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The Dodge Challenger is the best modern interpretation of American muscle to these eyes, and the most potent version, the SRT8 392, now gets a boost in horsepower and torque with the introduction of the legendary 392-cubic inch HEMI V8 engine. With 470 hp and 637 Nm, this 6.4-litre has 122 Nm more torque at 2,900 rpm compared with the previous 6.1L V8 while delivering up to 20% better economy.

The Challenger isn’t only good for drag racing, according to Dodge, which claims “world-class ride and handling” for the 392. New, highly damped shocks offer a firm ride and SRT engineers recalibrated the suspension geometry to improve the Challenger’s balance and cornering ability.

Quicker steering ratios and new negative camber settings all around “dramatically improve Challengers appetite for cornering”. The fully hydraulic steering system also has been improved with a heavy-duty pump and revised gearing for more direct feel and on-centre response. It’s still playfully “tossable” though.

To kick off 2011-model year production, Dodge will build 1,492 Inaugural Edition models. They get two colour/stripe combinations and 20-inch SRT wheels with a polished face and black pockets. “392 HEMI” badges and Mopar quad exhaust are the other visual cues. Inside, the Inaugural Edition features standard Smooth Pearl White leather trimmed seats and dual blue stripes accented by blue stitching. And a plaque.