Even though Plymouth had the Barracuda, the first pony car model introduced two weeks before the Ford Mustang, its stablemate Dodge didn’t enter the segment until 1970. Some muscle car historians said that Dodge was almost late to the party. But the Challenger was so good that it truly left its mark and reserved a place in history. Mopar’s E-Body models Barracuda and Challenger were new in 1970. They featured a unique design, better construction, and a larger body (via Motor Trend).
There was no significant mechanical difference between the Barracuda and the Challenger, only the design. But these two cars also had some interchangeable bodywork parts. The Challenger got full firepower from Mopar’s engines, and buyers could get a powerful 383 V8, a hefty 440, and the famous 426 Hemi. Of course, the best performers were the 440 and the Hemi. Depending on the specifications, differential ratio, and gearboxes, Challengers equipped with those engines could accelerate to 60 mph in the 5.5 to 5.7 seconds range, quick for 1970.