A Weekday Drive in the Challenger GT

When I accepted an invitation to drive the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT at a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles event in the middle of the week at Ellis Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, I anticipated trying a few stunts. But I wasn’t sure a Dukes of Hazzard moment was in the cards. Old televisions shows aside, I was determined to make my own personal memories with a muscle car.

The designated driving route included a slow build up where I crawled the Redline-colored coupe through a narrow grassy path, behind the barn, and then to a sizeable area with loose gravel that shouted, “playtime!” The moment had arrived. With a co-conspirator in the passenger seat egging me on, I fishtailed like a teenage boy out with his friends on a Saturday night trying to impress a group of you know who. The dust flew in the air with each turn while my ride-along laughed louder and louder. Peer pressure, in any form, ain’t nothing nice when you’re in the driver’s seat.

It’s a good thing that playtime was limited. The GT was primed to do so much more.

The coupe features a 3.6 liter, V6 engine, delivering 305 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and a responsive 268 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. It boasts an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters and sport mode. Between the adrenaline and my imagination, the GT, also available in manual transmission, had the potential to lead me to spin some legendary tales.

While it’s easy to get lost in memories of having too much fun on a weekday, the overarching news of the day touted the 2017 GT as the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe, making it a year-round, all-weather choice for muscle car enthusiasts. Accordingly, it joins the Charger AWD to complete the Dodge lineup of all-wheel-drive muscle cars. Like the Charger AWD, the GT features a technologically advanced system that includes an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect for all-season performance and fuel efficiency.

As a result, the GT which is available in dealerships this quarter, transitions between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive automatically when prompted by certain sensors, such as wet roads or when the temperature drops below a certain point. Though it was a clear sunny day for my test drive, the GT’s flexibility and stability on lose gravel demonstrated its potential in snowy conditions.

The performance was on point. So was the look.

The all-new GT interior package offers leather and suede interior along with heated and ventilated seats as well as a heated, leather steering wheel and a leather wrapped shift knob. The infotainment center offers an 8.4 inch touchscreen display. The exterior is accented with 19-inch aluminum wheels with hyper black finish and P235/55R19 BSW all-season performance tires, projector fog lamps, deck-lid rear spoiler and staple items like park assist and rear backup camera.

It also offers a host of safety features, giving drivers like me the confidence to give in to peer pressure any day of the week.

2017 Dodge Challenger GT All-Wheel Drive MSRP: $33,395; Combined City/Highway MPG: 21.

Learn more at Dodge.com

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