This was my first experience of driving an American muscle car and from the moment I looked at it… then got in it… and then drove it, I realized that this is not a normal car. It’s special.
Muscle car is an American term for high-performance cars, usually rear-wheel drive and fitted with a large and powerful V8 engine. They have a reputation for not being practical, but this is the most sensible Challenger to-date. Compared to its main rival, the Ford Mustang, it has far more room, including spacious rear seats, and there’s more space in the boot.
The Dodge Challenger comes in various options…
SXT – The entry SXT model is a 305hp 3.6 liter V6 all-wheel-drive. GT – The GT uses the same engine but has wider wheels, upgraded brakes, a hood scoop, rear parking sensors, remote ignition, sport suspension and steering, sporty front seats, sport steering wheel with shift buttons, and performance-related in-car apps.
R/T – Or you can opt for the rear-wheel-drive R/T with a 375-hp 5.7 liter which is the model I drove and experienced over the 3 days. You further get upgraded brakes, a limited-slip differential, and active sport exhaust.
SRT – The SRT is a 485-hp 6.4 liter V-8 monster with the most powerful engine in its class. It has launch control, a line lock for drag strip burnouts, Brembo performance brakes, higher performance sport-tuned suspension, configurable driving modes, rear spoiler, and additional performance-related incar apps.
HELLCAT & DEMON – And if that’s STILL not enough power there’s the insane 6.2 liter supercharged 717hp, 650 lb-ft Hellcat and 840hp Demon (recently discontinued but still available) both more powerful than Supercars costing multiple times their price.
The R/T model I drove had loads of power, so I can only imagine what it feels like to drive the Hellcat or Demon.
Put this car into Sport Mode and it’s even more fun to drive – and the sound from the exhaust is monstrous in the nicest way possible. I liked the Challenger more every day I had it.
This car is a comfortable and it has big front seats. There’s an excellent 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – Uconnect is possibly my favorite in-car connectivity system in the industry right now, it’s so user friendly and easy to navigate. Rear visibility is not particularly good and its size can make it a bit tricky to maneuver in tight corners as I discovered when driving it in and out of the car park where I live. But the sound of the growling V8 vibrating within my underground car park was somehow deeply satisfying.
There’s also a long list of all sorts of options and extras available so you can customize your Challenger and make it unique in Bahrain.