We hope you're loving the Dodge Challengers here at SEMA as much as we are. When you build a car that's a throwback to such an iconic vehicle, it's easy to anticipate that tuners will try to recreate every example that made the Challenger such a legend way back when. While some of the cars here are great examples of that spirit, these two official ones give us a more modern take on the theme. As we told you when we previewed them last week, the Challenger Targa was built to campaign in the Targa Newfoundland enduro race. It features a 540-hp HEMI V8 with 490 lb-ft of torque, a Tremec six-speed manual and a modified rear diff. It wears the same acid green paint you can order on the Viper and also features a KW race-ready suspension with massive Stop-Tech six-piston calipers and rotors. And it looks even better in person than official photos released last week.
The other interpretation here is the Challenger Blacktop. It retains the stock car's 5.7-liter HEMI V8 and uses the 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 a set of 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 are the only modifications to the engine. This car looks just about perfect, but we might opt for some mechanical mods from the Targa to make it move like its looks suggest. Full details on each can be found in the press release after the jump, but you probably want to see the live high-res shots in our gallery below.
Photos copyright ©2008 Brad Wood|Frank Filipponio/ Weblogs
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.
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.