I admit I have been a slacker and have not posted in 45 years or so. I also admit no one comes to the hostages looking for car reviews. It is something that interested me, and I thought I would give my opinion. Carry on with all the usual silliness in the comments, and completely ignore the content. It is expected without question here.
Last week I rented a 2013 Challenger R/T. It looked a lot like this:
Taken from my hotel room
I arrived in Tampa in a thunderstorm. I adjusted my mirrors and spent 5 minutes familiarizing myself with the switches, etc. The exit from TIA to St. Petersburg is a10 mile long twisting urban highway. In the pouring rain, the car telegraphed its intentions and made it abundantly clear what was going to happen if I kept it up. 1/2 a dozen times I felt the front end squirming saying slow down I am about to hydroplane! This could have been the traction control intervening for me. It was im initial drive and I took it at the default settings. Part of the problem with this was it defaults to Econo mode, meaning that 60 mph is loafing at 1700 RPM. I constantly found myself doing 80. (around 2300 RPM) Obviously 80 in a downpour is rather pushing it.
I found the color very intriguing, it was chameleon like in color almost black at times, but reflecting the blue sky at others, changing from smokey blue to silver, to white, and back to black again.
The reason I rented the car was because my brother had a 70 Challenger R/T with a 383 in it. I wanted to compare my memory with the current version. I think Chrysler nailed it in the looks department and it brought back many fond memories of my teen age years.
That said the visibility is atrocious. Forward, backward, sideways, and vertically, you are wanting in every direction. I hit my head on the roof line every time I entered or exited the car. I am only 5′-10″. Red at 5′-5″ had no problems. Looking out the front, the seat was too high. My eyes were level with the visor at the roof line. Every traffic light I had to duck and crane my neck to see the light. Proportionally, the mirror took up 25% of the available limited forward view.
The side mirrors gave just the same visibility as I remembered with my Charger and my brothers Challenger, which was a blind spot as big as a house. If Chrysler wanted to fix these problems, it should be simple to add a back up camera, and blind spot sensors. I don’t know how hard it would be to lower the seat, but those are the first 3 things I would do if I owned one.
Ok, on to the fun stuff. I found the car surprisingly nimble, the speed sensitive steering was glaringly hard when at parking speeds, and twitchy at first at high speeds. I quickly grew used to it except when parking at creeping low speeds. The chassis was rock solid and confidence inspiring.
Here is the real reason I wanted to test drive the beast. I wanted to compare the 375hp Hemi to my 375 h 440 MagnumThis is awesome! Yes I could not see a thing, it was like driving in a burka, but no matter how many times I hit my head, how many times a car came out of nowhere, this thing screamed. Turning the traction control off, I could bark the tires going into 2nd gear. Of course I could break them loose from a stop at will. I did not try to time it other than to say 0-60 time was OMG!!!!!
Something I found odd was every time I barked the tires shifting from 2-3 it fishtailed to the right slightly, then back to the left. Leading me to conclude the traction control was still working, just not as aggressively. These are only observations and speculations, I have been out of car geek minutia for decades. Logically engine torque is one way, if a car is going to fishtail it should be in the direction of torque, not torque and anti torque. My brother who is a certified master mechanic speculated on a smart differential or a balanced one. I have no idea.
Every time I drove it I was grinning from ear to ear like a nutter. Next time I will try to drive a SRT version.
In conclusion, the Challenger is a flawed car, not fatally flawed. It could be fixed with 3 simple readily available fixes for under $4000. Would I buy one? in a heartbeat. I however do not think most people would spend $35,000 on a car that needs fixing
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