DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., July 2 (UPI) -- Chrysler has announced plans to revive the street-racing Dodge Challenger muscle car in 2008 after a 34-year hiatus.
The two-door coupe is coming back to take advantage of a booming market for powerful new American cars, Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Tom LaSorda told a news conference before the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race Saturday.
The new Challenger will have a modernized Hemi V-8 engine, teamed with a six-speed manual transmission.
The Challenger will be able to go from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, the company says, and will have a top speed of 174 mph.
Like the revived Dodge Charger, the Challenger will share its platform with the successful Chrysler 300 sedan.
"This is a fabulous move," Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with Global Insight, told the Chicago Tribune. "It continues the revival of the American muscle car and should force GM's hand to produce the Chevy Camaro concept. It may even force Ford to explore more possibilities than just the Mustang to compete."
Chrysler is considering making the Challenger at the Brampton, Ontario, factory where the 300, Charger and Magnum are made.
The original Challenger, introduced in 1970, was discontinued in 1974.