Editor's note: We're showing you this car earlier than Dodge wants us to because similar images are on the Web, and we don't think you should have to wait.
Wake up, muscle-car nation: Here is a clear look at the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, the fourth and final installation of the LX-platform that birthed the 300C, Magnum, Charger and their corresponding bad-boy models created by Chrysler LLC's skunkworks in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
The reborn Challenger was seen originally in retro glory at the 2006 Detroit auto show, 38 years after its namesake's debut as a 1970 model. Dealers began taking orders in early December, priced at $37,995 ahead of spring deliveries; the first retail chassis fetched $400,000 on Jan. 19 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona. Dodge plans to reveal the car Feb. 6 during the Chicago auto show.
As reported previously, power comes from the same 6.1-liter Hemi V8 found across the SRT range. That means 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque shuttled through Chrysler's familiar six-speed automatic transmission. The Challenger should run from 0 to 60 mph in the low five-second range, and likely somewhere in the 13-second bracket during quarter-mile burns.
2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Overall, exterior design cues remain faithful to the concept car, with some alterations. A welcome change for once: Dodge's modern-day cross-hair grille is gone in homage to the original Challenger, rather than remaining as a concession to marketing-driven design cohesiveness. The car's proportions appear bulkier than the concept's, but Dodge's final LX creation stands out as best-in-family.
Nevertheless, nothing about the Challenger suggests a performance revolution that truly separates it from previous familial models. Yet with styling like this, do you really care?