Blackout Upgrade Packages Offer High-value Style
The Dodge Charger has seen a number of impressive special editions in recent years, and one of the latest—the Blacktop Edition—has become so popular that the brand is putting three more versions on the road: The 2013 Dodge Avenger Blacktop Edition, 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Blacktop Edition and 2013 Dodge Charger R/T Blacktop Edition will go into production in December, then join the currently available 2013 Dodge Charger SXT Blacktop Edition at dealerships soon after. Each will put its own Dodge-tastic spin on today’s trendy blackout-style appearance with items like Gloss Black wheels, grilles and grille surrounds, combined with darkened headlamp bezels, model-specific interior enhancements, and body-colored rear spoilers.
And who knows, perhaps if the new Blacktop trio attracts the same kind of interest and demand as the original, it will pave the way for even more iterations in the future.
“The Blacktop package on the Dodge Charger has proven to be a resounding success by combining a customized one-of-a-kind appearance with great value—a trademark of the Dodge Brand," said Reid Bigland, Dodge’s president and CEO. "Now we're expanding this successful formula to the Avenger, Challenger and Charger R/T, making great style and performance even more accessible, starting at just $595."
The value play starts—unsurprisingly—with the 2013 Dodge Avenger. The car has delivered an ongoing streak of record sales months that are backed by the lowest starting price of any mainstream midsize sedan and a slightly retro design that makes it stand out amongst its current crop of rivals. The Dodge Avenger Blacktop Edition is actually based on the mid-level Avenger SXT, which is fairly well kitted out with standard equipment like an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob, six-speaker sound system, projector style fog lamps, automatic climate control, heated outside mirrors, and the Chrysler Group’s 2.4-liter I4 mated to a six-speed Auto Stick automatic. (The 283-hp Pentastar V6 is available, too.)
The cost for all that is $21,495, and the basic Blacktop Package adds another $595 to the bottom line while also adding those Gloss Black aluminum wheels (18-inchers) with matching center caps, the blackout grille, dark-tinted headlamps bezels and a body-color rear spoiler. For another $400, the Blacktop Avenger welcomes a full leather interior with heated front seats, “making [it] the most affordable midsize car with leather in the United States,” according to Dodge.
The 2013 Dodge Avenger Blacktop Edition will be offered in Black, Redline Red 2, Bright White, Tungsten Metallic and Billet Silver Metallic.
The brand then moves beyond mere appearance upgrades with the 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Blacktop Edition. Yes, it starts with the same basic pieces as the Avenger, but with bigger, 20-inch wheels, and it also wears a Gloss Black fuel-filler door and a red-accented, matte-graphite body stripe. But additionally, the Challenger version gets fitted with Dodge’s Super Track Pack. That means a high-performance steering gear, upgraded brake linings, monotube shocks, three-mode electronic stability control (that includes a “full off” setting), and Goodyear Eagle F1 Super Car tires. (All-season rubber is a no-charge option.)
And don’t forget, because the Challenger Blacktop Edition is based on the R/T model, drivers enjoy a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that sends 375 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque through a standard six-speed manual transmission—an automatic does remain on the options list, however.
Other R/T goodies include performance-tuned brakes, suspension, and steering; the Chrysler Group’s award-winning Uconnect infotainment setup, with advanced voice recognition and Bluetooth technology; fog lamps and auto headlights; an instrument panel accented by LED illuminations and a mini-carbon bezel; and assorted “R/T” and “HEMI” badging. The price point for this sharp car? Just $31,990 ($29,995 for the Challenger R/T and $1,995 for the Blacktop bonus content).
Three exterior colors are available for the 2013 Dodge Challenger Blacktop Edition—Pitch Black, Granite Crystal or Billet Silver Metallic—as is the R/T Plus upgrade, which boasts a premium Nappa leather interior, a premium sound system with Boston Acoustics speakers and 276 watts of power, heated exterior mirrors and more.
This is where it all started, with the introduction of the 2012 Dodge Charger SXT Blacktop that delivered 300 hp worth of muscle-car noir for the previous model year. And while the same version is back again for 2013, this time it’s bringing along a HEMI-powered sibling: The 2013 Dodge Charger R/T Blacktop Edition packs in 370 hp and 395 lb.-ft. of torque and dishes out 0-60 times in the low 5-second range, all while adorned with the package’s Gloss Black goodies as well as a hi-po 3.06 rear-axle ratio, “Sport” driving mode, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, LED “racetrack” exterior lighting, dual exhaust, a Uconnect system with 8.4-inch touchscreen, and Beats Audio technology. With acoustics that were tailor-made for the Charger’s cabin, 10 speakers (including a subwoofer), and a 552-watt amp, the Beats system leverages the expertise of Dr. Dre for audiophile-level listening enjoyment.
Drivers can choose from a wider range of exterior finishes, too, like Pitch Black, Billet Metallic, Granite Crystal, Bright White, Redline Red Tri-coat and Phantom Black Tri-coat.
Pricing for the package comes in at $1,795, and when that’s combined with an MSRP of $29,995 for the Charger R/T—the most-affordable V8-powered sedan in the country—the Blacktop bottom line works out to $31,790.