R/T, More Than Just A Badge!


 
The R/T nameplate has as much heritage to the Dodge brand as HEMI®. Both equally resonate among passionate enthusiasts all over the globe. First introduced in 1967 on the Dodge Coronet model, the R/T package was much more than just flashy wheels and some badges plastered all over the bodywork. Short for “Road” and “Track”, the Dodge engineers and product planners did their homework and when the R/T made its debut. Instead of going with the sedate 383, the team insisted on making sure the new 375 horsepower 440 Magnum V8 was under the hood as standard equipment (the 426 HEMI was optional for buyers looking to take no prisoners on the drag strip). The R/T package also included a heavy duty suspension, performance tires and an upgraded cooling system.

 
By 1968, the R/T packaged was available on the second generation Charger and when the Challenger was introduced in 1970, buyers could purchase an R/T model with a wide variety of engines and options. With the changing consumer tastes due to high insurance rates going through the stratosphere for performance vehicles and with the infamous oil embargo, the R/T nameplate met a lowly demise and quietly slipped away by 1972. It resurfaced momentarily in the late 1970′s on the Dodge Aspen but the heart and soul was not there as the ground pounding big-block Wedge and HEMI engines were not to be found in the option guides. The R/T nameplate would reappear in the 1990′s on the Dodge Neon and Stealth but it would take another decade to find its rightful place among gear heads looking for a rear-wheel drive performance car.
 
Fast forward to 2006 and the R/T package is reunited with an old friend, the Charger. And just like the glory days of the past, the Charger R/T was powered by the next generation HEMI displacing 5.7 liters and pushing out well over 300 horsepower. With the introduction of the 2009 Challenger R/T, the HEMI received a bump to 370 horsepower. Our product team even developed the “Classic” edition that included a 1971 inspired “R/T” stripes and high-impact colors. This year, the infamous R/T package will be available on the 2011 Durango, Grand Caravan, and Journey. And like its predecessors of the late 1960′s, it will carry the same DNA with great drive train, refined suspension, unique wheel and tire packages and an aggressive style that is distinctively Dodge.


  • NeonNites

    There are too many R/Ts. Look at the Charger, you have the R/T and then you have the R/T Road and Track which is what R/T stands for in the first place. The R/T with the chrome around the grill should just be called Rallye and/or Rallye Plus. Only the R/T with the blacked out grill and red R/T emblem should be called the R/T. Now you even have a R/T Max. Enough of this, it looks like you are to stupid to come up with another name. YOU ARE SLAPPING THE WORD R/T ON EVERYTHING SO DON’T TRY AND TALK YOUR WAY OUT OF IT. We are not stupid, we can see right thru it.

  • moparman

    I hope I never see an “R/T” van running at a race track.

    Since we’re on the subject, please, no more pick-up trucks with superbee stripes.

    And if you guys come out with a “charger daytona”, that ricer wing isn’t going to cut it, and neither is the “EVO got rolled by a RAM truck” nose.

    “R/T” still does mean “Road and Track”, and it always will.

  • Keith

    Y in the hell are yall putting r/t on freakin mini-vans… Its absolutley ridiculous and it dilutes the r/t name and heritage… the durango r/t is great a friend of mine had a early 2000′s one and it was great and looked fantastic but to put it on vans totally ruins the r/t name… I mean i own a 09 r/t challenger and now knowing its on a van just pisses me off… I really doubt chevy or ford would slap ss or gt on vans… Really whoever thought of that should be fired!!!!

  • MrDolomite

    Agreed as above. Even before, there should have never been a silver R/T and a red R/T.

    And now with the other names, Heat, Citadel, Express, etc, that makes it even worse. Keep the SRT at the top, then the red R/T, and then the other trims.

    Put some pride back in the R/T by keeping it as a performance model, not just trim badges and wheel covers.

  • ND RAM

    Hey Keith, Chevy did the same thing with the SS badge getting slapped on everything over the last ten years. People cried foul and eventually they relented. Now Dodge is going to have to learn for themselves since they refuse to look at what purists have said to other brands that have tried this…WAKE UP DODGE!!! R/T = PERFORMANCE. Minivans are not performance vehicles.

