V8 car cookout: Bratwurst (Audi S5), Beef Teriyaki (Lexus IS-F) or Bacon Cheeseburgers (Challenger SRT-8)?

Friday November 21st, 2008 at 6:1111 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT82009 Audi S52009 Lexus IS-F

By Kurt Gensheimer

Horsepower. Raw, tire-melting horsepower. Every man worth his chest hair can’t deny it’s one of the first criteria for buying a car powered by a V8. Typically, the more the horsepower and the lower the MSRP, the more attractive it looks. It was the formula that made the muscle car era a piece of American history. But nowadays, American automakers aren’t the only ones making rear-wheel-drive radial roasters; Japan and Germany have also gotten in on the unmitigated horsepower wars, albeit with a little more luxury and refinement.

We recently had a Bridgestone bar-b-que with three fire-breathing, rear/all-wheel-drive V8s representing each of the three respective automaking countries. Japan arrived respectfully in the Lexus IS-F, Germany showed up to the cookout well dressed in the Audi S5, and the United States arrived rockin’ a mullet and Miller Lite in the Dodge Challenger SRT8. Three different V8s, three different countries, and three very different cars.

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Posted in Audi, Dodge, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Lexus |Tags:, , , , , , || 4 Comments »

Dodge Challenger SRT10 Concept to be revealed at 2008 SEMA

Friday October 17th, 2008 at 6:1010 AM
Posted by: Derek

Time to get outta Dodge and head to Las Vegas for the 2008 SEMA show. Three new Challenger concept vehicles will be under the spotlights at the Dodge booth this year. The new 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT10 with a smokin’ 600 hp Viper V10 engine laying power to the wheels. A Dodge Challenger Blacktop, built by the Mopar Underground design team, improved breathing by adding a cat-back dual exhaust, cold air intake to the already hefty 5.7L HEMI® V8. Visual cues are set by the 22 inch Viper wheels, custom spoilers, front brow, and black-on-black racing stripe paint scheme.

Also in the corral this year is the Dodge Challenger Targa which is a all-out competition car that completed the Targa Newfoundlands race this year. The Mopar hood is equipped with a scoop to make room for the 540-horsepower, 490 lb. ft. of torque, 392 HEMI® V-8 Mopar crate motor. Mated to a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox, the engine blasts power to the rear wheels through a production 2009 modified gear ratio in the rear end. Looking svelte, sleek, and downright ornery is the Challenger Blacktop. Details of the Challenger Blacktop, conceived by the Mopar Undergroud team, follows below the jump.

(photos of the SRT10 Concept, Challenger Blacktop, and Challenger Targa cars below the jump)


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Posted in Dodge, Press and News |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »

Pricing for All-New 2009 Dodge Challenger Starts in the Low $20's

Monday June 9th, 2008 at 1:66 PM
Posted by: Derek

2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8Dodge’s remake of the classic 1970s muscle coupe, the Challenger, will start below $22,000 when the 2009 model arrives in showrooms this fall.

The automaker announced pricing for the three-car 2009 Challenger lineup on Monday. The base SE starts at $21,995, the R/T is $29,995, and the SRT8 is $39,995. Prices include a $675 destination charge.

The Challenger SE comes with a 3.5-liter V6, which makes 250 hp and is paired with a four-speed automatic. Other standard equipment includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel-disc brakes and keyless entry.

The R/T upgrades to the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which makes 370 hp–30 more than it makes in the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300, which ride on a similar chassis. The Challenger R/T also comes with dual chrome exhaust, P225/60HR-18 all-season touring tires and a rear spoiler.

Hotrodder’s who have no apprehensions of getting speeding tickets will want to pay another $995 for the “track pak,” which includes the Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual with a pistol-grip shifter. The stick-and-Hemi combination boosts output to 375 hp.

The SRT8 comes with the 6.1-liter Hemi V8 that pumps out 425 hp. Five-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions are available. Standard equipment includes 20-inch forged aluminum wheels and functional hood scoops. The race-inspired interior has reconfigurable displays that show 0-to-60-mph and lap times.

Dodge launched the Challenger this year as an ’08 with limited availability–only 6400 were available, outfitted as SRT8s. High gas prices won’t sway the muscle car enthusiasts and we expect the SRT8 to leave the showroom faster than Speedy Gonzalez with a caffeine overdose. Would you believe Dodge got more than 11,000 requests to buy the car? (Editor)

Official press announcement from Dodge is below the jump.


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Dodge Announces Pricing for All-new 2008 Challenger SRT8®

Friday November 30th, 2007 at 10:1111 AM
Posted by: Derek

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8

Dodge Challenger SRT8 available for $37,995

  • The American muscle coupe is back, packed with modern technology and innovation
  • Demand for contemporary version of iconic pony car drives Dodge to accept orders for the 2008 Challenger SRT8® beginning Dec. 3, 2007
  • Introduction begins with limited-edition Dodge Challenger SRT8 models – each with numbered dash plaque
  • Complete, broader Challenger lineup details and pricing still to come
  • 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 models feature 6.1-liter HEMI® V-8 and are available in Black, Silver or HEMI Orange

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New 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI® Hybrid and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid

Monday November 19th, 2007 at 3:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid HEMI

Chrysler LLC’s First Production Hybrid Vehicles

  • Hybrid fuel efficiency combined with full-size SUV performance, capability and utility
  • HEMI® Hybrid delivers more than 25 percent overall fuel economy improvement
  • Full-size SUVs boast nearly 40 percent fuel economy improvement in the city
  • HEMI Hybrid features Chrysler’s Multi-displacement System (MDS)

Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov 14, 2007 - With the introduction of the new 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI® Hybrid and 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid, Chrysler LLC delivers two hybrid-electric vehicles that combine fuel-efficient advanced-hybrid technology with full-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) performance and capability.

“The new 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid vehicles will offer our customers the sought-after blend of performance, utility, capability and vastly improved fuel economy — all in one package,” said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC. “Combined with Chrysler’s Multi-displacement System (MDS), our advanced, two-mode hybrid technology immediately delivers a more than 25 percent fuel economy improvement to our full-size SUVs — and up to a 40 percent improvement in the city.”

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Posted in Chrysler, Dodge, Press and News |Tags:, || 2 Comments »

Motor Show: Los Angeles preview: Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR

Friday November 9th, 2007 at 3:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

Even More Viper Venom!

2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR

Dodge Introduces Street-legal 2008 Viper SRT10® ACR

  • Dodge delivers ultimate purpose-built, street-legal track car
  • 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10® ACR offers reduced weight, race-ready hardware and competition tuning for optimal on-track performance
  • Aerodynamic improvements, racing suspension and weight savings equal unmatched performance for under $100,000

Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov 9, 2007 – Dodge announced today that the all-new 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10® ACR — short for American Club Racer — will make its public debut at next week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

The latest addition to Chrysler LLC’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) family of performance vehicles, the all-new, 600 horsepower 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR is a street-legal Viper engineered to dominate on the race track. Because it is street legal, die-hard Viper and track enthusiasts can drive their car to the race track, run it at top speed on the track and then drive it home.

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2007 Dodge Caliber Review

Friday June 22nd, 2007 at 12:66 PM
Posted by: natasha

2007 Dodge Caliber
by Natasha M.
(Article updated Aug 2010)


  • Drivability
  • Safety features
  • Storage


  • Engine power
  • Expect to pay more for added upgrades & amenities

The Caliber displays a rugged design yet its smaller engine that fortunately saves on gas offsets itself on engine power and acceleration.

Driving along the California coastline is no doubt a breath-taking scenic experience. But underestimate that tricky terrain – the narrow two-lane roads, overhanging cliffs, and gravelly shoulders – and you might be in for an unexpected treacherous “off-road” adventure! Which is why choosing the right car to safely maneuver the tricky terrain is your best bet. Cue the music and enter stage left the all-new 2007 Dodge Caliber crossover utility vehicle.

