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Ride and comfort; trunk space; fuel efficiency; SRT8's strong performance
The most notable changes to the 2009 Dodge Charger come where everyone wants them to be--under the hood. A new 5.7L Hemi V8 with variable valve timing now powers the R/T model. It puts out 368 hp and 398 ft-lb of torque, up from 340 hp and 390 ft-lb. It also features Dodge's fuel-saving Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which disengages cylinders when cruising. Also new are the Action Transfer Case and Front Axle Disconnect in all-wheel-drive models. The system maximizes fuel efficiency by powering only the rear wheels during normal driving, and engaging the front wheels when conditions require extra traction. Rear taillights have been revised across the range, while the base SE now gets standard aluminum wheels, better floor mats, and upgraded interior treatment. Power is down, however, and the SE now produces 178 hp versus last year's 186 hp. In the top SRT8 model, a new Super Bee model in Hemi Orange is available.