Innovation and Improvements Keep Dodge’s Frontrunner Charging Ahead
With new features, new special edition models and an incredible new eight-speed automatic transmission, the 2012 Dodge Charger powers past its competitors to the top of the performance sedan food chain.
Is it possible to be thick and thin at the same time? Well, if so, the Charger’s aggressive design epitomizes lean muscle. Long, dramatic lines stretch the sedan’s frame while features like the dual-scalloped hood, iconic crosshair grille and deeply-slashed side panels deliver inherent brawn. In a model lineup that spans the value-packed SE through the high-performance SRT8, the Charger integrates available high-intensity SmartBeam® Intelligent Headlamps, foglamps, trapezoidal dual-chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch wheels and signature “racetrack” LED taillights.
New for 2012 is a revised SRT8, as well as an imposing new Blacktop Edition, a sleek, street-savvy take on the Charger’s SXT model. Like an invigorating shot of nitrous to the lineup, the Blacktop integrates aggressive styling cues like 20-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, sport seats, paddleshifters, a nine-speaker premium audio system and a performance-tuned suspension system with sport mode. The brand new 2012 SRT8 gets special model badging, along with 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, athletic front and rear fascia updates, a black honeycomb grille, spoiler and air-gulping hood scoop.
The Charger attacks 2012 with the same series of engines made popular last year, starting with the impressively efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which makes 292 hp and 260 lb/ft of torque, and delivers up to 27 highway mpg, through its standard five-speed transmission. Next, a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 brings 370 hp and 395 lb/ft of torque to the sedan; at the top of the food chain, the new 6.4-liter HEMI V8 delivers a staggering 470 hp and 470 lb/ft of torque, and a 25 percent boost in efficiency thanks to an active valve exhaust system and Fuel Saver Technology (an innovative mode that allows the engine to shift from eight cylinders to four for improved fuel economy).
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The Charger’s most impressive advancement for 2012 comes in the form of a new eight-speed automatic transmission, making it the first Dodge ever to offer one. Standard on the 3.6-liter (and available on the entry model SE), the sophisticated and refined new eight-speed shifts quicker, making noticeably better use of the V6’s ample power, and improves acceleration and fuel efficiency up to 10 percent over last year’s five-speed (when equipped, the V6 returns an EPA-estimated 31 highway mpg).
V6 models equipped with the new transmission also get the superior traction of the available automatic All-Wheel Drive system, formerly reserved solely for V8 models. Suspension improvements – particularly the new two-mode adaptive damping on the SRT8 – ensure optimal control and comfort over differing road conditions. Finally, available two-mode Electronic Stability Control and advanced, water-wicking braking systems deliver an additional layer of protection to a vehicle that defines “controlled chaos.”
Behind tightly sealed doors and double-laminated glass, the Charger features premium interior amenities and sophisticated styling. The driver-oriented cockpit offers available French-stitched, Nappa leather-trimmed sport seats (bolstered on the SRT8), and the cabin itself sports more interior room than the Nissan Maxima or Ford Taurus.
Luxury gets a boost with available heated and ventilated seats and cupholders and dual-zone automatic climate control, and, new this year, the in-dash touchscreen of the available uUconnect® navigation and infotainment system gets a dash of color for easy readability. Also new for 2012, in the SRT8, is a 19-speaker harman/kardon® premium audio system, specially tuned to deliver 900 watts of outstanding acoustics to the newest Charger.
With a starting MSRP of just $25,495, the 2012 Charger brings impressive value and a slew of new features to the muscle sedan segment.