If there’s one automaker who knows how to leverage nostalgia, it’s Dodge. Not that we’re complaining, mind you, as their latest blast from the past has just yielded a pair of killer performance variants for the Challenger and Charger.
Although the T/A and Daytona packages are essentially identical for the modern Dodge coupe and sedan, back in the day those were enhancements with substantially different purposes. In the case of the Challenger, the 1970 T/A was more or less a homologation special to make the car eligible for the SCCA’s Trans Am road racing series. As for the Charger Daytona, NASCAR oval dominance was the mission there, and the Daytona went on to become the first stock car to officially crest the 200 mph barrier during competition.
For 2017 the equation is a bit different, but it’s not just an aesthetic treatment for this pair of Dodges. In terms of the Challenger, the T/A package will be offered in three different levels: T/A, T/A Plus and T/A 392. The look is similar to the SEMA concept we saw last year and takes some inspiration from the top-spec SRT Hellcat, incorporating a satin black hood with a NACA duct, and the roof, rear decklid, side stripes, fuel filler door, and rear ducktail spoiler all get the satin black treatment as well.
Also inspired by the Hellcat is the headlamp air inlet system, and the T/A gets its own LED-illuminated T/A logos within the openings, which grace both sides of the grill. All T/A models score a less restrictive and significantly meaner sounding active exhaust system along with a cold air intake system.
But the T/A 392 is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most interesting of the bunch from a performance standpoint. Along with the unique 20-by-9.5-inch forged-aluminum wheels it receives, which are wrapped in the same Pirelli rubber that’s available on the SRT 392 and Hellcat models, the T/A 392 scores the big six-piston Brembo brake system from those models as well, along with a uniquely tuned suspension system that incorporates Bilstein shocks and a half-inch lower stance. From a mechanical standpoint, it’s an interesting mixture of the Scat Pack R/T 392 and the SRT 392’s hardware.
Output remains unchanged at 485 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque for the 6.4-liter equipped model, as is the 375 hp on offer with 5.7-liter V8 you’ll get with the T/A and T/A Plus.
Inside, the Challenger T/A gets houndstooth cloth inserts for the front seats, while leather buckets that are both heated and ventilated come as standard on the T/A Plus and T/A 392 models. Those two higher end trim levels will also score the latest version of the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, which now comes with support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Order banks for the Daytona will open in September, while the Challenger T/A will follow a month later. The base T/A will start at $38,485 including a $1,095-destination charge, while the T/A Plus comes in at $41,235 and the T/A 392 will set you back $45,090. The Daytona and Daytona 392 will sport price tags of $40,985 and $46,090, respectively.