Joel Patel
Automotive Editor - October 30, 2017

2018 Dodge Challenger OVERVIEW

While other automakers have tweaked the recipe for their renditions of a muscle car, Dodge has stuck to its guns with the Challenger. The 2018 Dodge Challenger is more powerful than ever, has the unmistakable look of a muscle car, and has multiple models that make it a do-it-all type of machine.

What's New for 2018

The Challenger gets various updates for 2018, including two new models that push the boundaries of what a muscle car is. The new Challenger SRT Demon is the most powerful muscle car on the road, as the automaker claims, thanks to the 6.2-liter Hemi Demon V8 engine under the hood that makes 840 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. It'd take us an entire page to cover all of the Demon's facts, but the muscle car can get to 60 miles per hour in just 2.3 seconds, while the quarter mile is over in just 9.6 seconds.

There's another new addition to the lineup with the Challenger SRT Widebody that cranks up the regular Challenger SRT Hellcat's madness to 10 with fender flares, 20-inch aluminum wheels, and electric power steering.

While the new models are the most obvious changes for the 2018 Challenger, additions have also been made to other vehicles in the lineup. The Challenger SRT Hellcat model gets new badges, illuminated Air-Catcher headlights with the Hellcat logo, and wheels that can be finished in Matte Vapor – a new color. The car's Brembo brakes can also be finished in black, gunmetal, or orange as an option.

Changes have also been made to the Challenger SRT 392 model that gets Brass Monkey wheels as an option and “5Deep” lightweight aluminum wheels standard. The Challenger R/T and Challenger R/T 392 models can be fitted with optional red Brembo brake calipers.
The rest of the alterations are model specific. Trims with the 5.7-liter V8 engine, high-performance suspension, and Brembo brakes can be fitted with a new Performance Handling Package. The Challenger GT AWD can be fitted with 19-inch aluminum wheels.
Nappa/Alcantara performance seats now come with the Super Track Pak on Challenger SXT Plus and R/T Plus models. Challenger SXT, R/T, R/T Shaker, and T/A models get Uconnect 4 with a 7.0-inch touchscreen as standard.

Lastly, every model in the Challenger family gets a rearview camera and one-touch up windows as standard, while F8 Green and IndiGO blue paint options have been added to the vehicles and B5 Blue and Plum Crazy return for 2018.

2015 Dodge Challenger

Choosing Your Dodge Challenger

With seven available models to choose from (and 16 total if you count the so-called Quick Order Packages, which feel more like trims), finding the perfect Challenger boils down to what kind of performance you want. The base engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 305 hp, while the most powerful model is the 840-hp SRT Demon. Consumers wanting something in between can choose from two other V8 engines, including a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that produces 375 hp and a 6.4-liter 392 Hemi V8 motor that generates 485 hp. A six-speed manual is standard on every V8 model except the SRT Demon while eight-speed automatic transmissions span the entire range. The V6 is only available with the automatic and it’s the sole engine that works through an available all-wheel-drive system.

Once you've figured that out, the next step is to navigate Dodge's numerous packages. While listed as individual trim levels on Dodge's own consumer pages, the reality is that the Plus, Shaker, T/A, Scat Pack, and Widebody are all packages that can be attached to the SXT, R/T, R/T 392 Scat Pack, SRT 392, and SRT Hellcat trims.

The Plus package is a $2,670 option group available on the SXT and R/T and comes standard with an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system with HD radio and SiriusXM satellite radio, leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rear parking sensors, and a power tilt/telescopic steering system.

An available Shaker package is available on the R/T as a standalone option or alongside the Plus package and as part of the R/T 392 Scat Pack. With the 5.7-liter R/T, the Shaker pack demands $3,115 while adding it to the 475-horserpower Scat Pack adds $2,492 to the price tag. For those prices, you get the eponymous hood scoop, dedicated graphics, a black rear spoiler, Goodyear-branded high-performance rubber, and an upgraded steering rack.

The T/A package, available as an upgrade to the R/T, R/T Plus, and R/T 392 is as focused as performance-focused as the Challenger gets outside of the big, bad Hellcat trim. Requiring $3,560 on the R/T and R/T Plus and $4,450 on the R/T 392, the T/A adds a heap of performance gear. A Mopar-branded cold-air intake works through an Air Catcher headlamp borrowed from the SRT Hellcat, while a firmer, more aggressive suspension tune, performance-focused steering, and meaty, six-piston brake rotors make this one of the most agile Challengers on the market. And of course, there are plenty of aesthetic details. The T/A adds a heritage-derived flat-black hood, roof, rear decklid, and spoiler, and of course, lots of T/A badging.

