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Dodge's V6-powered Challenger gets ready for winter with all-wheel drive

Dodge’s heritage-laced Challenger muscle car is finally getting all-wheel drive for the 2017 model year.

The all-wheel drive model is named Challenger GT, and it’s exclusively available with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that delivers 305 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and 268 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The six-cylinder is bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be left in drive or shifted manually with steering wheel-mounted paddles.

The GT’s all-wheel drive system is closely related to the one that’s optionally available on the Charger. 100 percent of the V6’s power is sent to the rear wheels in everyday driving conditions, a setup that saves fuel and retains the coupe’s sporty, rear-biased handling. The front axle is only engaged when sensors detect that the rear wheels are slipping. Fuel economy checks in at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

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As of this writing, Dodge isn’t planning on offering the V8-powered Challenger with all-wheel drive; muscle car enthusiasts who want to tackle blizzards will need to settle for six cylinders under the hood. Performance specifications aren’t available yet.

The list of standard features includes leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, parking sensors on both ends, a six-speaker sound system, and aluminum trim in the cabin. Outside, the GT receives 19-inch alloy wheels with a black finish, fog lights, and a trunk-mounted spoiler. Discreet GT emblems on the fenders are the only way to tell the all-wheel drive model apart from its rear-wheel drive siblings.

The new GT interior package spruces up the interior. Priced at $995, it adds performance seats upholstered in an elegant combination of leather and Alcantara, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, and a performance steering wheel.

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT will go on sale shortly with a base price of $33,395 before a mandatory $1,095 destination charge is factored in. Production will kick off in January, and deliveries will begin in the first quarter of 2017.