TorqueNews review of the V6-powered 2011 Dodge Challenger Rallye
The 2011 Dodge Challenger really didn’t see many changes over the 2010 models with the exception of some very minor aesthetic alterations as well as some new features but the biggest news for the 2011 model year is the addition of the new 6.4L Hemi for the SRT8 models and the 3.6L Pentastar V6 for the entry level Challenger. For those opting for the premium SRT8 models, that means that you get more opponent-crushing power but for those buyers who want the classic-yet-modern look of the 2011 Dodge Challenger without the higher horsepower, higher fuel consumption and higher price - the addition of the powerful 3.6L V6 is a massive improvement over the previous V6 option.
When the first entry level V6 version of the Dodge Challenger was introduced in 2009, it was powered by a 3.5L V6 that offered a mere 250 horsepower and 250lb-ft of torque – hardly enough to make the husky Challenger fun to drive. However, with the introduction of the Pentastar V6 that had found a home in nearly every modern Chrysler product, the 2011 Dodge Challenger V6 models finally have the muscle to make it deserving of the muscle car title. The Challenger application of the Pentastar V6 is the most powerful version offered, packing 305 horsepower and 268lb-ft of torque while still offering fairly impressive fuel economy numbers.
I am of the mindset that when you are buying a muscle car, whether it has the entry level engine or the most powerful engine offering, fuel economy should take a backseat to pretty much everything else but since many people rank MPGs a little higher than I do, I did a few simple tests to check the real world fuel economy of the new 2011 Challenger V6 Rallye. I should start by saying that I have a fairly heavy right foot and when driving a car – especially a muscle car – I am looking to push the limits of its performance capabilities. During my first tank of gasoline, I spent lots of time letting the Pentastar “stretch its legs” both around town and on the open road, and the result was a fuel economy output of right around 22mpg which I considered to be more than impressive. This was also within a few tenths of what the on-board information system claimed for the fuel economy during those miles. However, when I took the V6 Challenger out for a 150 mile highway run, the fuel economy of the Pentastar really came through as when setting the cruise at 70mph, the information center rarely moved away from 30 miles per gallon. In fact, on other highway runs I was able to set the cruise control at speeds well above what the normal person would consider sensible and still achieve fuel economy numbers in the ballpark of the 27mpg expected by the EPA on the highway.
Now, onto the good stuff.