Dodge Challenger SRT8 proves its mettle at Targa Newfoundland

Here in The Garage, we were rooting hard for the Mopar team at the 2008 Targa Newfoundland. Not only is the Dodge Challenger built here in Ontario, but the piloto is none other than hometown boy Ralph Gilles. While many consider the Dodge icon to be as American as apple pie, there is a strong Canadian flavour to this go fast dessert.

Like any hi speed event on real roads, a car has to be tough as nails to even finish. Of the 70 cars that started the 2008 Targa, only 39 finished. On its first real race outing, the Challenger finished 2nd in class and 22nd overall. A great introduction for an enthusiastic team.

Enthusiasm is a big part of what carries a car like the Challenger to market, a consideration which is not lost on the folks at Chrysler. A second, production car was also on hand for the team to introduce to fans alongside the 540 horsepower rally car. The team met with fans at every chance and even dropped in at a couple of dealerships to spread the gospel of Mopar.

Read more from Team Mopar Underground after the break and check out an enormous gallery of images thanks to our friends at flatovercrest.com
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Dodge Challenger oogling slows cross border traffic

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Us Canucks are just so darned friendly, so when Chrysler Canada CEO Reid Bigland took a trip through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel in a fresh off the line Challenger he was happy to show it off to the interested border guards. Ok, so they stopped him and did what any self respecting car enthusiast would do. They kept him there and checked their captive thoroughly. Everything of course but his ID.

According to Bigland, there was about an hour delay once he was finally allowed to continue on his way. I’m sure the non enthusiast cross border shoppers were less than enthused!

First 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 rolls off Brampton assembly line

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The folks at Chrysler Canada are a pretty excited bunch this week, after watching the first 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 make it’s way out of the Brampton, Ontario plant on Thursday. The Canadian plant also manufactures the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can get our hands on one here in The Garage.

Press release after the break
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Dodge to offer 2008 Challenger Super Stock Drag Car package

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All too often, a manufacturer offers a special “track ready” version of their sporty car that really isn’t track ready. When Nissan offered the 350Z in a track model, enthusiasts had something to cheer about. The only problem was that this was no stripper, in addition to Brembo brakes, you got leather, 6 disc cd changer and navi if you wanted it. So much for a track car. Where were all the option deletes?

Dodge on the other hand, has a history of doing things right. The Viper SRT10 ACR is a real track ready monster. Even the old Neon ACR was pretty close to race ready, with owners only needing to install the appropriate safety equipment. With the 2008 Challenger, the Dodge boys (and girls) are heading back to their roots in drag racing. It looks like they are planning to do it right.
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Dodge dealers flooded with orders for 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8

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According to Chrysler’s media only blog, The Firehouse, the dealer network is being hit hard with orders for the much anticipated new Challenger SRT8. Day one for ordering was Monday, when more than 4,300 Mopar fans plunked down their deposits. As of now, that number has risen to over 6,000 deposits.

“This is unprecedented,” said Mark Mallie, Challenger Brand Manager – Dodge Marketing. “Customers were actually coming to us and pushing us, so we thought this was a good time to take pre-sale orders.”
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