Finally, the Widebody package is only available on the Challenger SRT Hellcat. Taking a page from the SRT Demon’s playbook, it adds huge fender flares with 12-inch wide tires at all four corners. The result is a Hellcat that should provide more usable grip than its narrow-body cousin (it doesn’t – 707 horsepower is a lot to tame) while incorporating the menacing look of its drag-strip-devouring big brother. This package adds a neat $6,000 to the SRT Hellcat’s total.


The entry-level SXT is the most affordable trim in the Challenger lineup and starts at $28,090 (all prices include a $1,095 destination fee). The SXT model is powered by a 305-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that's paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard features on the SXT trim include: 18-inch wheels, a power driver's seat, cloth sport seats, LED taillights, daytime running lights, a 5.0-inch touchscreen display, six-speaker audio system, and Uconnect 5.0.

Available packages on the 2018 SXT trim include the Blacktop Package ($1,295) that brings 20-inch wheels, all-season performance tires, a 3.07 Rear Axle Ratio, premium floor mats, a Satin Black fuel filler door, a gloss black grille, fog lamps, gloss black trim around the instrument cluster, “Challenger Blacktop” badging, and a leather steering wheel. The Cold Weather Group ($495) brings a 180-amp alternator, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

The Super Sport Group ($1,850) includes 20-inch wheels, all-season performance tires, a 3.07 Rear Axle Ratio, performance brakes, a two-piece wheel center cap by Rhombi, and steering wheel paddle shifters. The Driver Convenience Group ($1,295) adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, HID headlights, rear park assist, multi-function power mirrors, remote start, and a universal garage door opener.

The Super Track Pak ($1,600) combines the Super Sport Group and the Driver Convenience Group alongside performance brakes, steering, and suspension. Lastly, the Sound Group ($795) includes a 276-watt amplifier and an audio system comprised of six premium speakers.

Adding the Plus package to the SXT opens up access to a couple exclusive equipment packages. The Technology Group ($1,195) adds adaptive cruise control, automatic headlights, forward collision warning, and rain-sensitive windshield wipers. The Sound Group II ($895) brings a 506-watt amplifier and a nine-speaker audio system with a subwoofer, although audiophiles will want to bypass that for the available Premium Sound Group ($1,595) Package, which adds that an 18-speaker premium audio system with a subwoofer and a Harman Kardon Green Edge amplifier.


The GT is the only Challenger that sends all of its power down to all four wheels and costs $34,490. It's only available with a V6 engine and shares a lot of the same features as the SXT Plus Trim. Available packages for the GT All-Wheel Drive trim include the Technology Group ($1,195), Driver Convenience Group ($1,095), and Harman Kardon Premium Sound Group ($1,595). The trim also has an exclusive GT Interior Package ($995) that includes a leather performance steering wheel, Nappa performance seats, and all of the Sound Group II's features.


Priced at $34,590, the R/T trim includes the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine that creates 375 hp as standard. Over the SXT Plus trim, the R/T adds an active exhaust system (to make that V8 roar) and a tilt and telescoping steering column. Optional packages on the R/T trim include the Blacktop Package ($995), Cold Weather Group ($495), Driver Convenience Group ($1,295), Super Track Pak ($695), and the Sound Group ($795). The Performance Handling Group ($995) brings all-season performance tires, 20-inch wheels, and Brembo four-piston high-performance brakes.

Like the SXT, adding the Plus Package to the R/T grants access to a raft option packages, including the aforementioned Technology Group, Sound Group II, and Premium Sound Groups. Each of these carries the same premium as on the SXT. The R/T Plus also gives customers the chance to add the R/T Classic Package, a $1,995 feature that adds 20-inch wheels, black R/T side stripes, HID headlights, Nappa leather upholstery on performance seats, and a Challenger fender badge with a throw-back script.

Additional packages include the $3,115 Shaker and $3,560 T/A, both of which can be paired with the Plus Package.

