There are three different terms that are used concerning a car's weight- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and Curb Weight. So how are they different?
A car’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) refers to the maximum poundage your car can weigh to operate safely and without harm to its components. Put simply, it's the maximum weight before everything breaks.
Manufacturers calculate this number by testing the structural integrity of your car’s suspension components, tires, wheels, body and frame. GVWR is defined as the maximum operating mass/weight of a vehicle. It includes the vehicle's weight along with all the additional weight upon it, including cargo, accessories, fuel, liquids, as well as passengers.
A car's Gross Vehicle Weight refers to a car’s actual weight with you, your family, your dog, and everything you've packed in the trunk for a long weekend.
The Curb Weight of your vehicle is the weight of the car with all of the standard equipment and amenities, but without any passengers, cargo or any other separately loaded items in it. Thus, the Curb Weight is the amount that the vehicle weighs when it's "resting on the curb" and not in use. This is generally the standard weight that the manufacturer assigns to the car.
The GVWR and GVW are different and should not be confused. The GVW of a car is constantly changing, but the GVWR will always remain a constant- it is a weight limit.
Surpassing the GVWR is safety hazard. An extra load is put on systems when a car is loaded down enough to take its weight beyond its GVWR. The brakes must work harder, and might not even be able to stop it efficiently. Tires could blow and suspension might be compromised- many components can be pushed beyond their limits when the GVWR is ignored.
If you're curious about your car’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, that information can typically be found on a label inside the vehicle's door frame near the door latch.
Here is a typical label.
The GVWR for the current Challenger models are as follows:
SXT & GT- 4,950 lbs.
R/T- 5,300 lbs.
R/T Scat Pack & R/T Scat Pack Widebody- 5,450 lbs.
SRT Hellcat & SRT Hellcat Widebody- 5,500 lbs.