2017 Challenger to Feature All-Wheel Drive
The retro rebirth of the Challenger has been a resounding success here at Daytona Dodge, with it being one of the most popular vehicles we have seen in a long time. Combining pony-car power and style with an attractive price tag, it is the perfect nice-weather, great-roads driver. Unfortunately, the weather and roads are not always predictable, and what you had hoped would be a nice day out cruising may turn into a rainy day at home with the car parked in the garage.
ALL-WHEEL DRIVE FOR ALL-WEATHER DRIVING
The little brother of the Challenger, the Dodge Charger, has sported all-wheel drive since it was introduced in 2006, a package that has proven to be very popular. Even though they share a high degree of mechanical similarity underneath, the Challenger never got the all-wheel drive option, until now.
The V6-powered 2017 Challenger GT AWD will have all-wheel drive capabilities nearly identical to the all-wheel drive Charger. This means better handling on the rain-slicked roads of the spring and early summer, and a little more comfort when navigating gravelly or sandy parking lots. Don’t expect to take it out on the sands – the performance-minded tires won’t let you dig in like you’ll need to – but it should allow owners to utilize their Challenger year-round, with peace of mind.
As with all all-wheel drive models, the new GT AWD sees a slight dip in EPA estimated fuel economy. The rear-wheel drive GT is expected to get 19 miles per gallon around town and 30 miles per gallon on the highway, while the GT AWD is expected to see 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon out on the open road. But then again, you’re not really buying a Challenger GT with fuel mileage in mind ,are you?
NO PERFORMANCE PACKAGE… YET
Unfortunately, the 2017 Dodge Challenger will only have all-wheel drive availability on the GT model – this means no Hellcat AWD or SRT AWD this year. However, it is worth keeping an eye out for it in the future. In 2018, the current Challenger will be replaced with a new version based on the Alfa Romeo Giulia platform that is debuting in 2017 as part of the Fiat Chrysler cooperation. Of note, the Giulia is already expecting to offer four-wheel drive variants, so it would not be surprising to the current GT AWD to be a preview of cars to come.
Despite a lack of a performance package, if the history of the Challenger is any indication, you’ll at least be able to make the GT AWD look like it is a performance car. Current Challenger models with the V6 engine have numerous appearance packages available. With 20-inch Gloss Black Wheels, the trademark Blacktop racing stripe, and black grille, the Blacktop package makes the Challenger a bit more menacing. The Super Sport Group, meanwhile, provides 20-inch Satin Carbon aluminum wheels and a trunklid spoiler. We expect the Super Sport Group will be standard on the GT models, while the Blacktop package should be available – there are likely to be new packages offered as well, as Dodge recognizes just how much customers enjoy customizing their Challengers to fit their personalities.
Here at Daytona Dodge, we’re thrilled to hear that all-wheel drive is coming to the Challenger. Numerous sports cars across the globe provide all-wheel drive versions, as they know that having four wheels provides better control, no matter what the conditions are. As the first pony car featuring all-wheel drive, it will be interesting to see how the 2017 Challenger takes on the pavement – this could usher in a whole new driving experience!