Dodge revamps its 2019 Charger lineup, adds AWD
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Americans’ love affair with trucks and SUVs. But nothing raises the hair on the back of our necks quite like a muscle car does.
The Charger, America’s only four-door muscle car and the sales leader among North American large sedans for five consecutive years, will soon be available in “six distinct, attitude-infused models that offer a range of performance and powertrain options for every modern muscle-car customer,” according to a press release. The Charger lineup will include the 707-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the new Charger GT RWD performance model with V-6 power, and an SXT AWD stand-alone model.
“Despite a shift toward utility vehicles in the United States over the past decade, the Dodge Charger and Challenger continue to buck the trend,” says Steve Beahm, head of Passenger Car Brands for Dodge, SRT, Chrysler, and FIAT—FCA North America. “Sales of the Charger and Challenger have increased 70 percent since 2008, and since the launch of Scat Pack in August 2014, high-performance model sales increased from 4 percent to more than 25 percent.
The six 2019 Charger models are the Charger SRT Hellcat, Charger R/T Scat Pack, Charger R/T, Charger SXT AWD, Charger GT, and Charger SXT. Available exterior colors include B5 Blue, Destroyer Grey, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, IndiGo Blue, Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy, TorRed, Triple Nickel and White Knuckle.
Charger SRT Hellcat
New for 2019, the Charger SRT Hellcat features a new grille with dual inlets that feed cooler, outside air into the engine compartment. Bolstering the performance is the addition of four race-inspired technologies that come standard on the Hellcat: Launch Assist, which uses wheel-speed sensors to watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and, in milliseconds, modifies the engine torque to regain full grip; Line Lock, which engages the front brakes to hold the Charger SRT Hellcat stationary but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires; After-Run Chiller, which keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after the engine is shut off; and Torque Reserve, which closes a bypass valve to prefill the supercharger and manages fuel flow and spark advance to balance engine rpm and torque, generating a reserve of torque that is delivered upon acceleration from a standing stop.
The 2019 Hellcat also has new instrument panel badging, a Satin Black painted hood option, available Brass Monkey 20-inch forged wheels, and an Alcantara interior package.
Charger R/T Scat Pack
The 2019 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack provides the most muscle for the dollar. Powered by a naturally aspirated 392 Hemi V-8 that delivers 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, it is mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and is priced less than $40,000.
Launch Assist and Line Lock are standard features on the 2019 R/T Scat Pack. A new switch on the dashboard provides quick access to initialize Launch Control, which coordinates the engine, transmission, driveline and suspension for an optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
R/T Scat Pack features the same new performance grille with dual air inlets as the SRT Hellcat and adds a new Scat Pack bee badge on the decklid, replacing the R/T badge. A new Dark Dub Plate instrument panel and houndstooth cloth performance seats with an added Scat Pack bee logo are also standard. Dual carbon stripes, a satin black-painted hood and Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping suspension are available options.
The 2019 Dodge Charger R/T is powered by the iconic 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, rated at 370 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, and mated to the standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.
For 2019, the Charger R/T adopts new performance looks and features, including the performance hood, fascia, and sculpted side sills, spoiler, and seats, all standard. Race-bred upgrades include a standard performance suspension. Also available is a new Cold Weather Package, which includes a heated steering wheel and heated cloth driver and passenger seats.
Charger SXT AWD
The Charger SXT AWD model, new for 2019 whereas AWD was previously an add-on for the SXT, is powered by a Pentastar V-6 engine, rated at 300 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. It, too, is mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic. Available options are a new Caramel Nappa leather interior, houndstooth cloth sport seats, and the Blacktop Package, which includes a new 19-inch Black Noise wheel. The Cold Weather Package is also available.
The Dodge Charger GT RWD performance model is also powered by a 300-hp Pentastar V-6 engine, mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic. For 2019, the GT adopts new performance looks and features standard, including performance hood, fascia, sculpted side sills, spoiler and seats. It also has race-bred chassis upgrades and the new Cold Weather Package.
The powerful and roomy Charger SXT model is powered by the standard Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, rated at 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, with a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic. The 2019 SXT has electronic stability control, remote start, cruise control, electric power steering, a capless fuel filler, automatic halogen projector headlamps with LED accents, and three 12-volt power outlets.
Available SXT options include houndstooth cloth sport seats, Caramel Nappa leather interior, the Blacktop Package, and the Cold Weather Package.
Dealer orders for 2019 Dodge Charger models open this week, and vehicles are scheduled to arrive in Dodge dealerships in the third quarter of 2018.