It’s clear from a visit to Dodge at the LA Auto Show that there’s new life at Dodge-Chrysler since partnering with Fiat a couple of years ago. The little Fiat 500 has been making a huge splash since the Italian automaker was re-introduced to the US market this year, and the folks in Detroit have also been busy redesigning the entire Chrysler line from the ground up.

The momentum is apparent in state-of-the-art technology like Chrysler’s Uconnect media system and the updated appearance of classic Dodge muscle cars like the Charger and Challenger.

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Automobile Magazine named the new Dodge Charger one of its “All-Stars” for 2012, for features like its powerful 292-horsepower Pentastar V6 engine and best-in-class highway fuel mileage of 31 miles per gallon (thanks to an efficient eight-speed automatic transmission, a first for a US-made sports sedan).

The Dodge Charger SRT8 performance model puts the muscle back into muscle cars with a 470 horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 that will get you from 0 to 100 miles per hour and back again in less than 16 seconds. A special yellow Super Bee edition of the SRT8 makes its debut in Los Angeles, along with a similarly toned Yellow Jacket version of the Dodge Challenger SRT8. (The Super Bee also comes in Pitch Black.)

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Dodge’s reinterpretation of its classic Challenger offers retro styling and modern safety and fuel efficiency, and its larger backseat and trunk give rivals Camaro and Mustang a run for the money. Challenger’s base model is equipped with a 3.6 litre V6 engine that delivers mileage of 18 city/27 highway.

Auto show attendees may test drive these and other Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat models at the show over the November 19 and November 26 weekends. Sign up at the auto makers’ exhibits.

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Donna Schwartz Mills loves her cars. Of course! She’s SoCal Mom!