There was no missing the Green Go paint of the Dodge Charger Daytona 392 in the Limited Slip Blog driveway. It signaled the start of a very fun week. We’ve worked our way through the Challenger lineup starting with the Tor Red R/T Scat Pack, moving on to the Sublime Green 392 Scat Pack Shaker, and finally sampling the Plum Crazy SRT Hellcat. This Daytona 392 is our first taste of the Charger, however. And what a savory taste it was. A week of smiles, stares, and slightly overcooked tires sums up what the car is all about.
So what does it mean to be a Charger Daytona? Well, if you’re a fan of NASCAR and can appreciate history, it all started in 1969. Beneath the huge wing, unique nose cone, and racing stripes was the original Charger Daytona, a car designed simply to win races. All these years later, the Charger has clipped its wing and added a few more doors, but the personality is all still there. But this is more than just an appearance package. Dodge bundles in the Super Track Pak which has stiffer suspension, a multi-mode traction control system as well as summer performance tires. On the inside, all the stitching is gold accented with Daytona emblazoned on the seat backs. The familiar 6.4L V8 and one of the best-in-the-business 8-speed automatics round out this Daytona 392 kit. With the push of a button, all 485 horsepower rumble to life in a wonderful growl.
Driving the Charger Daytona 392 is nothing but an adrenaline hit. The seemingly endless power, wonderful gearing for the transmission, and unbelievable bark from the exhaust always make you want to put your foot to the floor. The trade off to this is the 14 or so miles per gallon that you’ll be returning. A somewhat small hindrance to the fun, but nonetheless an elephant in the room. Speaking of elephants, the size of the Charger is always prevalent in your mind. It is a large car with a big back seat, recliner style front seats, and a massive trunk. The UConnect system is still one of the best, and the updates of Apple CarPlay are welcome. You could use this as a daily driver…and wake up happy to to see (and hear) it each morning.
Handling is seemingly better than it’s Challenger counterpart. While it remains slightly devoid of steering feel, the well-damped suspension and different weight distribution profile put it ahead of the Challengers we’ve driven in regards to twisty road acumen. We’ll see if that holds up when we get our hands on the Challenger Hellcat Widebody. The smile per gallon factor is high with the 392 Daytona. When driving it, we were always smiling. So were the people around us! This car makes us wish we were around when it’s spiritual predecessor was the king of NASCAR. Muscle cars aren’t dead, and we can think of 485 reasons that prove our point.
|2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392
|Beats Audio Group||$995|
|Driver Confidence Group||$550|
|Pirelli 275/40/ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires||$595|
|As Tested MSRP||$49,725|