Dodge's 2008 Charger lineup consists of four different models, each having a different engine underhood and a different appeal based on its equipment and price. First, there's the value-minded base SE, which includes a 186-horsepower, 2.7L V6 engine. Next up is the mid-range, more luxurious SXT model, which gets a 250-horsepower, 3.5L V6. Near the top of the line is the sporty and very well equipped R/T model, which brings the popular and powerful Hemi V8, rated at 335 horsepower and 375 lb-ft. Then for those who want the most performance and exclusivity there's the track-ready SRT8, which includes a 425-horsepower, 6.1L version of the Hemi.
SXT and R/T models can be equipped with an all-wheel-drive system, though SE and SRT8 models are only available with rear-wheel drive. The SE and SXT rear-wheel drive come with a four-speed automatic transmission, while the rest of the models get a five-speed automatic with Autostick manual control.
Option packages for 2008 have been revamped, and most notably there are Popular Equipment Packages that apply to each trim level and bring some of the upgraded equipment from higher trim levels. For instance, the SE Popular Equipment Package includes 17-inch machined aluminum wheels, a power driver's seat, and Sirius satellite radio. On the SXT, the Package includes dual-zone climate control, power heated leather seats, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, and a 276-watt Boston Acoustics sound system. For the R/T, it brings a 368-watt Boston Acoustics surround-sound system with CD changer and steering-wheel audio controls, a security alarm, garage-door opener, and LED interior lighting.
Also of note is the Road/Track Performance Package, which brings more serious performance equipment to the R/T, in the form of 20-inch chrome-clad wheels with performance tires; a sport suspension; load-leveling shocks; performance steering, brakes, exhaust, and induction; performance heated front seats with suede inserts; and front and rear decklid spoilers.
At the top of the range is the high-performance SRT8, which includes a 425-horsepower, 6.1L version of the Hemi V8, along with a specially calibrated five-speed automatic that has AutoStick manual control. The SRT8 rides a half-inch lower than other Chargers, and the suspension and ESP stability control system are performance-tunes. SRT-exclusive aluminum-forged 20-inch wheels, a functional hood scoop for added cooling, big Brembo vented brakes, and dual 3.5-inch exhaust tips are also included. Inside, the SRT8 includes special accent stitching, carbon-fiber and leather trim, and LED interior lighting, along with expanded instrumentation.
The SRT8 can accelerate to 60 mph in the low five-second range, brake from 60 to zero in about 110 feet, and get to 100 mph and back to a standstill in under 17 seconds, according to Dodge.