looks like: the current charger with a few tweaks on performance models
under the hood: 292- or 300-horsepower, 3.6-liter v-6; 370-hp, 5.7-liter v-8; 485-hp, 6.4-liter v-8; or 707-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter v-8; eight-speed automatic transmission; rear- or all-wheel drive
hits dealerships: summer 2018
somewhere between the charger sxt at the rental counter and a 707-horsepower charger srt hellcat, dodge hopes there's a car for you. the brand's full-size sedan, a corporate sibling to the chrysler 300, has a lot of small updates for 2019.
related: y'all redeye for this? 2019 dodge challenger gets demonic 797-hp bro
the current charger's roots go back nine model years, an advanced age that's apparent in its spotty performance with crash tests introduced since then. still, the ascendance of suvs leaves sedan lovers with a shrinking pool of choices — particularly with regard to big, rear-wheel-drive choices with v-8 power at a comparatively affordable price.
so the charger remains compelling on several levels. that shouldn't change much for the 2019 model, which gets a new trim levels and a few styling tweaks. on sale in the third quarter of 2018, the 2019 charger comes in six trims, with rear- or all-wheel drive and four used engine : a 3.6-liter v-6 or three v-8s that culminate with a supercharged 6.2-liter hemi making 707 hp in the hellcat.
styling changes are mostly confined to performance models. the gt and r/t get a new hood-mounted air intake and updates to the bumpers and side sills. r/t scat pack and srt hellcat models add grille-embedded air intakes, and the latter gets a new, more prominent hood intake. in back, it continues to employ just two large tailpipes — a nice bit of restraint, given cars as modest as a four-cylinder toyota camry xse have gone all "jurassic" franchise with pipes. (to wit, there are just too many.)
little has changed inside. cars with leather upholstery get a new, stitched wrapping on upper portions of the dashboard and doors. hellcats have new instrument-panel badging, while other trims have new finishes for certain gauge and center-console details.
under the hood
the bottom three trim levels — sxt, sxt awd and gt — have a 3.6-liter v-6 with 292 hp in the sxt and 300 hp in the others. the other three trims — r/t, r/t scat pack and srt hellcat — have v-8s that displace 5.7 liters (370 hp) in the r/t, 6.4 liters (485 hp) in the r/t scat pack and 6.2 liters with a supercharger (a still-ludicrous 707 hp) in the srt hellcat. all used engine work through an eight-speed automatic transmission. six-cylinder models offer rear- or all-wheel drive; the v-8s are rear-drive only. dodge once offered awd with the v-8 in the current charger, but you'd have to go all the way back to the 2014 model year to find one.
a launch-assist feature, which optimizes drive settings for maximum straight-line acceleration from a standstill, is now standard with the 6.4-liter (r/t scat pack) and supercharged 6.2-liter (srt hellcat) v-8s. so is a line-lock feature, which helps you heat up the rear wheels at a drag strip like we do in this video.
the r/t scat pack gets bilstein adaptive shock absorbers as a new option. they're standard on the hellcat, which adds two new features: torque reserve and after-run chiller. torque reserve, brought over from the related dodge challenger srt demon, closes a bypass valve to pile up supercharger pressure while it's managing spark timing and fuel flow so the car doesn't fly off before you're ready. the result is more torque on hand for acceleration runs from a standing start. after-run chiller, meanwhile, helps cool the supercharger after said runs.
gt and r/t models add a standard high-performance suspension, bilstein shocks and performance-tuned steering with wheel-mounted paddle shifters; the gt gets a quicker axle ratio, too. many of those features were previously optional on both trims.
safety and self-driving technology
forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking remains optional, a missed opportunity as many cars now include the important safety feature as standard. other options on the charger include adaptive cruise control that works all the way down to a stop and lane departure warning with steering intervention. lane-centering steering is unavailable.
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