click above image for more high-res pics of the Dodge Challenger Concept

The Ford Mustang has held court in the modern day muscle car segment long enough. At least that's what Chevy and Dodge would like you to believe, as both brands are prepping their answer to the Mustang as we speak. Dodge's offering will of course be the new Challenger, and has dug up some news on the rear-wheel-drive muscle car's productions specs that was previously unknown. Along with detail information on each of the Challenger's drivetrains, including engines, transmissions and axle ratios, reveals two new features that the Challenger will sport when it goes on sale sometime next year as a 2009 model. The first is the same Hill Start Assist technology used on the Dodge Ram, Jeep Commander, Grand Cherokee and Liberty. Like the name suggests, HSA will hold the car in place on a hill, giving the driver a small amount of time to switch pedals and begin applying throttle. Hopefully it will save a few rear bumpers from some expensive bodywork. The second feature is called the Trak Pak, which is reportedly just a marketing term for a specific combination of transmission, shfiter and gearing. Available on R/T and SRT-8 models, the Tremec 6-speed manual is included, as well as a limited slip differential, though the axle ratio appears to vary between the two models on which the Trak Pak is included.

Follow the jump
for more including a complete breakdown of the Dodge Challenger's drivetrains.


Going over the breakdown of each model's drivetrain, the base 2009 Dodge Charger appears to be a bit of a letdown with its 3.5L V6 and 4-speed automatic. reports that the 4.0L Phoenix V6 will replace the 4.5L eventually, but probably not until the 2011 model year.

Also of note is that claims that the first Challengers will actually be 2008 models produced as early as next March. These will only be SRT-8 models with an automatic, and as we reported earlier, will likely number less than 5,000. It sounds like immediately following this initial run, Dodge will begin producing all three variants of the Challenger as 2009 models. Will the Dodge Challenger have the goods to knock the Mustang off its throne? We're guessing it will make a dent in Mustang sales, as will the new Chevy Camaro, but that the Mustang will remain the segment's sales leader.

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