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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27, 2013, 11:20 A.M.

Chrysler strips muscle machines to their “Core”

 (Chrysler )
(Chrysler )

The original recipe of the muscle car was simple:  Stuff a ridiculously powerful engine into the smallest car possible and sell it for cheap.  Chrysler announced plans this month to spice-up the cheap ingredient with stripper, or “Core” models of the Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 SRT8.  

The basis of the two scantily clad straight-liners is a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that churns out 470hp and 470lb-ft of torque.  Most other frilly features Chrysler assumed wouldn’t appeal to hardcore enthusiasts were left at the factory: Leather seats, a suspension that can be taken out of sports mode and an oversized computer interface.  The 8.4-inch touch screen is still available as an option for techier muscle fans. 

The bottom line is a Core Dodge Challenger or Chrysler 300 SRT8 will sell for $5,780 to $7,000 less than the previous base models. The Challenger Core starts at $38,995 and the 300 Core at $41,995.  The price cut moves the cars down towards the entry-level range from the luxury range where much of the SRT8 brand resides.

 SRT boss Ralph Gilles says the cars are a “grand experiment” to see if serious enthusiasts still exist. 

Well sure they do, and they ought to hope these strippers sell like hotcakes.  If they do Chrysler might be persuaded keep thinking as they are; that it’s worth making cheaper, no-frills cars that are a blast to drive.

FYI though, Gilles said not to call the “Core” cars strippers.

Ok.  “Dancers” then.   

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