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2007 Dodge Charger

by Martha Hindes

2007 Dodge Charger
2007 Dodge Charger Interior

What word has more dynanite than "CHARGE." Forceful. Straight to the point. No hesitancy, sidestepping, pause or confusion. Attach that to an automobile, especially a hunky sporty version, and you get the idea. It's definitely in your face, like the smashing power of a Leila Ali glove coming at you at full speed.

Dodge's current Charger is a bit of a blast from the past, considering its stellar history as one of the "must have" powerhouses that battled for muscle car dominance back in the '60s. As a 2007 SRT8 model, it thrives in its second year of revival with explosive new colors, optional rear seat video with surround sound, suede seat inserts to prevent occupant slide during track maneuvers, and standard "SRT Track Experience."

SRT in Dodge-speak simply means Street and Racing Technology, and the Charger SRT8 has it in bulk. This is no teensy, weensy little two-seater. It's a full-fledged, beef-eating four-door sedan that chews up the nuisance stuff like driving on freeways or commuting to work while flexing its dominating muscles at a stop-light or during a drag-strip challenge. Burp.

In no nonsense terms, it has a HEMI - Dodge's legendary 6.1-liter, 425-horsepower powerhouse V8 with the kind of "huff-huff" appeal that can make a grown six-footer cry. (We wouldn't want to spoil the image, but its hidden secret is an ability to coast along at highway speeds with half its powerful pistons shut down for a mileage boost.)

But forget finesse. A rear deck-lid spoiler for concentrated high speed downforce, and a standard five-speed automatic with "performance-tuned" Auto Stick with manual control lets the wild side come out for play. Think of that three-light countdown with a quarter-mile of track up ahead, and Jessica Simpson's Daisy Duke lookalikes in skimpy Ts and chopped off shorts cheering on the sidelines. (Tremendous braking at the end of a fantastic run's 14-some-seconds means a safe conclusion before the asphalt up ahead runs out.)

The SRT8's base is $36,595 before options (rear-drive only). Mileage > rating is 14/20 on Premium with a gas guzzler penalty. (A 2.7-liter > V-6 entry level pony version Charger -- 190-HP, 21/18 MPG -- is one of > three non-SRT models starting at $21,875. Choose the 3.5-liter V- > 6 SXT at $29,230 for all-wheel-drive.)

When the SRT8's presence is punctuated with such new colors such as "TorRed:" and "Detonator Yellow" (Super Bee Special Edition with signature striping on its haunches), you get the idea why Dodge calls this a "Charger on Steroids."