Enthusiasts rejoice with more changes for the iconic Challenger.
The Dodge Challenger rolls into 2011 with its iconic muscle car presence, and more power, efficiency, refinement and features than ever before.
For 2011, the Challenger is available in SE, Rallye, R/T and SRT8® 392 (Pictured) models. Its styling is updated with the front bumper now sporting a larger trapezoidal air intake along with a reworked front duckbill spoiler. The new spoiler generates more aerodynamic down force on the front wheels, which contributes to improved handling balance.
Every 2011 Challenger (MSRP starting at $24,670) now rolls out of the factory on alloy wheels that are at least 18 inches in diameter, giving the coupe a more aggressive-looking stance. The fuel filler door now has a standard bright finish, giving it the look of a classic racecar, and dual chromed exhaust tips are included across the line. Drivers that opt for the 305-hp Pentastar V6 equipped Challenger can get five-spoke 20 x 8-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels and even wider low-profile tires as part of the new Super Sport Group.
The 2011 Challenger now rides on the second-generation E-Segment chassis architecture that has been tuned by Dodge engineers for both a better ride and optimal handling. A reworked brake-pedal ratio and refined brake booster give better responsiveness and feel. The Super Sport Group brings a performance-tuned suspension with larger, performance disc brakes, better steering feedback, larger and wider five-spoke 20 x 8-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels with new P245/45R20 Firestone Firehawk all-season performance tires for improved grip, and a 3.06 rear-axle ratio for improved all-around acceleration.
The biggest mechanical change to the 2011 Challenger is the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, standard in the SE and the Rallye. This lightweight all-aluminum engine reduces the mass over the front wheels for an improved, almost neutral 52.4/47.6 percent front-to-rear weight distribution, which is key to improved handling. Features like dual variable valve timing help the Pentastar engine achieve 305 hp – 55 hp more than the outgoing 3.5-liter V6 – and 268 lb/ft of torque. Even with all the extra power, the 2011 Challenger SE uses less fuel than before, getting an EPA rating of 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. For those who prefer, the Pentastar is FlexFuel capable so it can run on E85 ethanol blends.
Challenger’s 5.7-liter HEMI® V8 has also been improved for 2011 and now generates 376 hp and 410 lb/ft of torque when paired with the refined TREMEC 6060 six-speed manual gearbox in the Challenger R/T. When matched up with the five-speed automatic also found in the V6-powered SE, the HEMI cranks out 372 hp and 400 lb/ft of torque. There’s also a version of the 5.7-liter available that offers Fuel Saver Technology, which gives the Challenger the ability to seamlessly run on four cylinders instead of eight when less power is needed.
For the truly hardcore, there is the Challenger SRT8 392 (or, as autoblog.com called it, the “crème de la Chrysler”), which is now motivated by a new 6.4-liter version of the HEMI that churns out a massive 470 hp and 470 lb/ft of twist. The SRT8 392 rolls on standard 20-inch forged alloy wheels and features huge Brembo four-piston brakes at all four corners.
Getting into the 2011 Challenger is easier thanks to a standard Keyless Enter-N-Go system. A new three-spoke steering wheel has a thicker rim to provide the driver with optimal control and outstanding feedback from the wheels during spirited driving. The spokes on the new steering wheel are equipped with switches that give the driver control over the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), audio functions and the Uconnect™ voice Command and connectivity system. The shift lever is now wrapped in hand-stitched leather to give the driver a more comfortable interface to the standard AutoStick® automatic transmission control.
Chrysler’s interior upgrades aren’t simply cosmetic; a redesigned structure gives the front seats better cushioning and support, whether you’re taking an extended road trip or hustling down a country road. The new front seats also make it easier to access the rear seats whose passengers are better protected from whiplash injuries thanks to the new reactive head restraints. Those rear-seat passengers will also find that they have best-in-class head- (37.4 inches) and legroom (32.6 inches) compared to other sport coupes while the 16.2 cubic foot trunk (also best in class) allows the Challenger to carry more stuff.
In the driver’s line of sight, the four-pod instrument cluster features new graphics for improved readability and a four-line EVIC for extra information. The optional Nappa leather seating surfaces provide the entire cabin with a premium look and feel.
This year, the Challenger gets new media systems with state-of-the-art connectivity features. The standard Media Center 130 includes AM/FM/CD/MP3 capability, along with an optional SIRIUS Satellite Radio tuner. Every vehicle includes a faceplate-mounted auxiliary audio input for those who want to bring along their own portable players and/or phones. The system can be upgraded with the Uconnect™ Voice Command system, which allows for hands-free Bluetooth calling and audio streaming, as well as a USB port. uconnect allows drivers to play music and use their devices while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Upgrading to the Media Center 430 brings a 6.4-inch touchscreen display, a 30GB hard drive that can hold 4,250 songs and an integrated Gracenote database to fill in album, title and artist information when loading songs on the system. The 430N system adds the segment-leading Garmin® Navigation System to the mix, along with SIRIUS Travel Link with real-time weather, fuel prices and more. Finally, the 730N system adds premium GPS Navigation with Voice Command with even more functionality compliments of SIRIUS Travel Link.
The Challenger also offers more than 45 safety and security features including standard electronic stability control and advanced, multi-stage driver and front passenger, front and rear side-curtain and even pelvic-thorax protection airbags.