Quick Spin: 2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus Blacktop car test drives reviews dodge
2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus Blacktop. Click image to enlarge

2013 Dodge Charger SRT8

Manufacturer’s web site
Dodge Canada

Review and photos by Mike Schlee

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2013 Dodge Charger

You can be forgiven if you thought the vehicle in these photos was a Dodge Charger Enforcer upon first glance—Dodge’s law-enforcement edition of their full-size sedan. The blacked out grille, grille surround, and wheels give it that “I’m-gonna-arrest-you” look we all fear when one suddenly appears in our rear-view mirror. But relax, this vehicle is merely the 2013 Charger SXT Plus with the Blacktop Package.

The Blacktop Package is available on top of the SXT Plus trim and consists of a 300-hp V6, eight-speed automatic transmission, 20-inch wheels with 245/45R20 all-season performance tires, Beats Audio Group stereo, gloss black grille, performance suspension, sport leather bucket seats, sport mode, and steering wheel–mounted paddle shifters. For now, it is only available on rear-wheel-drive Chargers.

Quick Spin: 2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus Blacktop car test drives reviews dodge
Quick Spin: 2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus Blacktop car test drives reviews dodge
2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus Blacktop. Click image to enlarge

Those astute readers out there will notice that the horsepower rating on the 3.6L V6 in the Blacktop is 8 hp higher than in regular SXT Chargers. This is achieved through a cold-air induction system and sport-tuned exhaust that also boosts torque by 4 lb-ft to 264 lb-ft total. At a weight of 1,813 kg, this rear-wheel-drive car has enough power and space to haul around five adults and their belongings. A lot of this has to do with the smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, which is the perfect companion for the Pentastar V6, upgraded in 2011. In fact, while testing the Charger at Chrysler’s Chelsea Proving Grounds I was able to have an impromptu drag race with the 2013 Chrysler 300C with the Hemi V8 and a five-speed auto. From a dead stop, the Charger Blacktop kept up nose to nose with the 300C through first and second gear, but then the Hemi started to pull away once the Charger shifted to third gear.

When not mercilessly beating on the accelerator pedal, the drivetrain is very quiet and unobtrusive in operation. This luxurious aura continues on the inside where big, comfortable seats await you along with soft-touch-material-everything. In fact, I found these seats more comfortable than the SRT seats. The Blacktop features the powerful Beats by Dre sound system that gives you 552 watts of ear-shattering power at your disposal, operated through Chrysler’s great 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment unit. The new eight-speed automatic’s gear selector is unique in both look and operation, and takes a few moments to get accustomed to. Being a mammoth of a car, the Charger features a healthy 467-L trunk out back.

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