Welcome to My Wheels, Nithin and congratulations on your new Charger R/T. You haven’t had it that long have you…
I only bought this 2016 model three weeks ago and it still has the new car smell. I am treating it with kid gloves and have been breaking-in the engine very carefully — now it’s time to unleash those horses!
With a 5.7-litre V8, you sure have enough horses at your disposal. What made you buy a Dodge?
My wife and I didn’t even consider anything else as we used to have a V6 Charger before but sold it. We seriously missed that one and although there were several options that our friends suggested, such as the Camaro and Mustang, our hearts were firmly set on another Charger.
The previous one was a decent car with enough power to keep you entertained, and it had a soft and supple ride. I kept it for few fun-filled years and then replaced it with a Q50 with a turbocharged four-cylinder motor. That is when I realised that I missed the fun of a naturally aspirated engine; the Infiniti was good but a force-fed engine just was not me.
Now you have a big V8; how much fun is it proving to be?
It is more fun than I expected. The growl from the V8 on cold-morning starts makes my day. I didn’t even test drive this car as I just knew it would be so much fun. I just went to the dealership and bought it, and I wasn’t left disappointed. I felt right at home being back behind the wheel.
I have been driving it every day and enjoy every moment with it. I have taken it up Jebel Jais and Jebel Hafeet, and love the way it performs on the twisty roads. It has 370 horsepower and 536Nm of torque, and can hit 100kph from rest in 5.1 seconds on to a top speed of 250kph. It is the Road and Track trim, which gets a Super Track Pack Sport Suspension and low profile tyres that really improve handling. I just wish Dodge made a manual transmission for Chargers, it’d be even more fun to drive.
However, the best car I have driven is a Nissan GT-R. That was almost three years ago but I still get goosebumps thinking of the way it took off.
You could have got a Charger Hellcat, which has serious firepower. Do you have any plans to modify yours to get more out of it?
A Hellcat is my dream car, I would love one of those. However, I will be adding a Mopar cold air intake and a Magnaflow exhaust, which will add few more horses and give it a sweeter exhaust note. But it isn’t just fun to drive and powerful — it is practical, too. Sure, I love doing burnouts but it is a very good family car. It has the practicality of an SUV, and the fun and comfort of driving a sports saloon. It has a very roomy interior along with a big boot, which can accommodate everything from groceries to baby prams. What’s more, the U-Connect infotainment system is very intuitive, too.
It’s brand new but you’ve had an issue with it…
Yes — parking issues! It is tricky squeezing it into tight spaces and there have been several times when I’ve walked back to move it to a safer spot as I couldn’t bear any dings or dents on it.
Let’s hope you never get any. How did your passion for motoring begin?
It began when I was a kid and seeing my dad in a variety of cars as he’d change models every two or three years. He used to have a Maruti Suzuki 800 back in India and I used to work on it with him. Once, during a road trip, his Opel Corsa caught fire and was totalled. He used to love that car and was inconsolable. That’s when I realised that a car can become part of the family. And now, with the Charger R/T, it very much is a part of ours.