2023 Dodge Challenger Swinger's Final Act

Posted at Fri, Oct 13, 2023 8:15 AM

Drawing on nostalgia is an excellent means of commemorating many of the high-octane relics we’ve seen over the years here at Landmark Dodge of Morrow. The Slashgear.com auto blogging team eagerly tracked down the scoop this week regarding the Dodge Challenger Swinger, which is now finally going to stake its track-scorching claim with muscle enthusiasts nationwide. The first-rate excitement is limited to just 1,000 units, as this is one of the illustrious seven “Last Call” editions marking the gas-powered variants’ final year.

The impending fate of this V8-powered pair being fully replaced by an EV is enough to make devoted car lovers nationwide ponder the inevitable future, as the Charger and Challenger have been burning pavement and wowing audiences since the 2000s. The Challenger looks largely the same, as it is dressed in styling that is quite like the very first generation. This is an open and very poignant love letter to 1970 when the original and burly muscle car era was at its very thrilling peak. The original Dodge Challenger is easily one of the most iconic of all time, seeing a successful and memorable four-year run.

Since the brand we love to provide and service so very much here at Landmark was working hard to come up with a Ford Mustang rival, the Challenger didn’t have much time before the environmental clamp became much tighter on the entire industry. In 2006, a concept car surfaced that finally channeled the most unique and original traits of the iconic 1970 classic. This eventually evolved into a production model that ultimately launched in 2008, brashly celebrating a run that was two and a half times as long as the Mustang’s. 

Boasting such a highly revered and scorching shelf life, the Challenger is also as much an excellent tribute to the early 2000s as it is to the early 1970s. It bears the same general shape as the original model, complete with a snorkel-like grille and rear fenders that briskly vice-grip the quarter-windows. These very cool traits give the car its squared-off and hunkered-down look when first viewed from a standard profile. Since the original Challenger saw its star-studded debut before the advent of modern crash safety standards, there were much thicker roof pillars and body size that beefed up the roof’s durability.

Showing off a more distinctive form than ever, the Challenger has held up quite well, while hinging on its retro and viably souped-up roots. The swinger namesake was never used specifically for the challenger, but the Dodge Dart Swinger was one of the sportier versions of what was then Dodge’s appealing and entry-level compact. The SlashGear crew’s test car boasted Sublime green paint and was paired with black graphics and spoilers just like it would have been “at the proverbial starting line.” The 6-speed manual transmission proved a good amount of fun for the group as it requires very deliberate action, with those wanting a luxury transmission past the point of being too selective. 

While the Challenger’s sworn rivals have retained a focus on very aggressive sports-car-like handling, the focus here has long been on a muscle car’s swagger that doesn’t always yield the best dividends while cornering. The tires and suspension are firmly rooted in their proverbial sweet spots, and the Challenger’s quite notable width can make things seem a bit claustrophobic if the road you’re tackling resides on the narrow side. The Swinger also gets the SRT Performance Pages app, which lets you consistently monitor vital specs such as engine power output, time acceleration runs, and track-blistering g-forces. 

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