Track Tested: 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 6MT


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470 horsepower. 470 pound-feet of torque. 6.4-liter V8. That alone should have you jumping past the break to see what the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 does on the track when equipped with a clutch and row-your-own transmission.

Beyond the massive power output, Dodge also treated the 2011 Challenger to a smaller-diameter steering wheel, quicker steering and suspension modifications including new front control arms and bushings, new tensioner link, an extra degree of negative camber on the front wheels and increased shock damping by 8.5-percent front / 11-percent rear.

So, while we know that this 4,257-pound sedan coupe is going to do some damage on the straightaways, there's a possibility that the 2011 Challenger may hold its own during the twisty bits of testing.

Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392
Date Tested: 6-1-2011
Driver: Mike Monticello

Specifications:
Drive Type: Longitudinal, front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: six-speed manual
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 6,424 / 392
Redline (rpm): 6,250
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 470 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 470 @ 4,200
Steering System: Hydraulic-assist, speed-proportional, rack-and-pinion power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent, high-mount upper A-arm, coil springs, monotube dampers, stabilizer bar, lateral and diagonal lower links
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, monotube dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 245/45ZR20 99Y
Tire Size (rear): 255/45ZR20 101Y
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Eagle F1 Supercar
Tire Type: Summer performance
Wheel size: 20-by-9 inches front and rear
Wheel material (front/rear): Forged Aluminum
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,257


Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.1 (2.3 with T/C on)
0-45 (sec): 3.2 (3.8 with T/C on)
0-60 (sec): 4.7 (5.1 with T/C on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.4 (4.8 with T/C on)
0-75 (sec): 6.6 (7.2 with T/C on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.9 @ 111.0 (13.2 @ 109.6  with T/C on)

Braking
30-0 (ft): 26
60-0 (ft): 106

Handling
Slalom (mph): 66.6 (66.0 with T/C on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g):  0.91 (0.91 with T/C on)

Sound
Db @ Idle: 47.0
Db @ Full Throttle: 82.0
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 63.6

RPM @ 70: 1,600

Comments

Acceleration:  Difficult car to launch cleanly and consistently. It wants to either spin or axle hop. Best run came with a 2,300-rpm launch, progressive clutch take-up with just minor initial wheelspin and almost zero axle hop. Six-speed manual gearbox was better than expected, with positive, though slightly long throws, but willing to be shifted quickly. I had to be careful not to run into harsh rev limiter, though.

Braking: Long pedal travel with spongy feel; neither aspect improved or worsened. The Challenger tracks straight but there's a lot of ABS commotion and it feels like the ABS lets the tires slide more than usual. Still, very short stops and no fade.

Handling: Skidpad: Steering is woefully inadequate. Very light and gives little feedback about the front tires. But the front tires exhibited lots of grip, especially for such a big and heavy car. ESC-ON cut throttle aggressively. Slalom: Maybe because we ran the BMW first and the Challenger second, but this particular 392 just didn't feel quite as tight as the automatic version we tested several months ago. Steering is slow and overboosted and the sheer width of the Challenger makes it a, you guessed it -- challenge -- to get around the course without clipping any cones. The grip is there, but the suspension and steering are not.

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