Meet The Dodge Challenger GT: The First AWD American Muscle Car

American Muscle

An AWD American muscle car with a V6 engine? Surely that's blasphemous.

We already knew it was coming thanks to a leak from the Environmental Protection Agency, but now it’s official: the AWD Dodge Challenger GT is actually happening. An American muscle car with AWD? No, we can’t get our heads around it either. What we also can’t get our heads around is that the Challenger GT won’t be fitted with a V8, which is borderline blasphemy. Instead, you’ll find a 3.6-liter V6 under the hood that generates 305 hp and 268 pound-feet of torque.

Dodge says the Challenger GT will go on sale early next year starting at $34,490. Making an AWD Challenger may sound like a bold move, but Dodge could be onto something here. The Challenger needs to distinguish itself from its main rivals the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, a battle that Dodge has traditionally lost. Plus, as the accompanying press images show, the practical advantage of AWD means the Challenger GT will be well-equipped to handle extreme weather conditions. After all, while RWD muscle cars are unlawfully fun to drive, they’re practically useless when the weather turns sour unless you enjoy getting stuck spinning your wheels going nowhere.

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Seriously, the sight of a Dodge Challenger sliding in the snow looks like something out of a video game. Don’t think the handling will be compromised, though. In normal conditions, the Challenger GT sends all the power to the rear wheels, so you’ll still get that trademark RWD handling you’re accustomed to. So when the weather turns bad, the Challenger GT will leave the Mustang and Camaro for dust. Here’s hoping the brutish 707 hp Hellcat SRT will be getting the AWD treatment soon too.