While the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro has been crowned the official car for this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada, a plethora of modified 2009 Dodge Challengers are headed to the gala as well.
Leading the pack is the Dodge's own Challenger SRT10 Concept.
A creation of Chrysler's in-house tuning division, the one-off concept based on the new 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 ditches the stock 6.2-liter 425 horsepower V-8 for the 8.4-liter V-10 normally found under the hood of the Viper SRT10 ACR club racer.
With the swap comes 600 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Consequently, the Challenger SRT10 needs little provocation to convert tire rubber into thunderhead clouds of smoke.
Accompanying the motor swap, the SRT10 Concept has received a thorough suspension and brake overhaul. Bilstein shocks and stiffer springs have been installed at all four corners. The stock 14.2 and 13.9-inch diameter rotors and 4-piston calipers have been replaced as well, likely using calipers and rotors taken from the Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR.
The rest of the tuning package is a retro-modder's visual feast, composed of Tornado Red paint and a healthy dose of carbon-fiber for the shaker hood, front splitter and trunklid. The red-orange paint is reminiscent of the classic Hemi Orange worn by the 1970 HEMI Cuda. The interior features a host of carbon fiber accents, as well as a set of custom sports seats.
All together, it's an impressive presentation. But the bigger question is whether Dodge intends to put a V-10 Challenger into production.
About a month ago, Dodge's parent company Chrysler LLC was angling to sell the Dodge Viper off to a third party. At the time, Autoblog.com posited that aftermarket tuners Saleen and Roush were among those interested in buying the Viper roadster and coupe.
While those talks seem to have cooled, the Viper remains an endangered species.
Currently, there are no production plans for the Viper beyond 2011. If the Viper is not replaced or given a stay of execution, the Challenger SRT10 concept may take over as Dodge's halo car -- and as Dodge's competitor to the 540 horsepower Shelby Mustang GT500KR.