Ask a crowd of people what the fastest speed they’ve achieved is, and they’d likely come in somewhere around or under 100 miles-per-hour. Though not Bugatti Veyron speeds, most of us can agree that’s wickedly fast. Plus, it’s often hard to maintain those speeds in most vehicles these days, making anywhere from 200-400 horsepower.
So how fast do you think you could go with 800 horsepower beneath the hood?
That’s the question Dodge poses to customers contemplating the 2021 Challenger. At least those who can afford the Super Stock model, of course. That’s not to say the other trim levels are lacking in power or presence.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take it step-by-step. We’ve got everything you need to know about the 2021 Challenger broken up into sections below, with plenty of reasons why you should be the proud owner of an 800-horsepower machine (if you so choose).
The 2021 Dodge Challenger comes in a number of powertrain variants, mostly rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available on the base V6 model. Depending on the trim you choose, you can opt for a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. So, how about that horsepower?
The base engine in the 2021 Challenger is a 3.6-liter V6 with 303 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. By far the smallest engine Dodge offers on the Challenger platform, this model is trumped by the 5.7-liter V8, which makes 372 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque on models with an automatic transmission; the numbers jump up to 375 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque for the manual variant.
Next up are the largest V8 engines. First is a 6.4-liter that puts out 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. A supercharged 6.2-liter V8 achieves 1 of 3 sets of numbers, depending on which trim you choose. The Hellcat screams away with 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque. The Hellcat Redeye makes 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque, but it’s the Super Stock that’ll blow the doors off anything with 807 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque.
Though you’ll likely only see them as streaks of color passing you by, here are the official paint options for Dodge’s 2021 Challenger:
- IndiGo Blue
- Octane Red
- Triple Nickel
- Smoke Show
- White Knuckle
- Pitch Black
- F8 Green
- Sinamon Stick
Trimlines and Pricing
Where other brands classify their trim levels generally by interior creature comforts, think of Dodge’s trim levels more like answers to the question: “How fast do you want to go?” Here are your available choices. Not all prices are official yet, but we’ll add in the 2020 model costs to give you an idea.
Base price on the 2021 Challenger starts at $34,295. These entry-level models receive 18-inch wheels, keyless entry and push button start, cloth seating, a power driver’s seat, dual climate control, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 6-speaker sound system. Power comes from a V6 engine paired with the automatic transmission.
A premium version of the base SXT model, the GT boasts 20-inch wheels and remote start. A hood scoop, front splitter, and fog lights give the front end that mean look most enthusiasts covet. Paddle shifters give customers more feedback when it comes to driving this behemoth, which finds its footing with upgraded sport suspension on this model.
This model comes with the 6-speed manual transmission, paired with the 5.7-liter V8. An active exhaust system will keep your ears happy, while the metal pedals and limited-slip rear differential keeps power flowing to the tires without breaking a sweat.
R/T Scat Pack
A larger V8 and performance upgrades characterize the Scat Pack. Upgraded brakes and suspension, coupled with line lock and launch control, will allow you to go faster. Heated front seats and steering wheel keep the cold away. Last year’s R/T Scat Pack started at $40,000, so expect a similar price range for 2021.
Do we really need to introduce the Hellcat? It’s become a household name for enthusiasts, probably because of the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 beneath the hood—and the reputation that comes with it. A performance shift indicator, track mode, adaptive suspension, Brembo brakes, and red calipers round out the goodies found on the Hellcat model. Expect a starting price just above $60,000.
SRT Hellcat Redeye
For more power per stroke, upgrade to the Hellcat Redeye. The speedometer rises to 220 miles-per-hour and customers will likely appreciate the SRT Power Chiller. The 2020 model started ay $72,295.
SRT Super Stock
There’s nothing stock about this 800-horsepower driving machine—except that Dodge equips it with quite a few goodies straight from the factory. These top-of-the-line features include a rear-seat delete, Launch Control, Line Lock, and Torque Reserve. A widebody kit, Brembo brakes, drag radials, and a “Race Cooldown” system sets this sleeper apart from the rest. This top of the line version of the Challenger will set you back at least $75,000 — and maybe more.
If we were you, we might just skip past the fuel efficiency segment. The high numbers you’re looking for are all under the hood.
The 2021 Dodge Challenger hasn’t yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). But it doesn’t take an official agency to know that a platform built to contain 800 horsepower has to be bullet-proof—and street legal.
With that said, don’t expect the 2021 Challenger to include much more safety equipment than this year’s model. Mandatory equipment includes “stability control, six airbags and a rearview camera. Blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert are optional.” For more details on what safety features exist on the 2021 Dodge Challenger, speak with a sales agent at your local Dodge dealership today.
Kelley Blue Book (KBB) reports the following fuel economy ratings for the 2021 Dodge Challenger. First up is the 3.6-liter V6, which can be bought in both rear- and all-wheel drive. The rear wheels achieve 19 city and 30 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG), while all 4 wheels together maintain 18 city and 27 highway MPG. If you’re looking for higher numbers than that, you’re out of luck.
Choose the 5.7-liter V8 and you’ll see 16 city and 25 highway MPG for automatic transmissions, while manuals lose a point in the city and 2 on the highway. Automatics with the 6.4-liter V8 come in around the same, with 15 city and 24 highway MPG. Manuals of the same drivetrain lose a point in both columns.
The numbers continue to drop with the supercharged V8 models. Automatics with anywhere from 717 to 807 horsepower stay put at 13 city and 22 highway MPG. Add a stick shift or a widebody kit and aerodynamics rob you of a point on the highway.
It’s obvious that the 2021 Dodge Challenger places most of its eggs—or should we say horsepower—in a singular basket. This dedication to power oftentimes makes it a high-maintenance machine, and there’s no room to argue the fact that it won’t win in a fuel-efficiency competition against say, a Prius. Some lament the lack of a convertible model, while others couldn’t help but point out the “map graphics look dated and cartoony.”
Really, the 2021 Challenger takes on the competition based on performance, not how the interior would feel compared to a BMW. That said, the Challenger’s massive horsepower output doesn’t automatically win it a victory in the segment.
For instance, Jaguar’s F-Type SVR puts down 575 horsepower with a supercharged V8—and it’s more of a sportscar than a 2-door with the dimensions of a 4-door. The Camaro ZL1 and Shelby Mustang GT500 lay down enough rubber to be noticed as well. Though the class may be limited—unlike the horsepower—the 2021 Challenger must put up a good fight to be recognized among these powerhouses.
The Last Word
The 2021 Dodge Challenger may not look much different from past models, but you might agree “that’s fine by us—it’s one of our favorites in its limited class already.” The Challenger is a model best suited to those who enjoy driving, who wake up in the morning to challenge the guy/girl next to them at the light and, win or lose, enjoy the thrill of a street race.
If you’re interested in learning more about the 2021 Dodge Challenger, visit your local Dodge dealership today. Test drive one if you like, but remember: keep it legal, folks!