  • Ryan Thomas

    I love the R/T badging, it matches my name so I will tell everyone I had my van monogrammed personally for me. That is probably how much meaning it has with Dodge anymore. At any rate, let buy my man van before they decide to drop the badging.

  • HEMIhead

    I agree with all above. Every model don’t need an R/T version! As I said before, you’re diminishing
    the relevance of the R/T designation. I remember when an R/T was the top performance model.
    Now it’s second rate to the SRT. An R/T model should only be a V8/rear drive car. Not a minivan or a truck/SUV. Think of the guy who just put his hard earned money down for an R/T challenger
    and now everything is an R/T? Don’t mean much to him anymore. If you dilute it too much it won’t mean anything to anyone. Not everything needs a HEMI either. Should have had another name on it for the trucks (magnum or pentastar V8), or another V8. All the good things Mopar had in the past that were coveted, are now just being used as some household catch phrase.
    So much for resale value.

  • moparnut

    I really don’t know what happened to loyal car guys, every group is pissing and whinning about the stuff being put out by the big three. This is like the sixties are back, no its better than that! But no people have to pick at every little thing the challenger is too heavy the charger has 4 doors, a mini van with r/t badges. Come on people really! Am I the only one that’s loves ALL of dodges offerings right now? I can remember buying a 225 horse mustang because dodge didn’t offer a v8 back wheel drive car. I for one am very excited by what is at my dealers lot. If someone would have told me ten years ago that id be able to go buy a charger with a HEMI and more than 300 horse I wouldn’t stop and ya ok but how many doors? No id say hell ya tell me when ican get one, oh ya and make it an r/t cause I’m just glad to see those badges back. And to those of you who whine about r/t being throw around open your eyes srt is what r/t was things change. Just wonder if I’m the only one who feels like this? Keep up the good work dodge!

  • loyal mopar man

    moparnut, you are the only one who thinks what they are doing at Dodge is fine. R/T stands for road and track. I do NOT think we are going to see too many minivans and Journeys at the track. It meant that you could drive it everyday yet drag race it on the weekends. That is what is meant, not just making a firmer suspension and monotone paint job and interior. For God sakes, you could just write Sport on the side. People would get the message. People would probably understand Sport Edition better than R/T anyhow.

  • moparnut

    Loyal mopar man, why can’t dodge fans be happy with something great? I swear all mopar fans would be happy if things went back to the 80′s when things in dodge world was so bad no body complained because just wasn’t any hope of getting a new performance car that could smoke the back tires. I see everyones point on watering down r/t but it just seems nobody can step up and say hey these cars dodge is building now are bad ass and its about time we could compete with ford and chevy with out digging out a 60′s museum piece! Why is it always doom and gloom? Am I the only one proud to be a mopar fan? And if they want to build a road and track mini van that’ll spank a 60′s muscle car then id say go ahead. Sounds like a bad idea but you gotta keep trying new things. If every performance car was the same then we wouldn’t have anything to talk smack about. Now what fun would that be?

  • loyal mopar man

    moparnut, I don’t mean to be ugly we just want to keep Dodge on the right path. Yes, we are very happy that they are getting on the right track and starting to make excellent cars again. We just want to keep them on the right track. I am just so happy they were able to come out of bankruptcy so we could continue to buy their vehicles. We do not deny that they are doing a great job, we just want to make sure they stay on track. Keep spreading the mopar faith. Take care.

  • moparnut

    Loyal mopar man, I agree. Its a great time to be a mopar fan andits cool that many people like you share my passion for these cars.

  • Keith

    moparnut,
    my man we are loyal thats why we have taken the time to read and comment on the subject…i grew up respecting the r/t name and i want my son to do the same, not see it on his grandmas minivan…how could someone respect that…you should be glad we are keepin detroit on their feet by our (the buyers) opinions….i’m positive it’s the reason why they have such a nice lineup today…but we refer to the old days cuz it’s wut made the r/t wut it is today….the last thing i wanna see is a damn toyota prius r/t driving down the street which is why i passionately and respectively bash the decision dodge has made to slap it on minivans…to me as a loyal mopar fan and owner it’s disrespectful…i respect ur loyalty and i give dodge alot of credit for what they have done lately…i just want them to keep it up and keep the r/t models to performace vehicles not on ones that have handicap license plates!!!
    (i mite have sent this twice b/c i didn’t see my last post)

  • moparnut

    Keith, I agree 100% but when they started srt they forever took away from r/t. Srt has become what r/t was back in the day. So what now? Maybe sport would be correct and leave r/t as something special in between sport and srt. Bottom line, NOBODY wants to see an r/t van. But things do have to change. So maybe sport would be the right name for a lame van. I hold a special place in my heart for that r/t badge that makes my pulse race when I see it but I think it has already been watered down. Question is how do they bring it back to the level it once was?

  • Keith

    It finally seems like we’re on the same page… And ur rite about the srt thing but the way i like to think of it as is the r/t is the middle class blue colar guys type car…. No disrespect if u fall into that category and are blessed to have the srt… But for me thats wut it is and i’d like it to stay that way… Not a grandma social security paying my note r/t minivan…. i’d like to think dodge reads these kinds of posts and builds on it… And to answer ur question the only thing that’ll get it back to where it once was is guys like u and me sharing our opinion on the matter on these boards… Stay cool moparnut!!!

  • 440

    Why are you so-called Mopar guys complaining,it is the same as the old R/T cars back in the day..some had more options some less..

    You all must be forgetting about the R/T S.E cars…they also had R/T,R/T track Pak, R/T Super Track Pack ect…Same as the different models of Charger today,I dont believe you are true Mopar people,educate yourself before making fools of yourselves !

    They do the same today as back then..Base model R/T

    I dont know why people are complaining like crabby babies,Old grannies are not going to buy a R/T Caravan,better suspension,meaner looks ect…I am glad Dodge has options for people who want or need a minivan,suv ect…

    Did you guys complain with the Neon R/T or the 318 2 bbl with lean burn Aspen R/T !!!

    How about the Turbo Caravan’s ,the used the ES name was like the R/T in the late 80′s early 90′s..Bet you complained cause they had a Daytona ES,Shadow ES….

    Glad there are many options of the R/T,chrome grill,no chrome,Road and Track package…Back in the day Dodge was just the same…non power drum brake,bench seat R/T cars..then they had R/T that was mid level,p brakes,console..then a R/T that had disk brakes and more options..then later a R/T S.E/TrackPack/Super track Pack R/T ect….

    I love Dodge for making more options..and options for more peoples budgets… Want a Hemi get the base model R/T Charger..like old cars,educate and then realise Dodge did the same back then,the only difference they added a “S”RT model !!!!

    As for people saying the R/T is wattered down today…same back then you could get a 383 R/T Challenger drum brakes,dog dish caps,3.23 axle or a base model Challenger with the same 383 Magnum engine,loaded with options..

  • 440

    @moparman….

    Actually the Dodge Ram truck has a old Chrysler 300 crosshair grill…so the trucks have a car grill…
    I want more Rumble bee trucks with bumble bee stripes,Daytona model and a new SRT RAM…Also Love the new Ram R/T !!!
    If you hate trucks,dont buy any 5.7 Hemi powered Dodge car because it has a truck engine,as it was in the trucks first..
    I guess you guys forgot about the Turbo Caravans,around here at the drags its half Mopar and back in the 90′s Turbo Caravans were running 12 second 1/4 mile times,yeah my stock 68 440 Charger R/T (bone stock never rebuilt) ran 12.80′s with 275 15′s 100% stock engine/driveline and my buddies 2.5 Turbo Van ran 12.90′s !! Caravan Not stock but not wildly done either..

    I hope Dodge builds a HEMI Caravan R/T !!

    KEEP THE CHOICE OF MULTI R/T MODELS,PERFORMANCE FOR ALL DODGE MODELS…
    Remember the original R/T cars had several options to choose from,like the new ones…

  • maddog

    440,
    just cuz u drive a neon r/t dosen’t make it rite to put it on everything bro…i believe its u who is the unloyal one…i agree with the other guys who been posting on here…long live R/T!!!!

