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2008 SEMA : Dodge Challenger SRT8 Convertible

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2008-10-20

2008 SEMA : Dodge Challenger SRT8 Convertible

HIGH SPRINGS, Florida -- Dodge has no plans to offer a Challenger convertible, which provides Coach Builders Ltd. an open shot at muscle car enthusiasts looking for an alternative to the popular Ford Mustang drop top. Now in final preparations for its official debut at the upcoming 2008 SEMA Show, the Coach Builders Dodge Challenger convertible will be shown alongside the company's Chrysler 300C and Cadillac CTS convertible conversions.

Coach Builders' Larry Moran told Inside Line that production of the Challenger convertible will begin on November 15, and that the company is "already taking deposits for getting a place in line." The Challenger convertible conversion is priced at $16,000, Moran said. A 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 currently costs $41,695 including shipping charges and gas-guzzler tax, so expect to pay nearly $58,000 for open-air Challenger motoring.

Moran also says that "custom interiors, performance options and wheels and tires" will be offered, but the details "are not firmed up yet." The car that will debut at SEMA was fortified with a Vortech supercharger that bumps the 6.1-liter Hemi V8 to 560 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It rides slightly lower on a KW coil-over suspension kit and 22-inch Foose Challenger wheels wrapped in Nitto tires.

The convertible conversion reinforces the Challenger with strut bars hidden inside the trunk instead of a visible roll bar, and the acrylic polyester cloth hydraulic top is padded between the structure and the exterior fabric for sound and temperature insulation. A heated glass rear window and matching fabric headliner are also included.

Inside Line says: Sixteen grand may sound high, but Coach Builders is offering your best chance at a Challenger convertible. In today's troubled economic climate, it's doubtful a low-volume car like this, no matter how cool, will roll directly out of an auto assembly plant.

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