By Kevin Miller
Chrysler’s fortunes may be waning in the wake of product and economic crises, but that hasn’t stopped Dodge from preparing seven inspired concept vehicles for next month’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. Below are quick details about each of Dodge’s SEMA entries, based on the Challenger coupe and new 2009 Ram truck.
Dodge Challenger SRT10 Concept
Chrysler’s SRT engineering group, already having created the production Challenger SRT8, have theoretically outdone themselves with the creation of the 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT10 Concept. Power comes from the Dodge Viper’s 8.4-liter, all-aluminum V-10 engine with 600 horsepower and 560 lb. ft. of torque. The Dodge Challenger SRT10 Concept includes a fresh coat of Tornado Red paint with a carbon-fiber deck lid and hood. The “shaker hood” is a nostalgic representation of the 1970 HEMI Cuda, giving the 600-hp Viper V-10 engine room to breathe. Brakes have been upgraded and BILSTEIN® shocks at all four corners improve handling balance. The interior boasts sport seats and carbon-fiber accents throughout and a red engine start push-button in the dash.
Dodge Challenger Blacktop
The Dodge Challenger Blacktop Concept is just one of several creations for this year’s SEMA show from the Mopar Underground design team. The Dodge Challenger Blacktop began life as a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T equipped with a 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 and six-speed manual transmission. Mopar Underground added custom-made spoilers and front brow. To finish off the look, a black-on-black racing stripe paint scheme was added. A Mopar coil-over suspension and strut tower brace improve handling. The Blacktop concept rides on massive 22-inch Dodge Viper wheels with tires measuring 265/35 R22 front and 305/30 R22 rear. To ensure the powertrain can keep up with the suspension, Mopar performance components, including a cat back dual-exhaust and cold air intake allow the HEMI V-8 to breathe easy. The interior has been enhanced with Katzkin leather seating finished in bright red plus a Mopar Kicker audio system for premium sound.
Dodge Challenger Targa
No, the Dodge Challenger Targa doesn’t have a Targa top. Instead, the Challenger Targa is a full-blown competition car that raced and completed the infamous Targa Newfoundland race this year. The car started life as a Mopar Challenger drag race package car. Many features were borrowed from the Dodge Viper, most noticeably the snakeskin green paint. To keep the front end down, a wind-tunnel-developed “Splats” Mopar chin spoiler was added to the front of the car. The Mopar hood is equipped with a scoop to make room for the 540-horsepower, 490 lb. ft. of torque, 392 HEMI® V-8 Mopar crate motor. Mated to a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox, the engine blasts power to the rear wheels through a production 2009 modified gear ratio in the rear end. An abundance of fade resistant stopping power comes from Stop-Tech brakes. Up front, the six-piston calipers clamp 380-millimetre rotors, while in the rear, four-pot calipers work with 355-mm rotors. Developed by KW, the race suspension and brake upgrades came from a proven hero — the Dodge Viper ACR, which just broke the production car lap record at the world-renown Nurburgring in Germany. With only a few exceptions, the Dodge Challenger Targa was built using parts available through Mopar.
Dodge Ram TRXtreme
The 2009 Dodge Ram TRXtreme plays up the off-road capabilities of the 2009 Ram TRX package, with upgrades to turn the truck into a serious off-road machine. The Mopar Underground design team added 4.5-inches of extra ground clearance using a Mopar lift kit. This made room for Mopar polished and forged 20-inch wheels wrapped in 37X12.50 tires. The paint is a bright yellow and mineral grey two-tone incorporating a mud splash theme. A set of Mopar wheel flares, a wheel-to-wheel Mopar tube step and a box rail are painted to match the theme. Rearward visibility comes from the Mopar aftermarket telescoping mirrors, which extend when needed. The one-off steel hood with cooling louvers and larger grille take care of any heat issues that may arise under severe use. A bed accessory system from Mopar holds off-road gear and a Mopar tuned dual exhaust system gives an impressive growl. Interior features include a Mopar navigation system, DVD headrests and Mopar leather seats by Katzkin.
Dodge Ram R/T
This iteration of the Ram is touted as “Dodge Challenger-inspired” by the folks at Mopar Ungerground. The Ram R/T starts off with a 2009 Ram Sport with a 380-horsepower, 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8, a 4.10 gear and a high stall converter, for maximum performance (and fuel consumption) A Mopar cold-air intake kit and a Mopar dual exhaust system ensure the engine can breathe. The exterior is painted classic B5 blue with a Mopar dual-snorkel aluminum hood and carbon fiber accent stripes. Dropped chassis is possible with a concept Mopar air suspension kit. The look is made more evident by the body kit, consisting of sill and box pieces, finished up with a chin spoiler. For wheels, the Ram R/T wears concept Mopar 22-inch Alcoas wrapped in 285/45R22s in front and 305/40R22s in the rear. A Mopar hard tonneau cover and a unique integrated spoiler are combined with the Mopar bed mat showing an ambient under-rail LED lighting system. The interior features Katzkin leather seats with body color stitching to match the instrument panel and steering wheel. A set of Mopar Pedals are installed, adding to the performance look and capability.
Dodge Ram Sportsman
The name Sportsman doesn’t have positive imagery in my mind, as it is related to 1970s and 1980s era Dodge full-sized vans with creepy paint schemes, wheezy sounding engines, and backwoods-looking drivers. Nevertheless, the name is back for the 2009 Dodge Ram Sportsman. This truck is highlighted by a not-so-creepy blowing-leaves paint scheme, which is “a new interpretation of traditional camouflage” designed by Mopar Underground. The truck features Mopar wheel flares and running boards with an integrated step. The Sportsman also features Dodge’s RamBox storage system, and a bed rail system holding a cargo rack for additional cargo capacity. Mopar telescoping trailering mirrors aid in rear visibility and match the color theme. The Sportsman also has a two-inch lift kit supported by Mopar polished and forged 20-inch wheels with 33-inch tires. Inside, the seats, steering wheel, and door pulls are tailored in perforated leather by Katzkin, the seats being embroidered with the Sportsman logo.The truck also features a navigation unit, SIRIUS® Satellite TV and a headrest DVD system.
Dodge Ram Mopar Street Package
Playing off of the Pentastar’s muscle-car heritage, the blackberry-colored Dodge Ram Mopar Street Package concept features a Mopar body kit consisting of sill extensions and a chin-spoiler. A slight Mopar body drop/leveling kit and Mopar concept 22-inch polished Alcoa forged wheels add to the appearance. Continuing the aggressive look, the Mopar all-aluminum dual-snorkel hood sits over the 390-horsepower HEMI® V-8, which is backed with a Mopar tuned dual-exhaust. The theme is continued in the interior with Mopar ambient lighting, as well as suede and leather seats trimmed with premium piping and stitching. The steering wheel and door pulls are trimmed to match for a complete package. Entertainment is delivered via a DVD headrest system as in the Sportsman above, and a Mopar-kicker audio system. A hard tonneau cover sits atop the bed, which is dressed with a Mopar bed rug and under-rail accent LED lighting.
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