Dodge Charger and Challenger AWD Models Offer Best of Both Worlds
Ever noticed that performance cars, like the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, and many others, have rear-wheel-drive suspensions? There’s a reason for it, but there’s also a reason why vehicles with rear-wheel drive aren’t ideal in certain conditions. To combat the decisions buyers sometimes have to make between getting a performance vehicle or an all-wheel-drive vehicle, Dodge makes two performance vehicles that are rear-wheel drive with all-wheel-drive capabilities. Now, we know we may never need AWD in South Florida, but we wanted to share for those who may spend time in climates that would make AWD a necessity!
Rear-Wheel-Drive (RWD): Pros and Cons
First and foremost, performance vehicles typically have rear-wheel-drive because weight distribution is more evenly dispersed and this results in better handling, which is very important when traveling at high speeds.
The equipment that controls torque distribution is fairly heavy, and front-wheel drive vehicles generally connect the drivetrain equipment to the transmission, so all of the equipment’s weight is condensed in one area, the front of the vehicle. However, rear-wheel drive vehicles distribute the weight of the drivetrain equipment more evenly, and that results in better handling. Also since all of the vehicle’s traction is given to the rear wheels, it accelerates faster — ever seen a powerful rear-wheel drive lift the front of a vehicle up when launching off the starting line? The new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the first factory-production car to ever do that.
However, when driving in slippery conditions, rear-wheel drive is not as dependable as front-wheel-drive. In slippery conditions, it is more helpful for a car to be pulled forward by the front wheels rather than pushed forward by the rear wheels. Additionally, while the lack of weight distribution of front-wheel drive vehicles doesn’t provide the same level of handling when traveling at high speeds like rear wheel vehicles provide, in slippery conditions, the extra weight at the front of the car provides more traction to the front wheels in addition to the traction already provided to the wheels by drivetrain.
Considering the pros and cons of each drivetrain, Dodge made a unique drivetrain system for the Dodge Charger and just recently they also made it available on the Dodge Challenger.
Dodge Challenger GT AWD and Charger
The Dodge Charger SE and SXT have been available with four-wheel-drive for a few years, and in 2017, Dodge added that same all-wheel-drive system to the Challenger GT AWD, and it is the first and only two-door muscle car with all-wheel-drive.
The AWD system available on the Challenger and Charger features an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect, both of which allow the vehicle to transfer from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive when the vehicle’s sensors detect a need for it.
The part-time all-wheel drive system allows drivers to benefit from the standard rear power of the rear-wheel drive system when driving in normal road conditions, but when the road is slippery, the all-wheel drive system is engaged and all of the vehicle’s wheels receive an equal amount of torque and traction.
Also, when the AWD system is engaged, it is accompanied with vehicle dynamic control (VDC), which also improves handling and helps the vehicle stay on track. Furthermore, drivers can also gain more control when using the vehicle’s die-cast steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to shift gears themselves.
With the AWD capabilities of the Charger and Challenger, consumers no longer need to choose between safety and speed, or a summer car and a winter car, they can have them both. As mentioned earlier, since AWD vehicles are not necessary in South Florida, we currently are not stocking them in inventory. However, if you are interested in a rear wheel drive beast, view University Dodge’s Dodge Challenger and Charger inventory online. Want the new Challenger GT AWD? View the Dodge Challenger GT AWD.