Because the power delivery is so linear and the tires so grippy, it's easy to modulate the wheelspin with the throttle. Yet, this Challenger SRT8's 60-mph time and quarter-mile were both off our previously tested SRT8 with a five-speed automatic. This one didn't seem to have the pop or rush of the other. Perhaps a self-correcting check engine light observed the hour prior had something to do with it. (See note in Slalom comments for more detail.) Pistol-grip shifter feels robust but is easy to operate and accurate, even when rushed. Clutch is neither too heavy nor too light. Tachometer, however, is too slow to react to true engine speed, especially at wide-open throttle at the top of 1st and/or 2nd gear. As a result, it's easy to find the rev limiter prior to seeing the needle go past 6,250 rpm. Compared to 1st, a very quick 2nd and tallish 3rd gear, 4th feels very, very tall and the car lies down noticeably before crossing the finish line in 4th.
Brake pedal travel was unusually long from the get-go, but the system proved powerful and fade-free over six stops. In fact, the best stop occurred on the fourth attempt. Very little dive and no ABS hum or vibration.
If disabled at a standstill, ESP appears to be fully off. Amazingly quick turn-in and yaw response from such a large car, but it's the kind of front-end bite that can be trusted. Good balance right up to the limit, where the Challenger SRT8 pushes on-throttle and oversteers with generous on-throttle application. Nicely done. Steering wheel still feels too light and too large. *Note: Near the end of slalom testing, we heard a "ding" and observed a blinking check-engine light, followed by a rough idle. Condition persisted for about 2 minutes and seemed to remedy itself.