Chrysler looking into boosting production to meet demand for the muscle car.
The Dodge Challenger SRT8 hasn’t made its public debut yet, but the performance version of the muscle car already is sold out for 2008, says Jim Press, Chrysler president and the man in charge of sales and marketing.
The Challenger was first shown as a concept at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, and the production model is to be unveiled in February at the 2008 Chicago auto show. Style-wise, it doesn’t stray much from the concept.
Chrysler is kicking off sales by offering only the SRT8 performance model for the 2008 model year. It has a with a 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 pumping out 425 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, and is available in black, silver, or Hemi Orange, with signature dual Dodge hood stripes in carbon fiber.
The production plan called for only 5500 Challenger SRT8s to be built, each with a numbered dash plaque. In an interview at the 2008 Detroit auto show, Press says orders number more than 9000 for the car that doesn’t go on sale until this spring, starting at $40,158 (a figure that includes a $2163 gas-guzzler charge). Of course, with demand almost double supply, we’ve already seen dealers asking $15,000 or so above sticker on EBay.
The automaker is looking to boost production at the Brampton, Ontario, plant where the Challenger will be built, with an announcement expected soon. Ironically, as part of cost-cutting and downsizing efforts, the third shift at the Brampton plant will be eliminated by March, resulting in about 1100 layoffs.
The base and R/T Challengers go on sale as 2009 models. They will make their public debut in March at the New York auto show.
Press says the automaker is looking into selling some of the limited-edition SRT8s as ’09s, to appease customers on the waiting list.