10 Classic Cars Versus Their Modern Iterations

Fast and Furious 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT

Photo by Bob P. B.

2. Dodge Challenger

Originally introduced as a trim level for 1958, the Dodge Challenger name eventually became its own entity. While based on the Plymouth Barracuda introduced in 1964, the Challenger was a rebuttal to more luxurious versions of the competition, including the Pontiac Firebird and the Mercury Cougar. The pony car era was winding down fast at the time of the Challenger’s release in 1970. Although the car itself had the capabilities to get the job done, low sales numbers led to the end of this muscle car in mid-1974. Four years later, Dodge put the Challenger name on an underpowered import that Mitsubishi was building. These were rather embarrassing times for the little 4 cylinder, everyone was aware it would never raise the bar over its predecessor. Thankfully, Dodge had retired the Challenger name for another 20 years. Revived in 2008, the Challenger had regained its dignity: The American built, rear wheel drive, V8 muscle coupe was back! The engineers decided to exceed expectations set by the original by incorporating many technologies from Mercedes, including 4 wheel independent suspension, the six speed automatic transmission, limited slip rear differential, and lightning-fast ESP system to keep it all under control. Dodge even offers the Challenger in a very mean supercharged 707 horsepower version, appropriately dubbed the Hellcat, and fitted with giant 15.4 inch Brembo brakes up front and 13.8 inch Brembos in the rear . Every Challenger available from Dodge today is a respectable homage to the original, and with many visual similarities, you can almost forget about the Mitsubishi incident. Almost.

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