The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD is Dodge’s answer to those looking for a muscle car with better all-season traction. Fitted with the familiar Pentastar V6 engine producing 305 horsepower, a higher ride height, and taller all-season tires, the Challenger GT AWD is perfect for any weather condition.
The AWD drive Challenger is specifically geared towards buyers in the northern USA. Currently, 50% of buyers in northern states opt to get their Chargers equipped with AWD. Dodge is hoping to lure some customers to the Challenger who might not consider the model due to poor weather traction.
To get all the bits to work together, Dodge sourced the front suspension from the Charger Pursuit and the active transfer case/front-axel-disconnect system from the AWD Charger. This makes the Challenger GT AWD have a ride height that is almost 1-inch higher than an RWD model while getting softer springs and dampers. The AWD model also gets Michelin all-season tires fitted in 19-inch wheels.
The AWD system in the Challenger gets activated seamlessly when a loss of traction is sensed and sends up to 38% of the power to the front wheels. The system can also be activated by outside temperature, windshield wiper speed, and aggressive acceleration. When traction is deemed adequate, the AWD Challenger gets 100% of the power sent to the rear wheels.
What remains to be determined is whether or not an AWD V6 Challenger stays true to what makes a Challenger a muscle car. The lack of a V8, a softer/higher suspension, and added traction take away from the personality of what makes the Challenger so great. A highly refined drivetrain and V6 engine in a muscle car will slowly chip away at its soul and muddle the essence of its reputation. I guess that is a gamble Dodge is willing to take.