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Life with a 2021 Dodge Challenger is like taking a drive into the future from times long past with its seriously nostalgic body shaping and interior throw-backs to days gone by. But muscle cars of the past never had the technology or the power of today’s Challenger. Its incredible speed, race-worthy acceleration, and a delicious rumble under the hood are far better than any classic car ever had. With a 2021 Challenger, you get the best of both past and future vehicles rolled into one eye-catching machine.
Driving a Challenger will satisfy any speed demon who relishes being able to out-run other cars on the highway, but Dodge gives the Challenger a practical side, too. For those who prefer a milder version of the muscle car, you can stick with a V6 engine and gain all-wheel drive for better handling in bad weather. The Challenger even makes a solid daily driver with a roomy trunk, rear seats, and plenty of safety features to settle your mind while you’re on the road. Why not have the car that will be the envy of the neighborhood, rather than the sensible sedan everyone else has?
Pricing for the Challenger in the entry-level trims is just as affordable as the sedans worth their salt, but it’s a lot more fun. Sedans won’t have the magnetic draw to take yourself out for a spin, and they certainly won’t have the classy styling of the Challenger. The only drawback of owning a Challenger is that everyone will want you to drive when you go out together. Then again, that will only mean more time for enjoying the vehicle that will bring the fun back to driving. Remember when you used to be excited to get behind the wheel? Your new Challenger will bring that feeling back again. Ah, to be young again.
The entry-level SXT and GT trims of the 2021 Challenger come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. This engine will make 303 horsepower with 268 lb-ft of torque, and it can even be optioned with all-wheel drive - the only engine that can be paired with this option. With rear-wheel drive, fuel efficiency will be 19 MPG city and 30 MPG highway, and all-wheel drive will get 18 MPG city and 27 MPG highway. For those who want a more affordable muscle car experience but still get plenty of fun, this is the perfect engine choice, especially as a daily driver.
For a little more spice in your life, you can choose the 5.7-liter V8 engine that comes in the R/T trim, and it can be paired to either manual or automatic transmission. It makes up to 375 hp with 410 lb-ft of torque, and from here on out, all engines are paired with rear-wheel drive. Gas mileage comes in at 16 MPG city and 25 MPG on the highway for the automatic, and 15 MPG city with 23 MPG highway for the manual. If you go for the R/T Scat Pack version of the Challenger, the 6.4-liter V8 delivers a rollicking 485 hp with 475 lb-ft of torque. Such a savory blend of power is also available with either manual or automatic transmission, and you get an acceptable fuel economy of up to 15 MPG city and 24 MPG highway.
Near the top of the heap, you find one of the most powerful engines available in a car: the Hellcat. This aptly named behemoth blasts out a formidable 717 hp with 656 lb-ft of torque. With this much power, the mind reels that there could yet be more, but the Hellcat engine can be had in a Widebody form if you wish to really impress your friends at the track. Once again, manual and automatic transmissions are both available.
Just in case you have access to a track, the Hellcat Redeye is the king of the hill where Dodge engines are concerned. Both the Hellcat and the Redeye are supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engines, but the Redeye is adjusted to produce a wildly outrageous 797 hp with 707 lb-ft of torque and an even higher 807 hp in the Super Stock trim. Nothing on the road can claim this amount of face-plastering power. Which engine is right for your Challenger? You may want to test drive a few different trims to find out which engine best suits your driving style so you can push the limits as you drive home in your new muscle car.
Dodge offers no fewer than ten trims for the 2021 Challenger, and buyers will enjoy multiple options to dabble in body styles, racing stripes, two-tone paint, hood scoops, and colors that announce your arrival almost as soon as the engine is heard. For some, the entry-level SXT has plenty of style and class without being too boisterous. Standard 18-inch wheels are sufficiently sporty in carbon aluminum, matched by a black grille with chrome accents and offset by LED daytime running lights. The bar of lights across the back of the Challenger is probably all anyone will capture of your vehicle as you breeze past, but those LED lights will shine bright. If you happen to need that all-wheel drive for snowy weather, having standard heated exterior mirrors will make cold days a little warmer.
If you bump up to the GT trim, a few extras like an upgraded sport suspension will lend itself to the more powerful engine option available, and fog lights will make night driving easier in places where the smoke rises off the road when you peel away in glee on your 20-inch tires. Then again, the R/T model might be your sweet spot, with remote perimeter lights that flick on when you approach, a lip spoiler on the back end to whip your tailwinds into shape, and you can opt for body side racing stripes to go with a hood scoop in true muscular style. Even better, go for the R/T Scat Pack, which is outfitted for performance with a more powerful engine, Brembo brakes, and a high-performing suspension.
The R/T Scat Pack Widebody adds extra body detailing with fender flares, wider wheels and performance tires, adaptive dampers added to the suspension, and the option of a satin-black hood. Go the extra mile and have a shaker hood installed to take your engine up another notch. Breaking into the SRT Hellcat territory is where the options get almost outlandish in the offerings for conquering speed and style. A dual-snorkel hood allows the supercharged Hellcat engine to breathe all the cool air it needs to growl across the pavement, and you’ll have the specialized engine badge to prove how much power your Challenger has under the hood. The Widebody package will offer the same styling offered in the R/T trim, but with the muster of the better-performing engine, suspension, brakes, and styling options available.
The top trims are the Hellcat Redeye and the Super Stock, both of which use even higher output versions of the supercharged Hellcat engine. Other exterior options like a sunroof, signature Challenger grille logo, and a vast number of paint colors whose names hearken back to the old days will give you room to make your Challenger a vehicle to remember everywhere you go. The options packages give buyers so many choices that it will be hard to build a Challenger exactly like anyone else on the road.
The beauty of the Challenger isn’t just on the outside. Dodge created a machine that tugs your heartstrings back to classic muscle car street racing days, with an instrument cluster and sport-style seats that will remind you of times long past. What you gain from the future-forward styling is the sculpted comfort of seats that hug you in place when you take those corners and features that allow you to toggle between all the performance options your Challenger can harness when you hit the gas. You also enjoy an infotainment system loaded with Uconnect 4, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Upholstery choices like houndstooth cloth, leather, or faux suede can be chosen in a number of colors and styles to suit your personal style. And what would a muscle car be without a mind-blowing stereo system? Dodge offers a Harmon Kardon audio system with up to 19 speakers for those who want more than the engine to rumble. Luxury is not beyond the Challenger’s milieu, with amenities like heated and ventilated seats, multiple drive modes, steering wheel choices, telematic rearview mirror, and just about any powered equipment you can imagine. Your 2021 Challenger will keep you in comfort that matches the capability of its speed.