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2009 Dodge Challenger vs. 2009 Ford Mustang


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Story by Sam Haymart @ MustangNews.com


03-26-08: Chrysler has now unveiled the entire line of 2009 Dodge Challengers from the 3.5 liter base model V6 SE with 250hp, Dodge Challenger R/T with an upgraded 370/375hp 5.7 liter Hemi V8 as well as the fire-breathing 425hp 6.1 liter SRT8. Now that the cards are on the table, we can take a good look at the whole enchilada and see how the new Dodge Boy compares to the Mustang.


The first thing that has to be laid out is the fact that the Dodge Challenger is a much larger and heavier car than the Mustang. Weighing in at 3720 lbs. for the V6, 4041 lbs for the R/T, and 4170 lbs. for the SRT8, the Challenger weighs about 400-500 lbs. more than a comparable Mustang. This is like driving your Mustang around with 2-3 of your biggest buddies in the car with you.


The Challenger has a 116” wheelbase, a significant 9 ” longer than the Mustang's 107". In overall size, the Challenger is 197” long which is a full 10” longer than the Ford. Our point? when comparing these two muscle car's horsepower you should keep in mind that they are vastly different in size and weight. Our comparison charts below will show how that relates to the most important bench racing number here; power to weight ratio.


That aside, Chrysler has to be commended for putting a lot of good things into the Challenger when it comes to mechanicals. The mid-level R/T model which will be largely compared to the Mustang GT features the new-generation 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission that produces an estimated 370 hp and 398 lb.-ft. of torque. These things sound pretty good under full throttle.


The automatic transmission features fuel-saving multi-displacement (MDS) technology which increases fuel economy by as much as 20 percent depending on driving conditions without sacrificing vehicle performance. The Dodge Challenger R/T also offers a six-speed manual transmission horsepower is up slightly at 375 horsepower and 404 lb.-ft. of torque with the manual. Advantage goes to Challenger as Mustang GT only offers a five-speed manual.


The top of the line Challenger SRT8 features an SRT-exclusive 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine mated with a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick that generates a blistering 425 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. The SRT8 can go from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds. But as our previous article on the Challenger SRT8 points out, it's not likely knock the Shelby GT-500 in performance as it weighs more and has less power.


The base Dodge Challenger SE powered by Chrysler's 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 with a four-speed automatic transmission. The combination produces 250 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque. Unlike the Mustang, the Challenger V6 will not offer a manual transmission. The 3.5 liter V6 is a well praised engine that revs freely and enjoys a high level of refinement compared to Mustang’s noisy and rough 210hp 4.0 SOHC V6, who’s architecture dates back to the stone age. Advantage Challenger.


Where the Challenger will really lay waste on the Mustang is in its world class chassis. It's patterned off the Dodge Charger architecture, a platform derived from the last generation .......



For the rest of the story with side-by-side comparison data sheets CLICK HERE

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Easy on the GTO,It was 32K and a hell of a deal.The Challenger looks awesome but,Why in the hell with all of the technology at hand are they building heavier cars?I realize that they have to meet safety standards but damn it seems as if they add weight to them every time a new model appears.A two door Musclecar should not weigh in at over 4000 lbs!As far as taking the current crown from the Mustang,I don't see it.Loaded Mustang GT,32K.Need more power,6K gets a supercharger.Challenger still costs more,Has expensive aftermarket support,Ask the SRT8 guys,And needs Jenny Craig.Beautiful car,Not taking the crown though.

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