2017 Dodge Challenger GT First Drive: Don’t worry, it can still go sideways

– Portland, Maine

Welcome to the northeastern part of the United States, where it’s all-wheel-drive pretty much all of the time. The roads are thick with Subarus, and other cars are virtually sales-proof if they aren't offered with some kind of xDrive, 4Matic, or similar variant.

Which is why the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT is the answer to a question that somebody must have asked at some point. After all, people in the Northeast don’t particularly enjoy sliding side-to-side in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru line, as evidenced by how many varieties of all-wheel-drive wagon are lined up outside.

Yet the Challenger itself holds a cachet that strikes a chord with all of America, at least judging by the small-town New Hampshire residents who turned and waved at a 16-foot-long orange coupe rolling by the community theatre. An all-wheel-driven variant of this head-turning car actually might do well here.

The car also buys the Challenger a little more time before a fully redesigned version, supposedly based on the newest Alfa Romeos, bows early next decade.

2017 Dodge Challenger GT: First Drive
2017 Dodge Challenger GT: First Drive
2017 Dodge Challenger GT: First Drive
2017 Dodge Challenger GT: First Drive

The GT uses the all-wheel-drive system from the Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, mated only to the 3.6-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic.

The GT uses the all-wheel-drive system from the Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, mated only to the 3.6-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic. With 305 horsepower, progress isn’t exactly slow, but it lacks the expected muscle-car growl and bite off the line that can be had by selecting one o...