2008 Dodge Challenger Guide: Specs, Performance & More

Everything 2008 Challenger: Specifications, Production Numbers, Color Codes, Model History, & More

The Dodge Challenger’s comeback was not by chance. It wasn’t because of a fleeting fancy by the company. It came from an overwhelming media and public response to the 2005 Ford Mustang. Its retro style carried with it something people are overly fond of nowadays – nostalgia. Dodge took that idea and ran with it – harnessing the designing genius from their 1970 Challenger.

1970 Dodge Challenger & 2008 Dodge Challenger
Photo Source: Barrett-Jackson & Motor Trend

After hashing out the details from their concept, the 2008 Challenger was born. The shape is undeniable and the style was epic. It is hard to look at the two cars and be that surprised they are related. Same roof-line. Same raised rear haunch. Same front and rear fascia shape. The designers hit the nail on the head. If only there had been a vinyl roof?

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 front and rear views
Photo Source: buy.motorious.com

The front grill is almost exact to the 1970 Challenger’s shape. Four lights round out the curved rectangle and fog lamps add to the throw-back. Air dam adds downforce and covers up the large 245/45R20s in the front. Only one hood available and it is a wonderful homage to the original R/T hood. It is tough to look at the front of this car and not be excited about the speed it promises.

Rear facia is also very reminiscent of gen-1. The backup light is a bit more inter-mixed with the taillights, but it is a wonderful design. Rectangle exhaust is also a distant relative of the ’70 R/T tips and though the noise is a bit less raw, there is enough rumble from the front hood to make anyone smile. Rear tires are a beefier set of 255/45R20s and all tires surround large 5-spoke aluminum rims.

Model 2008 Dodge Challenger
Type 2-Door
Names & Trims SRT8
Engines 6.1Liter, OHV Hemi V8
Price range $37,500-$44,500

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Photo Source: fastlanecars.com

For 2008, there was only one car to buy – the SRT8. Street Racing Technology – V8. Pretty much sums it up. The car was brought in for one purpose – driving excitement. No, not referring to Pontiac. The Challenger was a full-fledged muscle car again with the horsepower to prove it. No six-cylinder, no four-banger, not even a special turbo version. Just one whopping V8 and enough power to erase the tarmac where you stood. But the car was more than an engine in many ways.

The exterior look is gorgeous, the interior is comfortable and quiet, and the driving experience is sublime. Sporty suspension helps to keep the tires planted while it can still give an easy ride when you are just cruising around. Add to that a laundry list of safety features, and you can see what I’m on about.

2008 Dodge Challenger 500 – Canadian Special Edition

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 500
Photo Source: gentrylane.com

For those who like easter eggs, this is a low-production version made in Canada. The Challenger 500 (named after the Charger 500 of the late ’60s) was only made in 2008 to the tune of 700+ vehicles. Besides the badge on the dashboard and grille, and the fact it is rarer, the car is exactly like the U.S. variety.

2008 Dodge Challenger Specifications, Options, & Interior

Exterior Dimensions:

Length 197.7 in.
Width 75.7 in.
Height 57.0 in.
Wheelbase 116.0 in.
Curb Weight 4140 lbs.

2008 Challenger Exterior Design

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Photo Source: fastlanecars.com

The Challenger having only one option package made for easy decisions. On top of that, there were only 3 colors initially available – Brilliant Black, Bright Silver Metallic, and Hemi Orange. There weren’t any exterior options either, but it didn’t matter. What you got was a fantastic coupe with all the testosterone that an automobile could exude.

This isn’t a small car either. Besides being heavier (more later), the car has a longer wheelbase, is longer and taller than the 1970’s muscle car. It is also wider, taller, and almost a foot longer than the 2005 Mustang it was competing against. It actually was only a couple inches shorter than a 4-door Ford Taurus and it weighed almost 500lbs more. Big indeed.

Interior Dimensions:

Front Leg Room 42.0 in.
Front Head Room 39.5 in.
Front Shoulder Room 58.2 in.
Front Hip Room 54.7 in.
Rear Leg Room 32.6 in.
Rear Head Room 37.4 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 53.9 in.
Rear Hip Room 51.4 in.

2008 Challenger Interior Design

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Photo Source: Motor Trend

With the retro theme in mind, Dodge used a lot of styling cues from the ’70’s era cars. Console shifter, sporty bucket seats, 4-holed cluster, 4-spoke sport steering wheel, trapezoid door inserts – it’s all there from yesteryear. Don’t think for a minute that the car is a neanderthal inside. There were enough gadgets – even for 2008 – to impress the tech-savvy.

