Dodge Unveils 2017 Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A

Days before the Woodward Dream Cruise, Dodge drops their new old-school tribute cars, ...

Days before the Woodward Dream Cruise, Dodge drops their new old-school tribute cars, the Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A. We knew this was coming. Dodge survives on heritage, reminiscence of the hay day of the muscle car. They don’t have to be the fastest. They don’t have to be the lightest. They just have to be the coolest. This has been proved by how well the Challenger has sold with its 1970-esque appearance and truck-like weight class. Big HEMI V8 power to the rear wheels and a vintage look is what Dodge has used to sell these cars the last few years. In a world of faster, lighter and newer, its nice to have a refreshing retro car to just cruise and do burnouts in. They’ve renewed this feeling with their newest throwback rides.

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First off, let’s talk about the heritage of these names. The Daytona Charger was the NASCAR-winning monster from Dodge that was the first to break the 200mph mark. The Challenger T/A was in a whole different kind of racing in the same period, SCCA’s Trans Am Championship. While the Daytona was meant for top speed and turning left, the Challenger T/A was meant to be Dodge’s corner-carving answer to the Camaro Z/28 and Boss 302.

In 2014, Dodge teased everybody at the SEMA show with a Challenger T/A concept which is almost identical to the model they unveiled today. The T/A will come in three forms; T/A, T/A Plus and T/A 392. Every T/A model comes with the Super Track Pak with lowered suspension, Bilstein shocks, three-mode stability control and stickier tires. They also all include a modified version of the Hellcat’s headlight intake system. Instead of just one light being an intake, The T/A used both with a modified Hellcat airbox. While that is the basis of these three models, here is what makes them different. The T/A is the entry level model with the 5.7L Hemi, Houndstooth style seat inserts and mostly basic R/T interior with T/A badges. The Plus adds on heated and ventilated leather seats, a nice stereo and the UConnect 8.4″ infotainment system.


The real deal is the Challenger T/A 392. This is everything mentioned before, but with the 392ci HEMI that puts out 485 horsepower. It also adds wider 20×9.5″ forged-aluminum wheels wrapped in Pirelli three-season tires. This car is essentially a special-edition Scat Pack Challenger with a little extra vintage flair. The T/A 392 also gets the bigger 6-piston Brembo brakes in the front and 4-pistons in the rear.


The Charger Daytona is the same concept as the T/A with the base model having the 5.7 HEMI and the top-of-the-line model getting the 392. This is the ultimate family car for the modern car enthusiast. Coming in under $50k with nearly 500 horsepower, plenty of room for four adults, a dedicated stability-control “off” mode for boiling tires and maximum stripe-age to show how cool you really are. I can’t think of another car for the price that I’d rather own as a family man. That is, unless I could afford the extra $20k to drop on the Hellcat Charger. This is the perfect compromise between family car and muscle car.


If you’re truly invested in the retro Mopar muscle scene, the base Challenger T/A is the car for you. No fancy cooled leather seats, no big navigation screen, just a go-pedal and 370-horsepower to the rear wheels. If I bought one of these, the first thing I would do is get a set of 20×10″ HRE wheels and 285/35R20 Toyo Proxes R888’s all around to have is setup properly. The 9″ wide wheels that come with it are a bit narrow for my style.

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