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It was a battle of the muscle cars as the Dodge Challenger beat out the Chevrolet Camaro to win the NAIAS 2006 People’s Choice award.

A clear leader in the voting from the start, the retro-styled Dodge Challenger was the obvious favorite among MSN Autos visitors.

Dodge Challenger Concept
The Challenger concept features the characteristic wide-mouth grille, the rectangular tailpipes and pistol-grip shifter. Even the Challenger’s black racing stripes on the hood are on the new concept. But instead of being done with paint, the stripes on the concept car are exposed carbon fiber.

The four-passenger Challenger concept also has six manual speeds, rather than the four speeds of the original car. The single, large rear taillight is illuminated by diffuse neon in the concept, and tires and wheels are 20-inchers.

The Challenger concept is powered by Chrysler’s 425-horsepower 6.1-liter HEMI V8, with deep tones that were heard loud and clear when it debuted at Chrysler’s press conference. Chrysler officials said the car should go from 0-to-60 miles an hour in 4.5 seconds, which is on par with many sports cars, and top speed is 174 mph.

“This is the faithful reincarnation of a muscle car legend,” said Trevor Creed, senior vice president of design at DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group.

If given a final OK for production, the Challenger could be in showrooms by the 2009 model year.

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