Chrysler’s 2008 Dodge Challenger began rolling off the Brampton assembly plant line yesterday into an uncertain market that could embrace the nostalgic muscle car or reject it for its gas-guzzling excess.


Chrysler has already sold all 6,400 of the 2008 Challengers it plans to make for the U.S. market as well as several hundred for buyers in Mexico and Canada.


But Reid Bigland, president and chief executive of Chrysler’s Canadian operations, says it’s hard to predict how long that demand will last, saying it’s a difficult time to be launching a $40,000 US car with the fuel economy of a large sport utility vehicle.


The 2008 Challenger gets 5.5 kilometres per litre in the city and 7.63 km/L on the highway, the same as Chrysler’s largest SUV, the Dodge Durango.