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Low-budget Challenger-Charger road trip is worth a mint

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News
Dodge is planning an 8,000-mile road trip that ends in California to introduce its Hemi-powered 2011 Challenger SRT8 392 and restyled 2011 Charger R/T.

It's a low-budget, grass-roots effort that will be handled by just two people, Dodge spokespersons Heather Heughens and Scott Vandekerckhove. There's no expensive support team trailing behind. They are on their own.

Two cars will leave the Detroit area Monday, Nov. 15, head south, then turn left when they cross into Ohio.

Stops are planned in Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The last stop is set for Dec. 20 in Corona, Calif.

Along the way the two cars will visit Mopar clubs, tuner shops, car shows and dealerships, giving people a preview weeks before the cars arrive in showrooms. Stops are planned in 28 cities, and trip highlights will be posted on Twitter and

I expect thousands of Dodge enthusiasts will be snapping photos, sending copies to friends and wanting to learn every detail about the two cars. The CBs also will be buzzing as the duo pass big rigs on the interstate.

For the cost of gasoline, motel rooms, food and the two drivers' time, Dodge will be generating millions of bucks in publicity during a road trip featuring the Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392. Photo credit: Chrysler
The news for Dodge is that the 2011 Challenger SRT8 392 has a 392-cubic-inch Hemi (6.4 liters), an engine size not offered in a production car since 1958. The engine produces 470 hp and 470 pounds-feet of torque.

The 2011 Charger has been re-engineered, and the all-new sheet metal draws on styling last seen on the late-1960s Chargers. The car still has a “don't mess with me” attitude.

For the cost of gasoline, motel rooms, food and the two drivers' time, Dodge will be generating millions of bucks in publicity for the Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392.

And you can bet that nearly every one of those enthusiasts will be heading to a Dodge dealer when the production cars arrive.

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