While in 1971 Challenger-buyers could choose a Hemi engine that offered 425 horsepower, the top offering in 1972 was a 340 CID V8 rated at 240 horsepower. If that rating seems called compared to the rating of the same engine the previous year, it’s because 1972 was the first year that the government required car companies to report net horsepower as opposed to gross horsepower. The result was a rating that was closer to the power actually produced by the engines, but seemed to indicate less powerful cars, even though the performance was in fact exactly the same.
The only other two engine options available was the 225 CID slant six-cylinder engine that produced 110 horsepower that was standard in the base model and the 318 CID V8 that produced 150 horsepower, which came standard in the Rallye model. Last year’s low-cost “Deputy” model, which featured Dodge’s smaller 198 CID six was no longer offered, nor was the engine option.
Like every other pony car, Challenger sales declined in 1972 from the previous year. Total production stood at 26,658 cars, a number that represented a 10.79 percent drop from 1971.