Why The All-Wheel Drive Dodge Challenger Is Not Muscle Car Sacrilege

It opens up a whole new world for the muscle car.

Our test of Detroit’s three big bruising muscle coupes left us with a surprising bias towards the Challenger for the simple fact that, at least when optioned with the Scat Pack, it best preserves the unhinged spirit of the muscle car the most purely. Either that or our caveman-like tastes are at better suited to that car, but in either case, we, along with the rest of the muscle car loving community, were befuddled when Dodge spit out an all-wheel drive version of the Challenger.

The air of danger and the ability to pull off big smoky burnouts are in line with what muscle cars are meant for, not technology that’s supposed to make the car easier to drive. But that’s just what Dodge went ahead and did with the AWD Challenger, and you know what? We don’t think it’s a stupid idea.

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Take off your gearhead glasses and put on the lens of a businessperson for a second and hear us out. In many parts of the US, wicked winter months mean more than snow tires and shoveling driveways, they mean that anyone who buys a muscle car must have a backup vehicle to drive around when the going gets slippery. Hell, black ice is what kept us from fully enjoying the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, but that’s something the AWD Challenger can churn through more easily. With a V6 and no ability to do a burnout, the AWD Challenger seems like the worst muscle car on paper. But the fact that it opens up the market to those who previously couldn’t get in makes it a genius decision.

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