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Race Ready: 2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 First Test Drive

As the owner of a 2018 Dodge Demon, it goes without saying that I was intrigued when Dodge announced yet another drag inspired Challenger. It’s called the 1320 (that’s a ¼-mile in feet for those who never paid attention in school) and at first many thought it was going to be a Demon rip off. And while it does share much of the same technology that made the Demon the quarter-mile killer that it is, after driving it on track, it became evident that not only is the 1320 not a Demon rip off, but instead, a well-priced racing tool that Dodge created for the everyday enthusiast.

2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 Exterior:

There are no fender flares; no 305/35-series tires at all four corners, and no SRT badge. In fact, the 1320 looks so pedestrian that many folks will have a hard time telling it apart from a standard V6 or R/T Challenger. For the enthusiast crowd however this is actually a great thing as many folks like owning a car that’s somewhat of a sleeper – and this is where the 1320 shines. From a body perspective, the 1320 is standard Challenger sans a few little things that set it apart. The first and most obvious sign comes to us in the form of a little Drag Bee – complete with crinkled drag slicks, zoomie side pipes, and one of the most bitchin’ drag helmets ever fitted to a cartoon insect. It was inspired by the Scat Pack logo, and in our opinion, it works perfectly. Then there are the specially illuminated headlamps with the inset 1320 logo that route cool air into the air box.

A splash of color comes next in the form of the red painted 4-piston Brembo brakes that sit beneath stylish and blacked-out, 20” split-spoke rims. Then finally we’ve got the 275/40-series Nexen drag radials that grace all four corners. Why all four corners when this is a rear-wheel drive car? Simple, so you can rotate the fronts to the back once you’ve burned through the rears – genius.

2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 Interior:

Compared to other Challenger models that can be optioned with all manner of Alcantara and Napa leather, the interior of the 1320 may at first, seem pedestrian. The seats, for instance, are retro styled houndstooth with cloth surfaces and white stitching with the passenger and rear seats being optional (they cost $1 each). The dash features a 180-mph speedometer, analog tachometer along with a center set LCD information screen (with the cool 1320 Drag Bee logo) that are accessed via steering wheel mounted controls. Speaking of which, the steering wheel itself is covered in Alcantara to give those who drag race a little more grip.

Uconnect 8.4 with its 8.4” touchscreen sits dead center in the dash and is key for such functions as navigation, climate, and audio, as well as access to the Dodge Performance Control page (not SRT) where everything from the drive and drag modes can be configured. Trunk space comes in at a liberal 16.5 cubic feet, however, due to a smallish opening, some may find the loading and unloading of cargo to be difficult. And while some might say that the interior is a lightly optioned for a car that’s close to $47k, we say that what you’re paying for lies underneath the 1320, not in the interior.

2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 Performance:

Okay, so now we get to the meat and potatoes, that being, the engine, and suspension. For argument’s sake, the 1320 is essentially a Demon-lite as it utilizes the same exact suspension setup. That means for $3,995.00 (on top of the price of a Challenger R/T Scat Pack) you get the same Drag Mode goodies such as the adaptive dampers, launch control, transbrake, line-lock, 8-speed automatic transmission (no manual is offered) and a sticky set of Nexan SUR4G DOT Drag Radials. Obviously, there is no Chiller System due to the fact that the 1320 is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.4L HEMI that produces 485bhp and 475 lb-ft of torque. Other than that though, all the bells and whistles are there.

Cut a good light and grip from a dig, and the 1320 will blitz the ¼-mile in 11.7-seconds with 60-mph coming up in just 3.8-seconds. Folks, that’s seriously fast for any car, regardless of price. Just like the Demon, the 1320 does require practice to master. And while it’s always cool to do burnouts, the main goal with this car is to just stick and go. We had the opportunity to experience the 1320 at Pomona Raceway in Southern California and what stuck with me most was just how confidence inspiring and fun this car actually is. The Demon, for instance, is a complete handful with its 840bhp. But the 1320, with 485bhp, seemed to have exactly the right amount of power as it gave the driver the opportunity to learn and evolve with the car as opposed to simply scaring them off.

At around 4,200-pounds this is not a light vehicle, but honestly, the weight doesn’t matter as the engineers have really thought this thing out. It also makes for one hell of a daily driver as the soft drag mode suspension will make you think you’re cruising around in a 1970’s Cadillac. Heck, the 1320 even gets an EPA rated 18-mpg city, 24-mpg highway and 15-mpg in combined driving which honestly, isn’t too bad for a factory built drag car.

2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 Safety:

With safety features such as crumple zones front and rear, an advanced airbag system, active head restraints, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control, Dodge has put quite a bit of time into keeping both you and your passengers safe while traveling to wherever the road takes you.

To find out more about the safety features on the 2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 head on over to Dodge.com.

2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 Overall:

If you’re looking at purchasing a 1320 then you really should be one of two things – either a person who loves to drag race or someone who really wants to learn. We’re not saying it’s a one-trick pony, but truthfully, why would you buy one if cutting the best light and running the ¼-mile weren’t in your blood? This is a car that rewards you when you get it right and motivates you when you get it wrong. It’s also fun as a daily and it looks great. Plus, with a starting price of just over $45k, it’s also one of the best performance bargains on the market today.

Drop by your local AutoNation Dodge dealer today to check one out!

*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.

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