The Dodge Challenger T/A 392 is a Hemi Throwback
From 1968 to 1972, the Trans Am Racing series was in a golden era. Hemi, Boss 1, Z/28, AMX and more were going wheel to wheel every weekend on tracks across the country. Now, it seems Dodge wants to remind the a new generation that the Challenger can do more than smoke it’s tires at car meets.
First Impression at the Track
Every time I was around this car people would say, “It fits you.” And that immediately went straight to my already-inflated ego, being told that I was a match with a big green muscle car boasting matte black “392” decals, wheels, and hood pins. The Challenger dwarfed the other performance coupes parked next to it in pit lane.
The sun was still rising when I lined up the Challenger T/A to exit pit lane onto the Circuit of the Americas race track. Waiting for the cars ahead to clear gave me time to check the dashboard, making sure the driver settings were okay. Everything on sport mode? Good. Into manual so I could use the paddle shifters. Good. Wait for the signal…okay, punch it!
I was bracing for the jump, that moment where I would just hear the rear tires melting away as I inched forward off the line. You know what the critics say about big, V8, rear wheel drive cars. What I didn’t expect was a volcanic eruption taking off the line and throwing my head back into the plush seats. Thank god for redline censors, because I was so intoxicated by the whole event that I forgot I needed to change into second gear.
There’s no denying the fact that the Challenger is a big car, and I could feel its weight being pushed around through the turns. However, if you aren’t a caveman you’ll see the modern technology infused in this Hemi throwback. The Challenger T/A feels wide but delivers the power when you need it without hesitation. And that means you can use the 392 Hemi to power through corners like a Trans-Am racer. All of this is happening while listening to it growl in anger when you downshift.
Performance & Trim Levels for the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A
You won’t be able to order one of these until October, but until then here’s what you need to know.The T/A comes in 3 trim levels.
The standard Challenger T/A provides a 5.7 liter, 375 horsepower Hemi V8, with a standard 6-speed manual. A standard manual – in this segment – is a true throwback; buyers can also option an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The T/A package includes stain black trim, a Hellcat-inspired hood scoop, and ram-air through the headlamp just like its big brother Hellcat. What makes the T/A stand out from the rest of its brothers is Dodge’s Super Track Pack, which lowers the car 0.5 inches, supplies upgraded shocks, high performance brake lining, a 3-mode stability control (with off switch), aluminum wheels, and sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. The cherry on top is a performance exhaust, exclusively for the T/A, that makes it sound like its 1971 at Laguna Seca when the rev needle goes passed 5,000 RPM.
Next is the T/A Plus which upgrades the cloth seats for leather-wrapped, heated and ventilated buckets. It also provides better audio and infotainment systems, and a leather wrapped steering wheel. The top of the line, as shown, is the T/A 392. Buyers who go for this will be rewarded with a 6.4 liter, 485 horsepower 392 hemi V8!
To cope with the added power all T/A 392’s come with a set of Pirelli three-season performance tires on slightly wider wheels, and big pizza pan-sized Brembo brakes. All of which makes for a stellar way to intimidate every MX5 at a track day.
Pricing for a T/A is over $60,000, but hey at least its cheaper than a Hellcat or Demon.
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