|The 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392.|
Day one of Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca via Laureles Grade. Once there, you swap cars with another journalist for the drive back, and then swap cars again once back at the Quail. Apart from an hour's lunch, this is your day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Each run is about half an hour, and driving 10 to 12 cars back-to-back-to-back gives you interesting points of reference about the next one.
My ninth car of the day was one of the most fearsome...the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392.
|Quail Lodge to Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway via Laureles Grade (courtesy Google Maps).|
|2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392.|
Trust me, the T/A 392 is more than enough power for anyone not intent upon breaking laws of man and physics. Packing the same power as the 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 I'd driven a couple of hours earlier, it knocks off 0-60 in roughly the same four and a half seconds, but being in a slightly smaller package heightens the sensation of speed. The good news is that, like its bigger brother, the Charger, what we have here is a muscle car that blows away "golden era" cars from the 60s not only in straight-line performance but in handling and braking power.
|2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392 interior.|
Having not yet driven a Hellcat or Demon (and frankly, not entirely sure I want to), this stands as the hottest Challenger I've ever driven. Getting one of these instead of one of those would by no means be settling.