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Hi guys, new here, I`m planing to buy a 2012 CHALLENGER SRT8 in september and want to know ups and downs on manual versus automatic, black versus orange, and if there is anything I should look for when test driving the beast!! Personally I want to go with a orange manual trans. This might be a stupid question, are stripes painted or vinyl? I just don`t want to visit the dealership just to avoid the sales people specially if I`m not buying right now. I would apreciate any heads up on what to look for during pre delivery inspection and test drive, and if anyone knows if any new wheel design will be introduced on the 2012 year model. Please don`t hold back on technical words and crazy explanations as I am a ASE master tech, nissan and infinity platinum master tech and curently own my auto repair facility. Thank you in advance for all the imput. Ricky from Tampa, Fl.
 

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Auto vs. manual is really a personal choice. I like auto because I am an old fart and want to relax when I do my burnouts. When I bought my GN 25 years ago, i was upset that I couldn't get it in a manual. All my race cars were 4 speeds up until then. Now I am spoiled. So, if you are young and like to drive with spirit, get the manual. If you want to relax after busting your butt in the shop all day, get the auto. If you are racing, the auto will get you to the end quicker. The auto gets better gas mileage.

Black vs. orange. Black is the most impressive, but, a real pain in the butt. It will show everything, and I mean everything. Even freaking dog hairs! If you have a lot of time and are anal about the looks of a car, then go with black. The orange will be much easier to keep up and looking nice. I went with Redline Pearl for the R/T. After 25 years of black, I need a break!
 

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Auto vs. manual is really a personal choice. I like auto because I am an old fart and want to relax when I do my burnouts. When I bought my GN 25 years ago, i was upset that I couldn't get it in a manual. All my race cars were 4 speeds up until then. Now I am spoiled. So, if you are young and like to drive with spirit, get the manual. If you want to relax after busting your butt in the shop all day, get the auto. If you are racing, the auto will get you to the end quicker. The auto gets better gas mileage.

Black vs. orange. Black is the most impressive, but, a real pain in the butt. It will show everything, and I mean everything. Even freaking dog hairs! If you have a lot of time and are anal about the looks of a car, then go with black. The orange will be much easier to keep up and looking nice. I went with Redline Pearl for the R/T. After 25 years of black, I need a break!
I agree with pretty much everything he said especially the color choice.

I'm an old fart as well, but love the 6M. So far nearly every car I've owned has been a manual. More fun, better mileage, but not as fast as an auto unless you are an incredible driver. There's also the difference in exhaust; the manual to me sounds like a muscle car much more so than the auto.

I would go with the auto only under one or both of these two conditions: 1. You drive almost all stop and go traffic. 2. You want to race.

Any other reason is not worth the compromises to me.
 

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i originally ordered a 6 speed, but changed my mind when i dumped my ordered car....i still wonder if i made the right decision...

the 6 speed now costs less, but is slower and more difficult to race in consistantly

the automatic is outdated (not a 6 speed) and revs very high on the freeway 2,200 rpm at 70....i have been somewhat disappointed at how it shifts in automatic mode...ive started to drive it full time in autostick mode to get it to work right...its a completely different shift in autostick...it snaps when it shifts......i chose it at the last minute because i wanted my wife to get to drive it once in a while and the auto is faster......plus i had a hard time finding a 6 speed in the color i wanted..

if you like stick get the stick....if your questioning which you want id probably lean towards the stick....if having the car be the fastest it can be get the automatic.....if your not planning on spending time to learn how to launch a stick get the automatic...with autostick its still alot of fun, but it seems a bit gay to autoshift a automatic, but until they come out with a new preditor tune its what im going to do.

im happy with my automatic....id probably choose it again.....i wish it were a 6 speed automatic and i wish it shifted sportier in automatic mode
 

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If it's orange your after, then your choices will be limited. I'm assumeing your aiming at Hemi Orange Pearl.
It is only on the 2008 - 2010 SRT`s and 2009/2010 R/T's

2011's orange is called Toxic Orange. Alot like Mango Tango the other Dodge cars and trucks.

The new orange on line for 2012 is Header Orange. Nothing official, but from what I've seen so far on this forum, it looks like cheddar cheese.

No word if Hemi Orange will make a return.
 

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I have the manual...I love the manual. I was on the fence too because manuals were scarce in my area when I bought mine. I'm glad I waited for the 6spd. I think Huggy's right. If you're on the fence - get the manual. As for the test drive, just be careful about getting too many bugs in your teeth from smiling.
 

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FWIW, I wouldn't have purchased this car if it didn't come with a manual transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank`s for the fast responses. I guess now just have to wait for Dodge to update the website and see colors and choices.
 

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The manual should get a little better mileage than the auto on the highway. High overdrive ratio in 6th gear more than offsets MDS of the automatic. With 2011 the auto has really closed the gap. EPA shows both as 14 city but 22 for the auto on the highway vs 23 for the stick.
 

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Manual transmission for more fun, and more driver involvement. If you race every weekend and want consistency, get the automatic. Or, if you live in a crowded city where you have bumper to bumper traffic on a daily basis.

As stated before, black looks the best, hands down, only when it's clean. I find myself cleaning my car at least 2-3 times a week. I don't mind washing my car, but it is time consuming.

Good luck
 

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I have a manual orange R/T Classic. I like the orange because it stands out. Black is so hard to keep clean. I have a black Jeep too, and the Challenger hides dirt much better. In terms of transmission, the manual is much more engaging to drive. I drove multiple model variations with both. If you are using the car as a daily driver in heavy traffic, I would suggest the automatic though. It will keep the spouse happier if you are so inclined and is relaxing to drive. It is also faster in a straight line most of the time. Even with the slow 5 speed auto, a good driver would be hard pressed to outshift it and get traction with the manual. Plus, they are adding paddle shifters, which would be fun. We all know the modern supercars have paddle shifted autos in them now that you would never be able to outshift manually. The manual in traffic gets really old fast too. Luckily, the clutch is nice and light, and there is something gratifying of shifting manually. It connects you to the mechanics of the car more completely than just steering with both hands. Now that the gas mileage between the two is minor, it really is personal preference. I am toying with the idea of actually getting an automatic SRT-8 next because I plan to drive the car, and now so does my wife. We'll have to see what 2012 brings to see if it will be a 372 or 392. I am already cringing at the hit I'll take on my 2010.
 

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I prefer an auto, had too many manuals and am tired of shifting gears. I would VERY CAREFULLY inspect every inch of the car (inside and out) for damage. Take your time doing it, before you start signing papers. I once failed to do this years ago and discovered my car had minor damage I know was on the car before I bought it.
 

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revs very high on the freeway 2,200 rpm at 70....

Wow Huggy, my manual is 1,600 rpm at 70, about 1,800 at 80. That's a pretty big difference. I assumed 5th would be much higher gear in the auto. I was on the fence about the auto vs manual partly because it's my daily driver and in Los Angeles I deal with my share of stop and go traffic. I have to say though I absolutely love the manual and don't regret it for a second. Traffic or not it is worth it in my book. The clutch and gearbox are a pleasure to use even under high traffic conditions. I really enjoy the sounds the engine makes and the ability to modulate it with my gear selection, or sit in a lower gear by choice to stay in the power band because I want the torque "right there" when it's time to GO! All add to the fun and control factor. it's a fun engine and the more you interact with it the better IMO. Autostick is cool, but not the same to me. It lacks feel and finesse. It's not physical enough, nor quite smooth enough.

I guess I'd say, if you don't like manuals or can't drive one for whatever reason, I'd be thrilled to have the auto. But if you like manuals or are on the fence at all...no question you should get the 6spd.
 
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