By Patrick Rall
We knew that the 2015 Dodge Challenger was coming to the 2014 New York International Auto Show and we thought that it would have a new look that would allow it to stand out from the current models. We were wrong on that point as the 2015 Challenger only receives subtle styling changes on an otherwise identical car. We also thought that the 2015 Challenger SRT would be introduced with the new supercharged Hemi with more than 600 horsepower. We were also wrong on that point as there was no mention of a new SRT Challenger this morning in New York nor was there any mention of a supercharged Hemi with more than 600 horsepower – but we did learn that the 6.4L Hemi from the current Challenger SRT will be offered in the non-SRT Challenger for the 2015 model year with more power than the outgoing models with the same engine.
“For 2015, we’re going deep with the remake of the Dodge Challenger,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO – Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “The iconic 1971 Challenger inspired the design of this modern day muscle car, but the recreation of this classic styling extends well beneath the surface of the sheet metal. We have completely re-engineered the Challenger with a new best-in-class 485 horsepower 392 HEMI and TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission powertrain, an upgraded suspension, new class-exclusive technologies and a completely new interior.”
First off, the 2015 Dodge Challenger will come in eight different trimlines with three different engines – the 3.6L Pentastar V6 in the SXT and SXT Plus, the 5.7L Hemi V8 in the R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Shaker and R/T Plus Shaker and the 6.4L Hemi V8 in the 6.4L Scat Pack and the 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker. The 3.6L Pentastar V6 will offer the same 305 horsepower as the current models and the 5.7L Hemi will top out at the same 375hp as the current models, but the 6.4L Hemi that was previously reserved for the Challenger SRT will offer 485 horsepower and 475lb-ft of torque (rather than the 470/470 in the current Challenger SRT).
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT and SXT Plus models come with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission and paddle shifters while the 6 different Hemi-powered trimlines come with a standard manual transmission or the option 8-speed automatic. Interestingly, the Chrysler Group insists that the 6.4L Hemi-powered 2015 Challenger is quickest when fitted with the 8-speed automatic – with 0-60 times in the mid 4 second range, a quarter mile time in the low 12 second range and an impressive top speed of 182 miles per hour.
In terms of exterior changes for the 2015 Dodge Challenger, the aesthetic differences are more evolutionary than revolutionary. The Dodge Charger that we know and love from the past seven model years was based on the 1970 Challenger so it should come as no great surprise that the 2015 Challenger is modeled after the 1971 Challenger. If you are familiar with the 1970 and 1971 Challenger, you should know that they were very similar shy of different headlights and taillights – so it should make good sense that the 2015 Challenger refresh is focused around a new grille and a new set of taillights.
Up front, the 2015 Challenger looks pretty much the same as the outgoing models with the exception of the split unit front grille, which is borrowed directly from the 1971 models. There is also a set of slightly revised headlights that feature halo LED trim that looks incredible. Out back, the 2015 Challenger features the same LED race track technology as the Charger, Dart and Durango but the Challenger has two different, smaller race tracks while those other models rely on one large lens that covers the back end.
The rest of the exterior is the same as the outgoing models, but on the inside the 2015 Dodge Challenger has been heavily refreshed with the key points being the new center stack with an 8.4” infotainment screen, a 7 inch thin film transistor (TFT) driver’s information screen tucked between the analog tachometer and speedometer, a new three spoke steering wheel and a revised center shift console that has a sunken in design similar to that seen on the classic Challengers.
Finally, the awesome Shaker hood that was introduced in limited numbers for the 2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker and the Mopar 14 has become a normal option across the R/T and Scat Pack lineup, so anyone who orders a 2015 Dodge Challenger with either of the Hemi V8 engines can add the gorgeous Shaker hood system.
No pricing has been announced for the 2015 Dodge Challenger lineup but we know that production will begin in the third quarter of 2014 with the first models arriving in showrooms before the end of the 2014 calendar year.
In the images shown here, the B5 Blue car is a 2015 Challenger SXT, the Sublime Green car is a 2015 Challenger R/T Shaker and the Silver car is a 2015 Challenger 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker.