MOTOR Austin

The Auto Enthusiast's Guide to Austin.


5 Reasons I Love the Dodge Challenger

By: motoraustin 9/19/2016 8:00:00 AM

Austin Texas Dodge Challenger 2016

Live a colorful life! Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

I have been wanting a new daily driver / road tripper for a long time.

My current object of desire is the iconic Dodge Challenger.

Over the years I've grown to appreciate the Challenger.

As a matter of fact, if I bought a new car today, I would buy a Challenger.

Unfortunately, I can't just go drop thousands dollars a new car whenever I want to.

However, I can write about them.

So, how do I love thee, Dodge Challenger? Let me count the ways...

It's a Movie Star

Austin Texas Dodge Challenger Vanishing Point

Kowalski pondering the meaning of Cadillac Ranch. Photo from the movie Vanishing Point (1971). And yes, I added the Cadillacs for my enjoyment. Because I think Cadillac Ranch and a white Challenger should be in a car movie.

This car is a movie star.

The Dodge Challenger played leading roles in two car-movie cult classics - Vanishing Point (1971) and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof (2007).

If you haven't seen these movies, you should. Especially since Death Proof was filmed in Austin (at least the first half was). Unfortunately the Challenger didn't appear in the Austin scenes. It'd be a lot cooler if it did. Alright?

It's Darn Photogenic

Austin Texas Dodge Challenger Photogenic

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The Dodge Challenger is darn photogenic, at every angle.

In fact, just taking photos of the Challenger will improve your photography.

Think of all the Vanishing Point scenes you could recreate on your road trips!

And speaking of road trips...

It's Cool for Road Trips

Austin Texas Dodge Challenger Road Trip

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Here in Texas we have blue skys and roads that go forever!

No sweat. The Dodge Challenger is up for the challenge.

It's roomy enough to be comfortable on long trips.

It boasts 16.2 cubic feet of trunk space* so you don't have to use the back seat as a trunk.

It's easy to get in and out for quick getaways (this is actually very important as we pull off the road quite frequently to photograph cool stuff).

If you drive the highways more than the track you can get a V6 to save mucho dinaro and still have fun. The 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine delivers 305 horsepower and only sips a gallon of gas for every 30 highway miles. With an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, you can cruise more than 550 miles** without thinking about petrol. Sweet!

* For comparison, the 2016 Camaro is 9.1 cubic feet.

It Still Looks Like a Challenger

Austin Texas Dodge Challenger original new

The retro muscle car look has been designed out of the Mustang and Camaro with each iteration. They now have their own modern identities.

However, the Challenger still closely resembles its original shape almost 50 years later.

What? Seriously bro? Do the math! Almost 50 years! That's crazy!

Michael Castiglione, head exterior designer for the Challenger project said "For me, that car symbolizes the most passionate era of automotive design."

They picked the right guy to design the modern Challenger.

With the 2015 refresh it only got better! The designers subtly refined the shape, and did an amazing job.

It Could Be the Last Retro Muscle Car Ever

The third generation Challenger debuted in 2008. Now, after almost ten years, it looks like 2017 will be the last year of the Challenger (on its current platform), and possiblly the end of the retro muscle car design era.

Dodge plans to launch a completely redesigned Challenger in 2018, based on a lighter Alfa Romeo platform. Will it break away from its iconic look? Probably.

Let's pause for a moment, and contemplate the sobering possibilty, that 2017 may indeed be, the end of the retro muscle car.

Congratulations Dodge for staying true to the one and only Challenger for so long.


Recommended Resources

Check out these popular resources on MOTOR Austin!

Things to do in Austin

Things to do in Austin Texas

This is not your ordinary "Things to do in Austin" article. This is our round-up of Things to do in Austin specifically for auto enthusiasts! It includes planes, trains and automobiles!

Things to do in Austin - For Auto Enthusiasts!

More Resources

Find more tips on things to do in Austin, plus attractions and automotive resources.