While the Challenger has never been a top performer, some might say the car is more than the sum of its parts. In this episode of Ignition, Motor Trend associate road test editor Carlos Lago takes what would otherwise be a rained-out day of testing, and turns it into a road trip adventure with the goal of finding the reason behind the Challenger’s existence, along with a slice of apple pie.
Lago begins by explaining how the Dodge Challenger SRT8 has never really led the pony car pack, especially in the numbers arena. With 470 hp and just as much torque from its 6.4-liter V-8, the most potent version of Dodge’s revived muscle car trails behind the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. In fact, Lago says the SRT8’s performance is closer that of a standard Mustang GT. Still, the car has something the others in the segment lack – curb appeal. With its retro-inspired lines, the Challenger looks like it was plucked right out of the 1970s.
But looking special is only one part of the Challenger’s charm for Lago, who says the car just begs to be taken on adventures – whether they be long, just-for-the-heck-of-it highway cruises or spontaneous off-road excursions like the one the editor takes in this video. At the end of his trip, Lago sits down with his slice of pie (not apple but strawberry-rhubarb) and explains what the Challenger is all about. Check out the video below to hear his thoughts on the car, and tell us if you agree with his assessment in the comments section.