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2011 Dodge Challenger Road Test Review by Martha Hindes

2011 Sexy Car Buyer's Guide by Martha Hindes

2011 Dodge Challenger Road Test

When we first saw the revival Dodge Challenger, man were we hooked.

Hunky, bulging with muscular aptitude, it knocked the socks off just about any other sports car in its genre with the smack-in-the-face impact of a Hugh Jackman smile. On our first drive we were so smitten we actually forgot to watch the gas gauge and coasted, quite appropriately, to a dead stop in front of our local Dodge dealership. (Obviously that was one heck of a first drive.) So revising it for 2011 as a two-year old could bring some trepidation. Right?

Not to worry.

First, lets look at looks: Here's a five-seat, two-door that's a distinctive, no apologies knockout from any angle, the funky someone-sat-on-the-hood front end, slamin' lengthy profile, and hefty rear deck with spoiler that has all the commanding presence of a Jennifer Lopez posterior, probably the most impressive backside on the planet unless you're counting Kim Kardashian or Deelicious.

If that didn't get your attention, how about the gut crunching mechanicals underneath. This is no twisty-road hugger, short-throw shifter designed for nimble switches that could unsettle a recent lunch. It's a power monger that can stand tall in any straightaway and lap you on corners as well, the kind of credentials anyone with a rear-drive muscle car history can explain. The idea that the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine version can squeeze out 25 highway miles and drop half its power at speed for fuel economy savings is a kind of built in retort for the “tsk tsk” MPG crowd.

So what's added to this volatile mix of weak-in-the-knees iconic emotion and no apologies boast for 2011?  Including some 45 security and safety features alone, it took 12 pages of fine print for Dodge parent Chrysler to explain the list to media. (We still can't separate out what's new and what's just improved.)  But look for everything from the new 305-HP flex fuel V-6 SE version to the performance R/T (and track-ready SRT-8, a story on its own). And if you're doing some serious traveling – a Challenger specialty despite its sporting roots -- Uconnect can get you five days of advanced weather reports and the best fuel prices around,  Stick a sticker on the window and you're talking $24,895 for starters.

Has the 2011 Challenger lost even a shred of its magnetic appeal? If you breathe and you love cars that can cruise in the night, there's no way that ever could happen. And remember to reminisce about a sports car that has a big enough back seat to really matter.

For more information on the 2011 Dodge Challenger, click here.


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