Dodge Challenger AWD Hopes to Gain Muscle Car Traction

2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD

Early 2017 will see Dodge become the first Detroit automaker to bring four-wheel traction to the muscle car class when it launches the Challenger GT.

The Challenger GT will use the same AWD system as the Charger sedan, pairing it with the company’s ubiquitous 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, rated for 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. So unfortunately no V8 or manual transmission version when production of the ’17 GT starts in January at FCA’s Brampton, Ontario plant, for the foreseeable future.

Like the Charger, the Challenger’s AWD setup will feature an active transfer case and a front-axle disconnect feature it says helps reduce fuel consumption. That means the Challenger GT is effectively a rear-driver until those wheels slip and power is sent forward.

Paddle shifters will be standard, along with a sport drive mode that alters the transmission’s shift program to hold gears longer and make quicker changes. A Super Track Pak feature activates the Dodge Performance Pages and a launch control system, and allows the driver to see stats like reaction times, lap times and G forces. That said, AWD or not, we’re not sure buyers of V6 Challengers are all that likely to hit the drag strip; with 305 hp, the GT will be nothing like a competitor for AWD import sports cars, even those with similar power outputs, like the Subaru STI.

Also standard in the Challenger GT will be 19-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, deck-lid spoiler, rear park assist and a backup camera.

Canadian pricing will start at $38,545, with Challenger GT models scheduled to arrive in dealers in the first quarter, with official fuel consumption averages of 12.8 L/100km city, and 8.7 L/100km on the highway.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.
  • Edward Peters

    I completely agree with you regarding this thing on the track. Cars like the WRX and STI with tried and true (read brilliantly sorted) AWD systems will eat this thing for breakfast. Good on Chrysler for at least trying to offer a safety feature in what would otherwise likely be a winter driving death trap (even with proper winter tires).