AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Scion may be toying around with such things as vehicles with dog beds and shower stalls as it gets ready for the 2008 SEMA show. But Dodge is adopting a more classic approach, dropping the Dodge Viper's 8.4-liter V10 into the Challenger and unleashing the potent 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT10 Concept.
The Viper's influences on Challenger continue to be exerted on both the production and concept level. The 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8, for instance, can be ordered with the six-speed manual transmission first offered on the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10. The new SEMA-bound Challenger concept not only gets the Viper's V10, which churns out 600 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, it also gets the Viper's red engine start push button on the dash.
Other SEMA-worthy touches on the Challenger concept are "Tornado Red" exterior paint and a carbon fiber deck lid and hood. "The ‘shaker hood' is a nostalgic representation of the 1970 Hemi 'Cuda, giving the 600-hp Viper V10 engine room to breathe," said Dodge in a statement. The cabin has sport seats and carbon fiber accents.
The Challenger concept raises even bigger questions, given the fact that Chrysler is shopping the Viper brand to potential suitors. It appears that the Challenger is poised to become Chrysler's halo car after the Viper era here ends. At the very least, the Challenger concept looks to be one of the show stoppers at the fall aftermarket event.Inside Line says: The mighty Challenger continues to grow in stature and importance for Dodge, since this may be the final SEMA show for Viper as a Dodge brand.