The Dodge Challenger has become the king of American muscle recently. While other cars like the Ford Mustang have used smaller I4 engines, Dodge continues to push the boundaries with just how powerful it can make the Challenger. For anyone who has ever sat behind the wheel of a V8 vehicle, there’s a completely different feel to it. The way it sounds and rocks to life when the engine awakens is unlike anything else. It’s part of the driving experience. For those that don’t care, the smaller engine competitors are available, but the 2020 Dodge Challenger continues to turn heads with its sheer performance. So if you’re a lover of big engines and the continuation of the muscle car, the Dodge Challenger is one of the few vehicles left in production that delivers.
Power and Performance
There are all kinds of engine options you’re going to find on the 2020 Dodge Challenger. In fact, there are more engine options with this car than you’ll find, not only on other cars but nearly any pickup as well.
The base Challenger, which is the SXT, is a 3.6L V6. Yes, after we hyped up the V8, there is a V6 option. It helps keep the price down on the entry-level, so if you just want a Challenger and that’s it, it is an option. The 3.6L Pentastar V6 is still a powerful and nice entry into the world of Challenger, offering you 303 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque.
The R/T RWD trim comes with a 5.7L V8 HEMI Engine. There’s really nothing like a HEMI engine, and this upgrade from the V6 is well worth the price of admission. Even for the entry-level V8 packages, you’ll receive an engine that produces 375 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. By the time you move up to the R/T SCAT PACK trim option, the 2020 Dodge Challenger will come with the 392 V8 HEMI Engine. The 392 HEMI V8 adds on what the previous Hemi offers. This engine can churn out 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. You won’t find any other vehicle on the planet that can give you this kind of horsepower and torque for under $40,000.
But what about the SRT Hellcat? This trim ups the engine performance even further to a 6.2L Supercharged HEMI V8 SRT Hellcat Engine. Some of the Hellcat variations also come with a 6.2L Supercharged HO Engine. These are the most powerful engine variations of the bunch. With a 6.2L Hemi, you’ll always be kind of the road. And people will know you mean business when you show up with a Hellcat. This particular engine is serving up 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque. If you want to conduct a fun experiment, start out with the V6 model, and then jump into the Hellcat. The difference between the entry-level and the Hellcat will completely blow your mind.
Entertainment Beyond the Engines
Much like engine options, there are several ways each trim brings something different to the entertainment table. The standard SXT trim features a 6-speaker audio setup. There is a Uconnect 4 7-inch display that comes with voice command, Bluetooth, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You do have the option of upgrading to a premium speaker system.
However, with the R/T Scat Pack, you will get the 6-speaker premium system and a 276-watt amplifier for a more powerful listening experience. The Scat Pack also comes with a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen display. Starting with this vehicle’s make and moving on up, you have the option of upgrading the sound system to include an 18 speaker premium audio system with a subwoofer. In terms of audio performance and surround sound, this completely blows the doors off the other options. These vehicles also come with SiriusXM with a 1-year free trial and HD radio. If you want navigation, there is a Uconnect 4C NAV option to consider as well.
A Safe Muscle Car
Curious about what kind of features you’ll find on the 2020 Dodge Challenger? After all, these kinds of cars are usually all built around performance. Well, some safety features come standard on the base model that will help make you feel safer in the vehicle.
The standard trim of the 220 Dodge Challenger comes with a 3-point center rear seat belt, active head restraints, advanced multistage front airbags (the SRT trims use a special SRT Multistage front airbags due to the design difference in the front of the vehicle), all-speed traction control, child seat upper tether anchorages, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, ParkSense Rear Park-Assist, ParkView rear back-up camera, and rain brake support.
These features are found in nearly all of the trims. There is a remote-start option, but do note this feature is not available on any manual transmission version. There is also the option to include a forward collision warning (although this is not available on an MTX or Redeye Hellcat trim), and a blind-spot and rear cross-path detection.
And, just in case you are wondering (though, probably not), the towing on this vehicle? About 1,000 lbs, although Dodge strongly suggests you don’t try to tow anything with it. Sure, you might assume with torque quickly approaching 1,000 you could at least tow something, right? With a vehicle, this low to the ground, and with its build, don’t do it.
The 2020 Dodge Hellcat is Clutch
One thing we hate is when manufacturers build sports cars but do not offer a manual transmission option. That instantly takes some of the fun out of it. The ability to fully control your car and your driving experience is what makes driving a sports car with a clutch one of the purest driving experiences around. Thankfully, a manual transmission is an option. In fact, on the R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and Hellcat models, a manual transmission is standard (Dodge uses a TREMEC six-speed for this).
Now, if you’re not someone who uses a manual transmission (there are fewer and fewer manual transmission drivers out there today), Dodge does use an electronic shifter. This allows you to easily shift gears without overdramatic gear throws. Some cars require excessive shifting movement, which isn’t necessary when you’re using an automatic transmission anyway. It still has a bit of a sporty feel to it, but it’s easier to use without fully ditching the look of a manual shifter.
A New Year Means More Muscle
The 2020 Dodge Challenger is in a brand new model year, which means it’s bringing with it more muscle and greater performance. While the vehicle went on an extended hiatus from 1983 until 2008, the vehicle is now back and better than ever. From the base to the Hellcat and beyond, these cars are some of the most fun cars to drive. But what do you look for when considering an American sports car? Do you like the larger, more aggressive look of the Challenger? Are you fine with the smaller Mustang? And are you all about the specs, or is there something special about a V8 over a V6 or 4-cylinder? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to get your take on American sports cars.