2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD: Not So Buff But Tackles the White Stuff

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Say fishtailing cold-weather zaniness just isn’t your bag, but you’re a sucker for the noise and style of a Yankee-bred muscle car. Well, you’re sort of in luck. We say “sort of,” because you can now snare a Dodge Challenger with four driven wheels, but it won’t be making tasty Hemi sounds or posting beefy Hemi power numbers. The 2017 Challenger GT gets its motive gumption courtesy of a 305-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.

The Pentastar is backed by ZF’s ubiquitous eight-speed automatic transmission, connected to the same transfer case and front-axle disconnect used in the existing all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger. In regular driving, 100 percent of the V-6’s 268 lb-ft of torque is directed rearward; should conditions call for the front wheels to leap into the breach, the system routes power to the front.

Dodge says the EPA rates the GT at 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. Despite the lack of a V-8, the GT does make some concessions to sportiness, including a Sport mode, shift paddles, and launch control. Dodge’s Performance Pages feature displays reaction times, zero-to-60-mph numbers, a g-force indicator, and lap times.

The Challenger GT rides on 19-inch aluminum wheels finished in Hyper Black wearing 235/55R-19 tires, features projector-beam fog lamps up front, and has a spoiler stuck to the decklid. In terms of convenience and comfort, the GT gets nappa leather, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an 8.4-inch Uconnect display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 276-watt Alpine stereo with six speakers, metal-trimmed pedals, and a universal garage-door opener. A rearview camera and rear parking assist are also standard. Opt for the $995 GT Interior package, and you get performance seats upholstered in nappa leather and microsuede, three more speakers, and 230 more watts of audio power.

Production ramps up in January, with deliveries slated to begin sometime later in the first quarter of 2017. The price for muscle-type appearance and all-weather traction? $34,490. That’s less than a Subaru WRX STI, which also has 305 horsepower and AWD, but slightly more than a base Ford Mustang GT, which offers 130 more ponies, makes excellent noises, and can be easily fitted with winter rubber. Pick the poison that makes the most sense to you.