The theme for the 2014 Dodge Challenger lineup is the “democratization of performance,” with the brand offering a full slate of candidates for the title of America’s favorite muscle car. Now, it must be admitted that Dodge does go out of its way to cater to special interest groups with the Challenger but that’s actually to the benefit of potential owners, who can choose from SRT, Blacktop and Super Sport* editions, as well as today’s featured fun machine, the 2014 Dodge Challenger Redline.
An incumbent in the Challenger lineup, the Redline returns with a HEMI model and also adds a V6 alternative for the 2014 model year. The latter choice is based on the 2014 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus and showcases a clean and relatively subtle exterior upgrade in the form of a Redline Red striping package that goes right down the center of the car through its hood scoops, over the roof and down across to its body-color deck-lid spoiler. Also in the mix: 20-inch Black Chrome wheels highlighted by Redline Red accents and P245/45R20 performance tires.
Power for the 2014 Dodge Challenger Rallye Redline comes from the award-winning Pentastar V6 engine that delivers 305 hp, 268 lb.-ft. of torque, and fuel-economy grades of up to 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway/21 mpg combined.
HEMI fans can then go one of two different routes: For enthusiasts who primarily care about gaining access to 375 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque, the 2014 Dodge Challenger Redline R/T is based on the most-affordable V8-powered muscle car in America. Drivers who prefer a more premium experience can upgrade to the R/T Redline Plus with Nappa leather seating and other lux amenities.
The V8 Redline models are distinguished visually from their V6 counterparts by body-side striping and a body-color grille surround, while Redline interiors are done in Dark Slate Gray (with the Nappa leather seats also offered in Radar Red).
And while its moniker may leave some in the General’s ranks feeling a bit saturnine, the 2014 Dodge Challenger Redline certainly put a smile on my face when I drove it at a recent Chrysler Group media event …..
2014 Dodge Challenger Redline: Rapid Review
My seat time in the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus Redline was rather limited, but I did get to drive it on both a handling course and a Chrysler Group test track designed to mimic a variety of different driving scenarios, and I came away pretty well impressed with the car’s performance on both. It can’t be easy to provide confident, athletic handling in a car that weighs in excess of 4,000 lbs., but Dodge engineers were up to the task, and maneuvering the car is made even easier by its predictable steering. The brakes were likewise able to handle all that weight with aplomb, but while the six-speed manual transmission was fine in operation, the actual feel of the shifter was awkward in my hand. That HEMI engine sounded great, too.
A cursory walk-around and cabin inspection showed no immediately apparent fit-and-finish issues, which is a very good sign in a car that’s been through the rigors of a press fleet; the cockpit felt particularly well put together, although the materials and design were a mixed bag. On the positive side were the car’s soft-touch door panels that also added a nice splash of color to the cabin, but the Dodge gets demerits for some cheap-looking plastic pieces and an underwhelming steering wheel.
In the looks department, and especially in person, the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline provides a surprisingly sophisticated and upscale exterior thanks to its creamy white body color and restrained red highlights both in its stripes and on its wheels. The interior, on the other hand, isn’t quite as successful, coming off as esthetically confused over whether it should be providing a premium, sporting or “high value” ambiance.
The bottom line for the 2014 Dodge Challenger Redline: As long as out-running the Mustang and Camaro aren’t a necessity, the latest iteration of the Challenger continues to offer its own unique style and remains a strong alternative to the tyranny of the muscle-car majority.
The 2014 Dodge Challenger will arrive in dealerships later this year at a price that’s still to be determined.
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