The 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic: Reminding Us What Muscle Cars are All About

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The 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T is the most affordable V8 powered rear wheel drive sports car sold in America today but with 375 horsepower and a standard 6-speed manual transmission – the Challenger R/T Classic offers the excitement of the American muscle car without the gigantic price of the more powerful cars on the market today.

Back in the 1970s, the Hemi Challenger was the top of the line option with a price to match and what the previous generation of muscle car lovers knew as the “Hemi Challenger” back in 1970 would translate to the Challenger SRT today. Big power…and a big price. Fortunately, the availability of the “entry level” 5.7L Hemi below the monster 6.4L (and before it the 6.1L) Hemi in the SRT models has brought about a Hemi that is far more affordable relative to the rest of the market whereas the 1970 Hemi Challenger was not. The modern Challenger R/T with the 5.7L Hemi is not the most powerful muscle car on the market; in fact with “only” 375 horsepower it is one of the least powerful V8 models but it is also the least expensive V8 muscle car available today. More importantly, the 2013 Challenger R/T packs all of the tire shredding, gear banging, high performance fun that a buyer expects with a price that puts it in a far more approachable price range than the Street and Racing Technology models or many of the more powerful models from the competition.

My 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T test car was of the R/T Classic variety which means that it was equipped with a set of old school looking R/T stripes along the side, a vintage looking Challenger script logo on the fenders, unique 20” wheels, functional air inlets on the hood, HID headlights, unique leather and suede seats with an embroidered R/T logo and 3.92 rear gears. All of those goodies with the stunning Plum Crazy paint, the 5.7L Hemi and the 6-speed manual transmission carries a price around $34,000 while optional features like the upgraded sound system package with 368 watts and 7 speakers from Boston Acoustics, Navigation, the Super Track Pak, the power sunroof and the optional polished aluminum R/T Classic wheels (as opposed to dark pocketed wheels) bring the total price as tested to $39,565. However, if you could do without the sunroof, the shinier wheels and the added infotainment goodies, you could get into a comparable 2013 Challenger R/T Classic for under $35,000.

The Exterior
One of the greatest features of the modern Dodge Challenger that was first introduced for the 2008 model year is the fact that there isn’t a whole lot of differences between the base V6 model and the top of the line, 470hp Challenger SRT. Shy of badging, the wheels and a spoiler here and there, all of the modern Challengers look just as muscle as the next whereas some of the competition’s less powerful models look vastly less aggressive than the more powerful models. Just look at the Ford Mustang GT compared to the base V6 models – there is no denying the vast difference in sporty styling and there is an even bigger difference when you also consider the Shelby GT500. However, the Challenger R/T boasts the same powerful good looks at the top of the line Challenger SRT from front to back and that is a very, very good thing.

Challenger RT Classic front


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Great article. I think you summed up the RT in the performance landscape of today quite well.
Thank you!