A Wolf In Wolf s Clothing: The 2007 Dodge Charger
By: Sauabh Sharma
For the brave who crave cloth of a different cut than the status
quo, it is possible to transcend the norm, to attain invincibility
when behind the wheel of the stylish, mythic machine. Back in the
60s and 70s the Dodge Charger appealed to a certain segment of the
population who craved the visceral feel of a two-door muscle car.
Today, this heroic vehicle has been reinvented to charge past the
competition from the Infiniti M35, Lexus GS300, Mustang GT, and
the Chrysler 300 with three variations of engines. Although the
2007 Charger is a much different than the original Coke bottle design
that was introduced in 1964, it still retains the spirit of the
original. With broad shoulders in the front and rear quarter-panels
cutting into the doors, the car looks like a linebacker in uniform.
With a MSRP range between $22,570 $35,320, and a fuel efficiency
of 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway, you almost need to be an extrovert
to drive this modern interpretation of fastback design.
The 2007 Charger has been fortified with technologies to provide
efficiency and unparalleled control from a thoroughly reinvented
rear-wheel-drive technology, and its completely re-engineered engines.
Step inside the car and you ll not be disappointed. First, you ll
notice the large 60s inspired steering-wheel, large (vintage) air
vents, clean and classy black on white rpm/speed dials, and supportive
seats. The model we tested also had a DVD navigation system, and
BOSE sound system which was an added plus. But with the engine turned
on, the menacing howl will quickly make you forget all the refined
creature comforts of the cabin.
Driver input is the name of the game for the 2007 Charger. Put the
car in gear, lift your foot off the brake, and let the rapturous
engine do the rest. The base Charger comes with a 3.5-liter SOHC,
24-valve V6, with 250 horsepower (250 pound-feet of torque driving
through a five-speed automatic) that effectively feels like a V8.
But if that isn t enough, there is the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which
puts 340 horsepower (with 390 pound-feet of torque) on the tarmac.
At the top of the line, is the 6.1-liter Hemi SRT8 with 425 horsepower
at 460 pound-feet of torque. These are incredible numbers. Both
Hemi engines feature de-activation cylinder technology increasing
the V8 s fuel efficiency to 16 mpg city; 22 mpg highway. On our
road test, we found the base V6 to have enough pep without compromising
on fuel. Both the V8 Hemi s seemed a bit too supercharged for today
s roads, and geo political situation. At times, driving the Charger
SRT8 with 425 horsepower felt like you were trying to control an
overpowered carriage rather than enjoying the sporty ride.
The overall ride of the Charger is quite good, as its chassis and
transmission are the same as Mercedes Benz E-Class. However, there
s still a lot of body roll. The car is not as deft as it could be,
this is partly due to its large size the 2007 Charger is 17 feet
long and over 4,400 lbs in curb weight, so you do feel it while
taking corners. The independent multi-link suspension with stout
structural members makes for a stiffer body, but the torque-rich
engine and the overall larger size do take some getting used to.
Choices abound when it comes to finding the right Charger that suits
your needs. The new Charger is available in five trims: the SE, SXT,
R/T, Daytona R/T and the SRT8. The models vary in engine size, but
share the highest, five-star government front crash test ratings due
to well-engineered crush zones, advanced multi-stage air bags (though
side air-curtains are optional), and self-sealing tires. The ABS brakes
are standard as well, but are not too communicative in reducing speed
when the Dodge is really charging . The heavier car accelerates well,
but doesn t decelerate with confidence. If going for the Hemi versions,
it is recommended to opt for Viper calipers, given the Charger s torque
In 1973, Richard Petty commandeered the Dodge Charger to its last
win at the Daytona 500. Individuality, muscle, and a timeless sense
of freedom have always been associated with the Charger s heritage.
The 2007 Dodge Charger succeeds in resurrecting a time when life was
simple. Former owners of the Charger are now mature family folks who
need the two extra doors. The 2007 Charger is a valiant attempt at
bringing back the brave, the unbreakable, the insurmountable the all-American
muscle car. Saurabh Sharma is an avid motoring enthusiast who is inspired
by cars, and emerging automotive technology. His fascination with
automobiles began during his infancy when his father brought him matchbox
cars from a trip to Singapore.
New Car Buying
a 2007 Dodge Charger
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