Despite the show having its last official day on Sunday, I still have lots to bring you from the show. Today we take a look at the Dodge/Chrysler exhibt which was pretty much the home for American muscle this year. While Ford and GM had a lot to offer, they were more about economical and luxury offerings this year while Dodge/Chrysler’s approach was all about performance. In fact at least a third if not more of the cars on display in Dodge’s area were cars that they brought with them to SEMA, something that is generally unheard of when it comes to the auto show circuit.
I finally got to see the Jeff Dunham Challenger up close and let me just say it is a pure vision! I really hope you got a chance to make it out to the show to see it in person. That car alone is worth the price of admission! There was also a pretty awesome Dodge Charger with a Viper V10 swap. Although I have to say I was hoping I would see some type of new Mopar kit that would allow for the same engine swap in the Challenger.
Then, there was the SRT Viper, that beautiful elegant monster that marks the return of the true American super car. I spent quite a lot of time drooling over that beauty. I even snuck in some seat time. By “seat time” I mean I litterally sat in the seat while no one was looking. Besides finding my favorite car of the show I found myself falling in love with the Dodge Charger SRT8. Yes, the Charger is by no means new but admittedly I have not paid much attention to it until now. I never had a problem with the Charger before but it did not stand out much to me. It was just another muscle car. However, the current generation is much more fetching to me than ever.
The styling brings a much more aggressive look without being gaudy and its new lines seem to take some of the “size” away and I mean that in a good way. What really got me is the fact that the Charger SRT8 has 470HP, 470ft-lbs of torque, launch control, paddle shifting, all for a starting MSRP of around $45k! Dealer mark-ups aside, a price like that is pretty hard to beat.
On the Chrysler side things are still on the upward path. The new 300 and 200 are looking better with each new generation and are finally moving more towards that “luxury” feel. The 200 still has a way to go but I can see the 300 finally being an official competitor to the likes of the BMW 5 series and the Mercedes E class.
With the SRT Viper, Charger, Challenger, 200, and 300 the Chrysler group is definitely on its way up.
In the first two of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films the director treated us to a few glorious seconds of billionaire playboy turned Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne enjoying a Lamborghini. In Batman Beginshe went on a short excursion with two ladies on a dinner date in a Murcielago roadster. In The Dark Knight, Nolan kicked it up a notch and gave us a glorious scene of Mr. Wayne weaving through Gotham traffic at speed in an attempt to save a life. However, in The Dark Knight Rises, which opens midnight tonight (yes, I am going) the audience will likely be treated to no such Lamborghini-licous scenes. For this film, Warner Bros has formed a marketing partnership with Chrysler and now billionaire Bruce Wayne’s official ride is the new Chrysler 300C which tops at around $50k fully loaded.
It might be first instinct to say that going to a 300C from a Lamborghini is a step down, but hey 300C’s are great cars. Sure, it is probably unrealistic that a billionaire vigilante hero who uses the night to prey on his enemies would daily drive the same car as 50 cent, but it is not totally out of the realm of possibility! A man with a dual life needs to be low key in his daily doings and a Lamborghini certainly does not fit that bill. Also, say Batman nabs Bane or some other super thug in a totally spontaneous act of heroism? The passenger seat of a Lambo is not exactly the best place to keep a criminal! At least with the 300C he can toss them in the back seat, or better yet the ample trunk.
Anyhow, joking aside this was a good move on Warner Bros part. Deals like this typically mean money for the studio producing the movie and I would venture to guess they got a lot more from Chrysler to feature the 300C than they got (if anything) from Lamborghini. Kind of ironic that switching to a cheaper car means more money is it not?
Either way, if you plan on standing in line tonight to watch The Dark Knight Rises purely because you are expecting some Italian supercar awesomeness then you will likely be disappointed. If it means anything, I am sure the movie will have plenty of other types of awesome. And let us not forget the Batmobile! AKA Tumbler AKA Bad-ass Bat-tank thing!
We just caught wind of a rumor from WreckedMagazine.com that Mopar/Chrysler is dropping their support of Shawn Carlson’s NuFormz drift team for the rest of the 2009 season. Its been hinted that the implications of this could mean that we’ll never see Sam Hubinette drive their 2009 Dodge Challenger in competition this year.
Could a two time champion drift team become a victim of Chrysler’s current economic situation?
Either way if they already have the challenger I dont see any reason why Chrysler would take it back. They’ve already chopped it up and did all the work to it. Chances are this just means whatever remaining sponsorship payments for ’09 wont be paid to the Nuformz team.
If this is actually true and Nuformz is smart they’ll hang onto the challenger. Run Sam in the Viper for the rest of the year since we all know hes good in that car. Then when 09 is up try to re-negotiate.
We are currently waiting on confirmation from our Mopar PR contact on this. We’ll try to keep you posted as news develops.