While a V10-powered Challenger is devilishly delectable, our Mopar-loving hearts beat for something a bit more balanced with a healthy dose of motorsports cred. To that end, Dodge created the Challenger Targa to campaign in the Targa Newfoundland enduro earlier this year.
Affectionately known as "Samantha," the Challenger began its existence as a Mopar Challenger drag race car, complete with a 392 HEMI V8 crate motor putting 540 hp and 490 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels via a Tremec six-speed manual and a modified rear diff. The green hue of the Challenger Targa is pulled from the Viper, but the snake's influence doesn't stop at aesthetics. A KW race-ready suspension, six-piston calipers with 380mm Stop-Tech rotors (front) and 355mm, rear discs with four-pot calipers are all culled from the V10 'Ring-slayer.
In addition to the Targa model, Dodge and Mopar will debut the Challenger Blacktop at SEMA, retaining the 5.7-liter V8 and six-speed manual gearbox. Most of the modifications focus on style, including the black-on-black racing stripe paint scheme, custom spoilers and front brow. A Mopar coilover kit drops the Blacktop over 22-inch Viper wheels created by Factory Reproductions and wrapped in 265/35/R22 (front) and 305/30/R22 (rear) Dunlop rubber. A Mopar cat-back exhaust and cold air intake remain the only modifications to the engine, and if the V8's sound isn't intoxicating enough, a Kicker audio system will keep the Blacktop's driver entertained while bombing along Highway 15 on their way to the SEMA festivities in Sin City.
Dodge Challenger Blacktop
A menacing creation from the minds of the Mopar Underground design team. The Dodge Challenger Blacktop began life as a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T equipped with a 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 and six-speed manual transmission. Mopar Underground added custom-made spoilers and front brow. To finish off the look, a black-on-black racing stripe paint scheme was added. The "in the weeds" stance and superb handling characteristics are accomplished by the Mopar coil-over suspension and strut tower brace. Blacktop rolls on massive 22-inch Dodge Viper wheels from Factory Reproductions wrapped in Dunlop tires measuring 265/35 R22 front and 305/30 R22 rear. To ensure the powertrain can keep up with the suspension, underhood performance is enhanced. The addition of Mopar components, including a cat back dual-exhaust, cold air intake, allow the HEMI V-8 to breathe easy. The interior has been enhanced with Katzkin leather seating finished in bright red plus a Mopar Kicker audio system for premium sound.
Dodge Challenger Targa
The Dodge Challenger Targa is a full-blown competition car that raced and completed the infamous Targa Newfoundland race this year. "Samantha" started life as a Mopar Challenger drag race package car. Many features were borrowed from the Dodge Viper, but the most noticeable is the snakeskin green paint. To keep the front end down, a Mopar chin spoiler "Splats" developed in a full scale wind tunnel, was added to the front of the car. Mopar gauges keep a close eye on the vital signs. The Mopar hood is equipped with a scoop to make room for the 540-horsepower, 490 lb. ft. of torque, 392 HEMI® V-8 Mopar crate motor. Mated to a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox, the engine blasts power to the rear wheels through a production 2009 modified gear ratio in the rear end. An abundance of fade resistant stopping power comes from Stop-Tech brakes. Up front, the six-piston calipers clamp 380-millimetre rotors, while in the rear, four-pot calipers work with 355-mm rotors. Developed by KW, the race suspension and brake upgrades came from a proven hero - the Dodge Viper ACR, which just broke the production car lap record at the world-renown Nurburgring in Germany. With only a few exceptions, the Dodge Challenger Targa was built using parts available through Mopar.