Options List

Safety
Electronic Brakeforce Dist. Child Seat Anchors
Emergency Braking Assist Stability Control
Emergency Int. Trunk Rel. Dusk Sensing Headlamps
Rear Center 3-pt Belt Xenon High-Intensity Headlamps
Front & Rear Head Airbags Traction Control
Power Steering Tire Pressure Monitoring
4-Wheel ABS Auto Delay Off Headlamps
Engine Immobilizer Front Headrests
Front Fog/Driving Lights Remote Anti-Theft System

PLUS many in-dash related extras like Compass, Trip Computer, Tachometer, Low Fuel Warning, Clock, Temp Display, and more.

Comfort / Convenience
Air Conditioning Overhead Console w/ Storage
Front Seatback Storage Leather Steering Wheel
Leather Gear Knob Keyless Ignition
Power Steering Front Reading Lights
Dual Illuminating Vanity Rear Cupholders
Electrochromatic Inside Rear Mirror Retained Accessory Power
Tilt/Telescoping Steering Wheel Universal Remote
Front Door Pockets Suede Door Trim
Trunk Light Power/Heated Mirrors
Remote Keyless Door Locks One-Touch Power Mirrors
Kicker 13 Speaker AM/FM Stereo Satellite Radio

That is a lot of technology from a car whose origins come from one that ran on regular leaded gas!

2008 Challenger Engine

2008 Challenger 6.1L Hemi V8
Photo Source: Motor Trend

So, design and options are important to mention, but now we’re getting to what this Challenger is really about. A Hemi V8. No, not the 7.0L, 426ci behemoth from the ’70s. The new 6.1L, V8 produced the same 425hp as the 7.0L, but was lighter, cleaner-burning, and more reliable. It also helped the ’08 Challenger to become the fastest Challenger to date. Yes, the better tires, transmission, torque curve, and gearing also helped, but who’s counting?

Drivetrain layout Front Engine, RWD
Engine Type iron block/aluminum heads
Valvetrain Overhead Valves, 2 valves/cylinder
Displacement 369.8ci / 6059cc
Compression 10:3:1
Horsepower (SAE) 425 hp @ 6200 RPM
Torque (SAE) 420 lb-ft @ 4800 RPM

Performance

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 - from Dodge's sales brochure
Photo Source: Dodge.com

How good is the performance? Keep in mind that this is a 4000-pound coupe with all the amenities of the day. Zero to 60 comes in less than 5 seconds, to 100 in a tic over 11 seconds, and through the quarter-mile faster than the fastest Challenger you could buy from the first generation.

Not only that, but it would’ve destroyed the new Mustang GT in a race with almost no effort. You’d have to spend another $10,000 to purchase the GT500 to match the Challenger’s figures. Chevrolet was also still a year away from making the Camaro as well. Dodge was on the fringe of fully competing with Ford and Chevrolet and it all started with this car.

2008 Challenger SRT8 Performance

*0-60: 4.9 seconds

*0-100: 11.3 seconds

*0-¼ mile: 13.1 @ 108 mph

**Top Speed: 168 mph

*Lateral Accel: 0.87 g (avg)

MPG: 13/18 mpg (mfr.)

*Motor Trend, **Car & Driver

Counterpoint

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Photo Source: Motor Trend

The other side to the coin has to be mentioned. The ’08 Challenger did have some faults for all of its chocolaty goodness. To start with, the car is heavy – like, really heavy. Cadillac-heavy. Four thousand pounds for a performance car has become more of a norm nowadays, but in 2008 – when a C6 Corvette weighed a measly 3200 pounds – it was a porker.

Year one for the newcomer also had it utilizing a 5-speed automatic transmission. No manual transmission was a large no-no in the gearhead community and a major win for Mustang fans. And, between the thirsty engine, automatic transmission, and ominous heft, the car’s gas mileage ratings looked like that of a Dodge Ram (13/18) instead of a sports coupe. It was also offered with no other engine options, very few color choices, and all for the price of a really good Mercedes.

2008 Challenger Production Figures

Dodge still had a tough sale on their hands and their numbers showed. Ford’s Mustang was flourishing, and a cornucopia of competition was available in the automotive shopping list, so sales were slow starting out. Eventually, the car would become a major seller, but it would require more variety, more power, and more options. The Challenger phenomenon was just starting.

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8
    17,423*

Source: GoodCarBadCar.net

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