The 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 isn't one to shy away from a smokey burnout. But changes being reported today for the 2011 model year could make the Challenger even more capable in the hands of a well-trained hooligan.
According to online Mopar fan site allpar.com, the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 will be motivated by a bored-out version of the current 425-horsepower, 420-pound-foot 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 engine. Increased to 6.4-liters of displacement and packing an uprated 480 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, new engine could even get better fuel economy than the current mill due to the inclusion of cylinder deactivation technology. Ultimately, the car will also trade its five-speed Mercedes-based automatic transmission for an eight-speed unit jointly developed with German gearbox manufacturer ZF.
More news comes on the V-6 front, as the base model Challenger SE is reported to get Chrysler's new Pentastar engine under its hood. While exact horsepower figures could vary - from as little as 280 to as much as 300, depending on specification - the 3.3-liter version is likely to be used either with or without direct injection technology. The current 3.5-liter SE model produces 250 horsepower, so a minimum gain of 30 ponies is expected. Challenger R/T models are said to remain largely as-is, with the same 375-horsepower Hemi they currently feature.
Other Challenger changes for 2011 are reported to include a new electric power steering system for greater efficiency, a slightly altered floor plan for easier manufacturing, a subtly revised front fascia (minus the Ram emblem), and Charger-style door handles. Also reported is that 2011 Challenger SRT8 models will receive a new wrap-around front spoiler but keep the current hydraulic steering system.
Representatives at Chrysler were unwilling to confirm or deny the Web report, claiming that it is too soon to be discussing 2011 models. That means you'll have to stay tuned to Automobile for future updates.