To R/T or SRT? That is the question - 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Long-Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger Long Term Road Test

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2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: To R/T or SRT? That is the question

July 28, 2009

Challenger RT.jpg

The great hotrodder Hamlet once said, "To R/T or SRT? That is the question." He then went on a vengeful killing spree, but that's not relevant here.

What is relevant for me is the first question, as I am considering getting a Challenger in a couple of years. Perhaps.

But which one shall I pull? -- as there are two Challengers from which to choose, and both are bad mothers.

Well, I was fortunate to drive both of them in the last few days, and I think I've made up my mind.

Dodge Challenger SRT8.jpg

Dodge Challenger SRT8 badge.jpg

The SRT8has HID headlamps standard, more heavily bolstered seats than the R/T, beautiful standard 20" forged Alcoa aluminum wheels... oh yeah, and a 6.1L pushrod Hemi V8 vs the 5.7L in the R/T.

And that's the thing --when both are equipped with the awesome 6-speed Tremec manuals (and equally awesome clutch), I couldn't feel any discernable difference between the two in straightline performance. Close acceleration numbers have already been shown by Inside Line performance testing.

Can you really tell the difference between 375 and 425 hp? Not me.

The SRT8 also has more heavily bolstered and prettier seats with suede inserts. But I like to sit close to the wheel and found that the bolsters (like on some on other vehicles) interfere with my elbows.

I'll probably get it in black, and on the SRT8 that means no contrasting stripes like on the other colors. Besides, we looked at the stripes on our SRT8 test car and they appeared to be decals(!)

Although the SRT8 is better looking and better performing, there's not enough of a distinction to justify the $10K base or $5K optioned-out price discrepancy.

My answer to the Prince of Denmark'soriginal dilemmaof R/T or SRT? R/T.
However, the SRT8 isstill betterlooking...

So instead of contemplating suicide like my pal Prince Hamlet, I'll continue to ponder R/T or SRT.

Albert Austria Sr Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 8100 miles

Challenger RT seats.jpg Challenger SRT8 seats.jpg

(SRT8 with auto trans shown)

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