The Dodge Challenger may not be a sports car, but it's certainly a performance car. While the base trims pack a 3.0-liter V6 with 300 hp that would feel powerful in many other cars, the Challenger weighs more than some SUVs and, therefore, 300 hp simply isn't enough to make it feel fast. The next level 5.7-liter-V8-equipped R/T model has 375 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, and while you can certainly feel the extra power, you'll still be left behind at stoplights by some hot-hatches with half as many cylinders and almost a quarter of the displacement.
The Challenger gets really interesting with the R/T Scat Pack with its 6.4-liter V8, which offers 485 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque. This amount of power makes the Scat Pack happy to spin its wheels on the dampest of surfaces if you aren't careful, but the power is downright giggle inducing. It'll hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and will pass the quarter mile in 12 seconds. The Scat Pack is the perfect amount of power for the Challenger line, and the chassis honestly doesn't need much more for that classic muscle car feel.
However, Dodge does offer the Challenger with much more. The SRT Hellcat gets an incredible 717 hp from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8, which is a 10-hp bump over the previous year. This is enough to blast the Hellcat to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds while giving it a quarter mile time of 11 seconds. That would be sufficient for most automakers, but this is Dodge we're talking about. Therefore, the SRT Hellcat Redeye exists as well, which gets 797 hp, knocking a few tenths of a second off of both the zero-to-60-mph and quarter-mile times. That's way faster than anyone truly needs, but who are we to stop them?
While the Challenger is fast in a straight line, a sports car it is not. The Challenger doesn't like to corner, mostly due to the incredible amount of inertia it experiences due to its weight – 4,492 pounds at its heaviest. Dodge does offer some help in the form of options packages, including the Widebody Package available on the Scat Pack, Hellcat, and Redeye models that adds wider wheels and tires under wider fenders for extra grip, as well as the Performance Package that gives the Challenger upgraded suspension, brakes, and steering. While the Scat Pack could hold its own on a racetrack, most Challengers are suited for long distance cruising.