2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: All Ages
February 01, 2010
Whenthe 2009 Dodge Challengerfirst came out, it seemed that only those that grew up with the old Challenger gave it a second glance. That's how it seemed when I drove our long term test car the first couple of times, anyway. This theory was given extra credence by the chorus of "mehs" and "I don't get its" that issued from some of the younger staffers in the office.
But this weekend was markedly different. At Ruby's a little boy pulled his daddy by the arm to "go see" the car. Dad seemedproud, perhaps,that his son saw something interesting there and wanted him to tell him about it, so he did. It was parked between a new Mustang and a New Beetle, but neither of them earned the slightest glance from this pair.
A young dude outside another restaurant walked all around our black R/T and peered inside it during his smoking exile. A teen girl walking through the Home Depot parking lot with her mom broke ranks and did the same thing, exceptwithout the cigarette. She was actually giddy and I heard her mutter the word "cool" under her breath.
Then there was the guy whomanages Ranch Enchilada, the local Mexican food joint I frequent. He took off his apron and headed outside for a closer look as we walked out to the car.
It's almost as if they'd never seen a Challenger. They certainly have, I'd wager, so I'll put forthanother theory. People recognize goodness when they see it, and now that the Camaro has made it's much ballyhooed appearance, the Challenger stands alone as the best-looking most authentic modern interpretation of the original of any retro-themed car out there. It has staying power, it has presence. It looks cool. People of all ages get it.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 19,383 miles
Photoby: Scott Jacobs