The Challenger T/A is back. Taking its name from the iconic model Dodge used to compete in the SCCA’s Trans-Am racing series starting in 1970, the 2017 Challenger T/A will be available in three different variants when the ordering process opens in October: T/A, T/A Plus, and T/A 392. All three sport a new hood with a massive center-mounted scoop. The hood, as well as the roof, trunklid, rear wing, body-side stripes, and fuel-filler door all are done up in satin black. Inspired by the Hellcat, the T/A has a similar ram-air design that allows air to pass through a headlamp to the engine intake, which gets a conical Mopar air filter. But whereas the 2016 Hellcat uses this airflow solution for only one of its lamps, both of the T/A’s inboard lamps feature the design, following the script written by the Challenger T/A concept from 2014. LED-illuminated T/A logos within the opening are just another reminder that this isn’t any ordinary Challenger. Old-school pins to keep the hood secured are optional. Along with the intake, Dodge also equips each and every T/A with a standard performance exhaust system. Unfortunately, both features make no measurable difference to engine output, with 5.7-liter V-8–equipped T/A and T/A Plus models producing the same 375 horsepower as their R/T kin, while the top-of-the-line T/A 392’s 6.4-liter V-8 makes the same 485 horsepower it does in other Challenger 392s. Nevertheless, we can confirm that the kit makes the car sound a hell of a lot meaner. All T/As come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, although buyers can opt for an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Further upping the ante is the addition of Dodge’s Super Track Pak. The performance kit comes standard on all T/As and includes a suspension that’s been lowered by 0.5 inch, Bilstein shocks, high-performance brake lining, a three-mode stability-control system that can be turned off completely, and stickier tires. T/A and T/A Plus models wrap a set of Goodyear Eagle F1s around 20-by-9-inch, 12-spoke forged-aluminum Mopar wheels finished in black, while the T/A 392 relies on a set of Pirelli three-season performance tires and 20-by-9.5-inch forged-aluminum wheels, also finished in black. Inside, the T/A takes things back in time with period houndstooth cloth inserts for the front seats. T/A Plus models replace the base car’s houndstooth seats with a pair of heated and ventilated leather buckets. Plus models also add a power tilt and telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, an upgraded audio system, and the latest Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Finally, the T/A 392 adds to the T/A Plus spec the aforementioned 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 and the wider wheels, as well as big, vented front brakes with six-piston Brembo front calipers and four-piston rears, model-specific suspension geometry, and “392” fender decals.