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2015 Dodge Challenger : Current Models

The heavily revised 2015 Dodge Challenger is minimally changed outside, but its all-new interior brings it into the modern decade with a retro feel--and while the V-6 version is a pleasant touring car, the new high-end Hemi gives it new drag-strip credibility..

The 2015 Dodge Challenger is the first truly major update of the muscle car since it was launched as a 2007 model. It's been a long time coming, but with carefully refined exterior styling, new powertrains, upgraded suspension, and an all-new--and far more pleasant--interior, the Challenger stays up to date in the face of competition from not only the Chevy Camaro but an all-new Ford Mustang this year.

The Challenger has always been the largest and blockiest of the muscle cars, giving it substantial road presence. Looked at through a different lens, the Challenger has been slightly more of a touring coupe--large and comfortable, with a supple ride on long trips. Now that persona is joined by an array of even more powerful, rip-up-the-track models at the top end, for Challenger buyers who want to keep pace with the most powerful vehicles in the competition's lineups.

The revised exterior styling adopts cues from the classic 1971 Challenger, including a new split grille in a slimmer front opening with projector headlamps surrounded by LED halos, a pronounced and fully functional "power bulge" hood, and LED tail lamps in a glossy piano black surround. The basic shape remains unchanged, with a long nose, flat hood and deck lid, thick Seventies-inspired roof pillars and a pronounced kickup in the waistline. It keeps the Challenger more faithful to its decades-old ancestors than either the Camaro or Mustang, which have evolved with the ages.

Inside, the 2015 Challenger's interior has been completely revamped. The sweeping surfaces of hard black plastic are gone, replaced by a modern dash with soft-touch surfaces and a fully modern instrument cluster with a fully customizable 7-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) center display screen. The available 8.4-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash includes the UConnect Access system, with apps and navigation as well as the usual audio functions.

The center console has a higher edge on the passenger side, inspired by the 1971 Challenger, and the dash, instruments, and console has aluminum accents. Among the 14 options for interior color and trim is a classic Houndstooth premium cloth that Dodge actually calls a "throwback" to the 1970s, and premium leather and Alcantara suede high-performance seats.

Its slightly larger size pays dividends inside: The Challenger is the only one of the three muscle coupes to offer seating for five. Access to the back seat will entail some contortion, and only two adults will really fit back there, but it's doable. At 16 cubic feet, the trunk is also larger than those of even some mid-size sedans on the market.

The standard powertrain on the 2015 Challenger is a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6. Then there's the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, which will be rated at up to 375 hp and 410 lb-ft or torque. Finally, there's a new 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that Dodge estimates at 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. All three engines can be mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, the only one offered on any of the three U.S. muscle cars, with a Sport Mode and paddle shifters as well as visual and tactile feedback on the electronically-actuated shift lever. A six-speed manual gearbox remains available as well. Like all three of its competitors this year, the Challenger remains a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with independent rear suspensions.

The new and larger Hemi is expected to deliver 0-to-60-mph acceleration times in the mid-4 second range with the automatic, and quarter-miles in the low 12-second range. Dodge has also added a new launch-control function, and electronic stability control with three modes, including a fully-off position.

Gas mileage has never been a strong point for the large and heavy Challenger, especially in V-8 form, but the eight-speed automatic will help on that front. EPA ratings haven't yet been issued, but Dodge says figures will improve across the board--although gas mileage also isn't of major importance to Challenger buyers.

Suspension changes across the board include a Super Track Pak available on all Challenger models, uprated suspension, and new electric power steering with three modes: Normal, Comfort, and Sport. A fully track-ready 6.4-liter Scat Pack model includes not only the 6.4-liter Hemi but also 20-inch aluminum wheels, Brembo disc brakes, and the 392 Scat Pack Shaker model adds a functional Shaker hood inlet scoop.

While earlier Challenger models weren't rated for safety by either of the U.S. agencies, it includes a good array of safety equipment, including knee airbags. For 2015, Dodge has upgraded and increased the standard and available safety equipment on the 2015 Challenger. Among the available features are a backup camera, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-patch detection, forward-collision warning, and UConnect access with 911 and Assist calling.

Eight separate trim levels will be offered on the 2015 Challenger: SXT, SXT Plus, R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Shaker, R/T Plus Shaker, 6.4-liter Scat Pack and 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker. Customization options mean no two Challengers need be identical, with fourteen different interiors, nine wheel options, and a range of new paint colors, including retro shades like Sublime Green and B5 Blue.

Production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2014. Pricing won't be released until closer to the sale date, but the very highest-end models will likely approach $60,000--taking them into some rarified territory. On the other hand, Challenger sales have increased steadily throughout its life, so there's clearly a market for a retro muscle car. And now it's got an all-new retro-inspired interior with all the modern conveniences to go with the mix of yesterday's styling and today's performance.


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Sources : 2015 Dodge Challenger Photo | 2015 Dodge Challenger Article

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