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Dodge has built a 4WD Challenger

Does this 450bhp SEMA show car signal the end of burnouts as we know them?

For this year’s SEMA show, Dodge is adding a little spice to the age-old V8 muscle car recipe: four-wheel-drive.

That’s right, a muscle car with 450bhp that splits power between all four tyres. Why? To make the car more usable year-round and improve performance. But, more than that, it’s a very public litmus test by Mopar to see if you guys like the idea.

While the Challenger GT AWD may look like a regular Challenger, the concept is actually three different models chopped together to make this showpiece.

Dodge borrowed the four-wheel-drive system from a Dodge Charger police car (because of course, the Challenger doesn’t come in 4WD), and the new eight-speed gearbox from a Chrysler 300 before shoving it all into a Challenger body.

But not a normal body, a big-hipped, one-off wide body complete with flared arches that house a wider track and beefy 20-inch by 10-inch front wheels and 20-inch by 11-inch rears.

Finished inside and out in lovely ‘Destroyer Grey’ with black accents and orange pin striping­, the whole car sits lower than normal thanks to a bespoke lowering kit and a new, deep-dish chin spoiler.

Apparently, slamming the car has benefitted handling characteristics by bringing the center of gravity down. And new front and rear strut braces have sharpened things up in the corners.

“Other manufacturers have been using four-wheel-drive for a very long time as a performance enhancement,” Todd Beddick, Mopar Head of Accessories and Performance Portfolio, told TopGear.com. “This is us testing the waters of that.”

Powering the car is a good ol’ 5.7-liter Hemi V8 but with a Stage Three Scat Pack upgrade. Go on, get your laughs out now.

Done? Good. Because that top-of-the-line Mopar mod gives an extra 75 horsepower and an additional 44 lb ft of torque thanks to CNC-ported cylinder heads, Mopar hi-flow manifolds, hi-flow catalysts, a new gasket set and new exhaust manifolds.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: ‘How are we meant to do stonking donuts and drifts with all-wheel-drive?’

Well, as Ken Block has proved with his four-wheel-drive Hoonicorn, sending power to all corners of a muscle car doesn’t destroy the fun.

Same goes for this Challenger, as an insider told us, ‘when it’s a little wet, you can light up all four easily’.  That’s the right answer.

Just imagine if they put a 707bhp Hellcat engine in it… now that sounds like a half-price Hoonicorn to us. But is it sacrilegious to build an all-paw muscle car? Let us know below.

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