Video: Jay Leno And The Hurst Performance Vehicles Challenger

Despite the fact that Hurst Performance Vehicles ceased production of their highly-sought-after late-model Challengers in mid-2011, the cars still have immense appeal among collectors. Back at SEMA in 2008, the Hurst team showed off their first modified Challenger, which set the stage for a couple-year-long model run of the vehicles. That is, until Ma Mopar changed up the computer calibration for the newest models in order to come into line with the EPA and get its own house in order.

Unfortunately, in the process the Mopar gang effectively killed off the Hurst Performance Vehicles version of the car by restricting the ability to perform aftermarket tuning. As the first go-round on the ’08-’11 cars included a Vortech supercharger, the Hurst team had planned to continue that with the most recent iteration of the Challenger, but sadly, it’s not to be. Access to the tune files is a necessity – you can’t build a blown, fuel-injected late-model car without correcting the air-fuel ratio.

Luckily for us, Hurst DID make that first run of awesome ’08-’11 modified Challengers. These cars were available in only two color schemes – white or black paint with gold stripes. They rolled out of the gates with an awesome 570 horsepower and a fully-modified suspension including Eibach springs, Brembo stoppers, and a set of custom Hurst-badged wheels.  These unique vehicles came complete with custom interiors including gold stitching in the leather interior and the legendary Hurst logo embroidered in each seatback.

The car has a nice rumble to it at idle and only gets better as the loud pedal nears the floor, and we get to check it out in a real-world setting on the street. Leno raves about the supercharger on the car, reinforcing the notion that the car just wouldn’t be the same without it.

Neat to hear Leno reminisce about his childhood and he even goes on to talk about a little bit of automotive history, which is certainly better than some of his monologue material. We love ya, Jay – thanks for sharing your impression of this car with us!

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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