  • moparman

    440, if your talking about pre-1975 chrysler 300s, then that’s just as bad. Seen any pre-’70s 300 “R/T” cars running around? Seen any 300s that were considered muscle cars? Regardless of where it came from originally, it does not look good on that car, and definitey does not go well with any car carrying the name “Charger”.

    As for all those other cars you ask about, yes, I have complained to chrysler about the abuse of the “R/T” badge, via letters and e-mail over the years. Red Letter Dodge didn’t exist, ’cause there was no internet back in the ’80s. I even went and filled out comment/suggestion cards at local dealerships, and talked with the managers/owners of the dealerships.

    As for “seeing certain vehicle at the track”, I have never had the displeasure, and hope I never do. The reality is, you know what I’m saying is true. You gave in, you “like” what they are doing. Goody for you. You can type four billion paragraphs , and your not gonna change anyone’s feelings or opinions. Your just kissing Dodge’s a**. And not doing yourself any favors in the process.

    It’s their company, they can do anything they want. But they can’t force me to change my opinion, or anyone else. And they can’t change history. And neither can you.

    P.S.: Didn’t I paint you Hemi orange and put you in the engine compartment of my ’69? :-) How the heck did you get out?!!!

  • Keith

    Moparman,
    U stole the words out of my mouth… Couldn’t have said it any better!!… And i couldn’t disagree more 440… There deff should never be mulitiple r/t models for every dodge vehicle cuz different vehicles are for different groups of ppl hence my point about a grandma driving a r/t minivan (its a figure of speach and was said to prove a point)…bottom line is doing so absolutly dilutes the heritage of the r/t badge…the whole reason red letter dodge wrote thus article in the first place!!!

  • moparnut

    Oh now I get it…..r/t must stand for REALLY TIRED! As in really tired of seeing it on every dodge built!!!!! Lol just kidding. Trying to break up the tension, really touchy subject this could go on for daaaaaaaays! Ya know despite the different opinions atleast everyone cares enough about these cars to throw their 2 cents in.

  • moparnut

    Oh ya just went to check out the new 2011 charger r/t in person and gotta say I love the second gen. Styling cues. the hood, doors, and tail lights are perfect I love this car. I can almost invision it orange with an 01 on the side,ha ha. But the front end is kinda butt ugly, hope it grows on me.

  • moparman

    I wasn’t going to post on this one again, but, via a jsut released video, it seems even the chrysler engineers would have made the car mroe retro, if they had know it was going to be called charger back in 2005.

    http://www.autolinedetroit.tv/show/1507?play

    Just in case the link doesn’t work, here is an excerpt:

    “we had an opportunity there to kind of mine some of the design history of the past, primarily the second gen charger from 1968 to 1970, and that’s really what we as designers wanted to do, uh, because the current car that’s out there originally was not intended to be called charger, that was kind of an 11th hour decision, and s…”

    Interviewer cuts it..”in other words, you were just doing a car and then marketing came and said we’re gonna call this the charger”

    Back to the designer…”that is absolutely correct, and so this gave us an opportunity to do what we really wanted to do, knowing that it was going to be a charger, and once again mine some of that design history from the past.”

    Interviewer….”That’s an amazing story that, had you known originally, that it was going to be a charger, you would have done the design differently”

    Designer…”Quite a bit differently”

    Interviewer…”So you got to do it this time around?”

    Designer..”Yes, yes”

  • http://www.examiner.com/muscle-car-and-classic-car-in-new-york/diego-rosenberg diego

    What’s being characterized as “1971 R/T stripes” are not proprietary to the R/T, as similar stripes without the R/T lettering were available on any 1971 Challenger.

    Today, R/T is just another way of saying “GT” – it has no meaning other than to suggest a car with sporting pretensions. That doesn’t mean it has horsepower, just something sportier than the base model. That certainly was true a few years ago, although I don’t know if it’s still as watered down today.

  • Titltkr

    I really don’t care if they put R/T on a brick. As long as it out preforms what ever is in the same “class” I’m for it. Bigger cylinders equals more gas, blower/turbo mean more air, tuffer drive lines and bigger tires means first to finish line. KEEP IT UP.