R/T 392

The R/T 392 is priced at $40,090, and is the most affordable way to get the 485-hp, 6.4-liter Hemi V8. This engine can be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission. Other standard features include upgraded enhanced engine cooling, high-performance Brembo brakes, a 220-amp alternator, electric power steering, an engine oil cooler, a high-performance suspension with bits from Bilstein, a 276-watt amplifier, real-time stats via Dodge’s Performance Pages, and a satin black rear spoiler.

Available packages on the R/T Scat Pack trim include the Technology Group ($395), Driver Convenience Group ($1,095), Sound Group II ($895), and Harman Kardon Premium Sound Group ($1,595).

The Scat Pack Appearance Group ($1,395) adds a satin black fuel filler door, a gloss black grille, hectic mesh interior bezels, HID headlamps, and a Scat Pack bumblebee stripe. The Dynamics Package ($2,200) brings 20-inch wheels, all-season performance tires, and six-piston high-performance Brembo brakes. Lastly, the Leather Interior Group ($1,695) includes Nappa leather performance seats, a heated steering wheel, hectic mesh interior bezels, and a power tilt/telescope steering column.

The Shaker and T/A packages are also available on the R/T 392 Scat Pack, ringing up at $2,492 and $4,450, respectively.

SRT 392

The SRT 392 model has all of the high-performance components of lower-end models, but adds SRT goodies, including adaptive dampers, a flat-bottom, SRT-branded steering wheel, heated and ventilated Laguna leather-trimmed performance front seats, and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. The SRT 392 is priced at $50,590. The Technology Group ($1,195) is the only available package on the trim.

SRT Hellcat

The SRT Hellcat is the first trim to come with the 707-hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine – it’s hilariously fast. This incredibly powerful coupe comes with three-mode adaptive damping, red Brembo brake calipers, heated and ventilated front seats, SRT Laguna leather seats with Hellcat logos, an 18-speaker audio system with a subwoofer, navigation, and 20-inch SRT wheels. The SRT Hellcat costs $64,890.

The only available packages on the Hellcat are the Technology Group ($1,195) and the $6,000 Widebody Package, which adds huge fender flares with 12-inch wide tires at all four corners. The result is a Hellcat that should provide more usable grip than its narrow-body cousin (it doesn’t – 707 horsepower is a lot to tame) while incorporating the menacing look of its drag-strip-devouring big brother. This package adds a neat $6,000 to the SRT Hellcat’s total.

SRT Demon

The range-topping Challenger is the new SRT Demon, which shares its engine with the SRT Hellcat trims, but has even more power – 808 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque. In fact, when filled with 100-octane race fuel, the Demon pumps out 840 hp. The vehicle is essentially a road legal drag car that's capable of rocketing off to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds. The model costs $84,390.

The Demon is a very different car. It comes standard with a single seat and skinny front tires, a two-speaker audio system, and ambient lighting. It also has a hugely advanced drag racing system, with a line locker for cleaning off and warming up the rear rubber, and an advanced transmission system and launch control that helps the Demon complete the quarter-mile in under nine seconds. On the right surface, it accelerates like no other car on the planet.

The SRT Demon has numerous $1 packages, including a cloth front passenger seat, cloth rear seats, and leather rear seats. The Leather Front Seat Group ($1,595) adds bright pedals, Demon Laguna/Alcantara Performance Seats, leather-trimmed seats, power four-way driver lumbar adjust, ventilated and heated front seats, front floor mats, front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, and a power tilt/telescope steering column.

The Comfort Audio Group – Cloth Seat ($995) package includes an 18-inch premium audio system, bright pedals, front floor mats, a front passenger seat, and a Harman Kardon GreenEdge amplifier. The leather-upholstered variant of that package ($2,495) combines the Leather Front Seat Group and the Comfort Audio Group – Cloth Seat. Lastly, the Demon Vehicle Storage Package ($475) includes a Demon Car Cover and a battery manager by Mopar.

CarsDirect Tip

While 707 hp or 808 hp sounds great on paper, that kind of power is a little too much for the road. The SRT 392 with its high-performance parts and 485-hp engine has plenty of oomph to have fun on the road, plus the SRT goodies also look menacing. The R/T Plus with the Super Track Pak and the Performance Handling Group has roughly 85 percent of the same fun factor as the more expensive models, but is much more affordable.

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