The 2007 Dodge Caliber SXT was a steady drive that did well with its tight turning radius and stable handling of curvy roads. Our test vehicle featured the optional 2.0-liter, 16-valve dual VVT, 158 horsepower engine (available for the SE, SXT and SXT Sport) which was upgraded from the 1.8-liter, 148 HP engine. The R/T model has the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, 172 HP engine. The 17” wheels with Firestone tires gripped the road well but lost its aesthetic impact due to the silver wheel covers that just can’t match the same appeal as the chrome-clad aluminum alloy wheels offered only in the R/T.

2007 Dodge Caliber

The bold, boxy exterior design does create an aggressive feel especially with the signature Dodge crosshair grill, oversized halogen headlamps and sharp outline of its rear liftgate. I would probably compare it more to a crossover wagon than a crossover SUV (such as the 2007 GMC Acadia) because it appeared more similar in size and stamina to a hatchback wagon.

The acceleration and power was also equal to more of a car than an SUV. The positive side is that it’s more marketable because of its smaller engine that is more fuel-efficient with its estimated gas mileage of 26 MPG in city and 30 MPG highway and its versatility as a five-door design.

When it comes to safety and security, Caliber did well to make the grade. I learned that the 2007 Dodge Caliber received the highest frontal and side crash-test rating from the government with five stars. It also offers ESP (Electronic Stability Program) that’s designed to assist drivers in maintaining control of their vehicles during extreme steering maneuvers. The Anti-lock brakes are standard on the RT and they also come standard on the SE and SXT when it is equipped with the automatic transmission.

Dodge Caliber - cargo area Dodge Caliber - center console Dodge Caliber - gauge pod

The fun part of the 2007 Dodge Caliber are all the neat options to add splashes of color and special amenities that fit any active lifestyle. Neat interior highlights that I really liked were the beverage cooler (the “chill zone” fits up to 4 bottles or cans), removable & rechargeable overhead cargo flashlight, multi-tiered glove box, MP3 (iPod or Cell Phone) holder in the adjustable armrest, and fold-flat seating that extends your cargo space. I wasn’t thrilled about the vinyl cargo-area load floor but on the good side it makes it durable and washable. Other favorable features include an option for hands-free phone (uConnect), satellite radio, stain resistant fabric and many other very cool features.

But be aware that all of these modern conveniences are found mostly in the R/T model. The SE offers the bare minimum. The SXT model is a step up with some basic amenities and the R/T offers all the bonuses that make any car more functional and exciting. My thought is that buyers should budget much higher than the MSRP starting price of $14,285. This can be the Caliber’s big drawback because you’re almost encouraged to go for the gold with the R/T while there are just as reliable cars (fully loaded) in the same price range.

Dodge Caliber - front seat Dodge Caliber - back seat

Editor’s note: SUV/crossover utility vehicles similar in class are the Ford Escape, Mazda CX-7, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4. Similar hatchback wagons include the Ford Focus Wagon, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Vibe, and Subaru Outback


DodgeNuevoLogoNews About the 2012 Dodge Caliber

A redesigned Dodge Caliber compact car is near the top of the to-do list for the new Chrysler Group LLC and its Italian partner, Fiat Auto. The replacement, which may get a new name, is expected to start sale in calendar 2011 as an early 2012 model, timing that would make it the American automaker’s first post-bankruptcy product to reach consumers.

Various sources indicate the 2012 Dodge Caliber will be built on Fiat’s C-Evo platform, a new architecture that can be varied to host a variety of “C-segment” vehicles. This means the new Caliber will compare to compact cars and crossover SUVs of the same general size as the Ford Focus and new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. Aimed to compete with the new Audi A1 and BMW 1 Series, the platform uses 84 percent high and ultrahigh strength steel, a McPherson front and a dual-link rear suspension, both of which will use aluminum components (front and rear arms, along with the crossmember). The platform comes in around 10 percent lighter than its predecessor thanks to the use of aluminum and magnesium, and is designed to fit a transverse engine and can be adapted for either front- or all-wheel drive applications.

read more

2007 Dodge Caliber Photo Gallery

2007 Dodge Caliber Specs

DodgeOfficial website for Dodge cars, hybrids, trucks, and SUVs – www.dodge.com

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