  • rdctex

    Since the Charger was not actually an updated version of the Charger, you guys disappointed a lot of people when it hit the showrooms. Even with a 2007 Charger V8 HEMI R/T, I got the Road part, but I am still searching for the Track part. As the Charger turned out to be a “family sedan”, I will have to look at the Challenger the next time I buy. Sometimes it feels like I am driving my grandmother’s old Plymouth. I agree with everyone else. Do not put R/T on everything unless it really is an R/T (Road and Track). It gives a bad impression and does not do Dodge’s reputation any good either. Dodge has been having a hard enough recovery to consumers without the Dodge designers and engineers messing it up.

  • Brian Deuvall

    …”This year, the infamous R/T brand…”

    Hire some copy writers/editors.

  • dodge sucks

    Dodge sucks ill stick to my Lexus which is more reliable

  • SUBLIME

    Lexass, please. They aren’t very reliable when you cannot stop them. I always thought it was a bad copy of a Mercedes. They don’t have a distinctive shape. Just another boring Japanese car.

  • PLUM CRZY

    Timberline auto in Libby, MT. Still has a new B5 blue on the showroom floor.
    Tell them Plum Crazy sent you. They will know who.
    Beautiful car.

  • Zeke

    Kudos to Dodge for permitting all comments be on the blog – the good, bad, & ugly.

    I own an 04 Durango Ltd w/Hemi & LOVE IT! That vehicle told me Dodge was on its way back before ever seeing the newer Chargers & Challengers.

    A friend in high school 25+ yrs ago had several Mopar classics which he rebuilt or collected & I enjoyed them but was not a Mopar guy at that time. I grew to respect the power of those early machines & the strong following. The anemic cars of years since have been replaced by some fun machines.

    All the complaining & whining about R/T model being overdone – stop it people! Dodge is doing a good job marketing these days & is bringing new enthusiasts into the fold. When I replace my Town & Country with a new van or other vehicle, I’d be happy to have an R/T upgrade to it as long as it’s not merely cosmetic. Improved performance or handling on non-muscle cars would be appreciated.

  • hemicharger

    I own an 07 Charger R/T. You all can keep your RT badges. The best car Dodge makes is the challenger.drag pak. No bs. All RT adds is 5k to the price and a hemi. Keep it. Dodge needs to look to the 62 Darts with 413s if they want to build what i want. CHEAP.light.FAST.

    PS~someone mentioned Plymouth before. I would love to a purchase a NEW Roadrunner. Hint hint Dodge.

  • Bee

    come on guys, what do you expect from OBAMA motors. lie to the people and do what you want.

  • http://www.examiner.com/muscle-car-and-classic-car-in-new-york/diego-rosenberg diego

    Ladies and gentlemen, please examine exhibit A, otherwise known as “Bee.”

    Prone to psychotic babbling due to misinformed rhetoric that conveniently forgets that Bush gave Detroit a lifeline.

    Now here’s a profound idea: Why not keep this crap out of this site?

  • Phil gracia

    Keep up the good work I was a gm fan forever and japaneese just recently bought dodge charger R/T love it keep the challenger coming do not change body style. One thing I would like to see is a special edition HEMI CUDA and I know u can do it ur close enough with the challenger

  • Abarguy

    I have several Neon R/T’s and respect them all. I’m not sure, however, that 14 horsepower should justify placing R/T badging on it. Don’t get me wrong, Dodge did package it well, concentrating on improved handling, gearing and a bit more performance to boot. Bigger brakes, wheels and tires round out the package.
    But even me, a guy who likes his R/T package on his Neon’s, still can’t get past how Dodge just slaps R/T badging on a minivan with no upgrades from a standard model at all. Sorry, but it’s just wrong. R/T is remembered as a performance package…focus on performance not just a labeling gimmick.
    I disagree that R/T’s have to be V8 and rear wheel drive. Great performance packages have been front drive 4 cylinders. I also have several Spirit R/T’s which were mid 14 second street cars and were front wheel 4 cylinder cars from a time where Chevy’s big dog, the SS Camaro, was only able to muster a high 15 second quarter mile. Fords hero, the 5.0 Mustang was good for mid 15 seconds back then. Looks like Dodge and the R/T package in 1991 beat out the competition’s V8′s and rear wheel drive cars, huh?