SEMA eNews Vol. 16, No. 15, April 11, 2013

Spy Shots—New Engine for Dodge Challenger?

 challenger

The engineering team at SRT is now working hard on updates for the performance-tuned version of the Dodge Challenger, as evidenced by this prototype caught running on public roads.

Challenger prototypes are running with camouflaging bras on their front fascias, suggesting that it is included in the three refreshed SRT models that were listed in Chrysler's product plan that was made public early this year.  

The shooters at KGP Photography have evidence that shows the prototype with a unique exhaust set-up—new piping and round tips that sit differently in the rear fascia. New exhausts usually mean that new engines—or at least tweaked versions of existing engines—are in the works.  

The front fascia behind the Challenger's front-end camouflage looks deeper and more aggressive than the nose on the current Challenger. It could be possible that we are finally looking at the Challenger that will fully join the horsepower war that's taking place between Ford and Chevrolet. The horsepower-rich Shelby GT500 Mustang and Camaro ZL1 have now been joined by Chevy's surprise New York unveiling of the Camaro Z28. 

In an interview with Motor Trend last week, SRT boss Ralph Gilles promised that SRT "will soon have an answer" for the Camaro Z/28. Such an "answer" must undoubtedly mean a horsepower boost for the Challenger (and would hopefully include some weight-saving steps for the portly, 4,100-lb. coupe).  

Industry rumors have been swirling for a while now that the folks at SRT have turned to Eaton to supply a supercharged Challenger to finally give them an answer to the top musclecars from Ford and Chevy straight from the factory in 2013. Power estimates are currently pegged at somewhere between 540–570 hp, which puts it in similar territory as the ZL1 and GT500, and exceeds the Z/28's 500 hp. The result of these changes to the Challenger might be what we are seeing here, now running on the streets of Detroit in prototype form.

 challenger

Photo Credit: KGP Photography

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