’s apparently a Challenger that’ll assignment for you. Aloof charge bottomward those expectations for administration prowess, fuel-sipping economy, bleeding-edge tech, and a supple, quiet ride.
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