Since Dodge introduced its third-generation Challenger in 2008, we’ve tested 19 of them—spanning 11 stock powertrains and one modified powertrain from among the myriad pairings of seven engines, four transmissions, and rear- or all-wheel-drive choices Dodge has offered. Somehow, though, we missed one of the most popular and enduring combos: The Dodge Challenger 5.7 Hemi V-8 with an automatic transmission.
Rectifying this oversight wasn’t easy. Global automotive press fleets have been distilled recently to include only the newest and newsiest offerings, but we managed to source a lovely 2021 Dodge Challenger T/A model with about 1,500 miles on the odometer from Stellantis’ internal company fleet outside Detroit.
If you’re hazy on the T/A nomenclature, it stands for “Trans Am,” as in the race series, for which 2,539 Challenger T/As were built in 1970 to homologate the car. Each was powered by a 340-cubic-inch V-8 with “six pack” induction (three two-barrel carbs) that produced 290 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque (SAE gross).
Nowadays the T/A badge upgrades the plain Dodge Challenger 5.7 Hemi by adding a Mopar cold-air intake system complete with illuminated Air Catcher “headlamps,” a functional hood scoop, black 9 x 20-inch wheels, and appearance items like a satin black hood, roof, and decklid with spoiler, plus side graphics, white gauge faces, and other miscellaneous goodies. The T/A costs $3,995 more than the R/T, and no power bump is associated with the cold-air intake. T/A trim can also be ordered on the 6.4-liter 392 Scat Pack and Scat Pack Widebody models. For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.