Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A expand Dodge’s muscle car offerings

2017 Dodge Challenger T/A, 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392, 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 and 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona (from left to right)
2017 Dodge Challenger T/A, 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392, 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 and 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona (from left to right)

Perhaps the entire raison d’etre for the 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona and the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A can be summed up in the location for their reveal – the 2016 Woodward Dream Cruise.

The cruise celebrates the heyday of American muscle cars, when a big engine in a big car gave you bragging rights as the fastest stoplight drag racer. The Charger and Challenger hearken back to those times, and the new Daytona and T/A packages give even more choices for the muscle car buyer.

Speaking at the reveal event, Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands at FCA North America, summed it up best when he said that the Charger and Challenger were designed for the way people are using and enjoying the cars. He said the dream cruise route doesn’t have “a single apex, hairpin turn or S-turn.”

Kuniskis also said that while their competitors have changed gears to lighter, more track oriented cars like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, the Charger and Challenger remain the only true muscle cars left. That may be open for interpretation, but the Charger and Challenger are better daily drivers than the Mustang or Camaro and they do fit with the muscle car heritage.

So what of the packages? Well, the Daytona and T/A packages are actually quite similar. They both come in 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter (392) versions and have similar performance and interior features.

Both 5.7-liter version have cold-air intake with functional ram air hood scoops, with the Challenger having dual Hellcat-like air intakes where the inside headlight would normally be. They also both have a 2.75-inch active exhaust system, 20-inch by 9-inch wheels, and the Super Track Pack that adds a sport-tuned suspension and brakes and updated tires.

The Challenger comes with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic, while the Charger is automatic-only. The 5.7-liter engine makes 375 horsepower in both cars.

The 392 versions have Hellcat trickle-down parts, including the 20-inch by 9.5-inch wheels and tires and the upgraded Brembo brakes. The big news is under the hood, as power jumps to 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque for both cars.

Of course, each car has the requisite stripes, decals and interior upgrades to let everyone know that they aren’t ordinary Chargers and Challengers.

What do you think of the new Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A? Start the conversation in the comments below.

Check out this related TFLcar Hot or Not video as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat hits the track: