By Patrick Rall
The 2015 Dodge Charger R/T was introduced today under the bright lights of the 2014 New York International Auto Show with a fully revamped exterior that has some Dodge lovers crying tears of joy while others mourn the aggressive look that we know and love on the 2014 Charger R/T. While the 2015 Charger R/T benefits from a new 7 inch thin film transistor (TFT) configurable screen in the middle of the gauge cluster, a new steering wheel, a revised center stack that is highlighted by the 8.4” touchscreen infotainment system and a cool new t-shaped shift level that works in conjunction with the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters – the real story is the exterior design.
For those wondering about the drivetrain of the 2015 Dodge Charger, the engine and transmission lineup is remaining pretty much the same with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 and the 5.7L Hemi V8 engines offering the same output as the 2014 models. The 8-speed automatic is standard across all models and while all wheel drive is available with the Pentastar V6; all wheel drive is no longer available with the Hemi V8.
“Our Dodge designers have resculpted nearly every single body panel of the Dodge Charger for 2015, giving it a sleek, nimble appearance,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “The Charger’s all-new exterior design combined with its standard new TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission and the latest in-car technology builds on the brand’s promise to deliver American performance machines with world-class efficiency, technology, authentic materials and standout styling for our customers.”
Now onto the exterior design of the 2015 Dodge Charger. Since the “original” Dodge Charger sedan was introduced for the 2006 model year, the larger than life, aggressive styling has made it one of the most popular large sedans sold in America. Dodge refreshed the Charger for 2011, adding an even more aggressive hood and front fascia along with the gorgeous new race track taillight – and the consumer market responded well with that new look. Based on the popularity of the Charger over the past few years, it seems unlikely that the company would go a completely different direction with the 2015 Charger…but that is exactly what they have done.
The 2015 Dodge Charger looks very similar to the current models along the side but the front fascia, the hood and the rear end of the car have all been adjusted for the new models. The most striking aspect of this new Charger is the shape of the grille and the thin LED lined headlights that connect with the new, wider grille. The huge upper grille still sports the crosshair design, but this large grille flows down into the large lower grille opening with LED fog lights mounted in accentuated bezels on each side of the lower fascia opening. This gives the 2015 Charger a very sporty high tech look, but critics of the new design insist that this Charger looks too much like a Dart on steroids. Fortunately, the new Charger also has a hood the curves down more to meet the grille, which helps gives the new muscle sedan a scowling, angry look that has been achieved in the past but this new design takes a very different approach than the outgoing Charger. Also unique for 2015, the Charger’s headlights wrap around to the fenders where the current models keep the headlights aimed squarely at the road.
The wrap around effect is also found at the back end of the 2015 Dodge Charger, where the LED race track taillight design has been slimmed down and curved around to the sides a bit. This new Charger has a rounder rear end than the outgoing models so unlike the 2014 Charger – the 2015 Charger allows you a brief glimpse of the gorgeous race track taillights from the side as well.
Unfortunately, the 2014 NYIAS debut of the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T didn’t include much information or any images of the non-R/T models so we are not sure what to expect in terms of exterior amenities from the SXT – nor do we know what the next SRT Charger will look like – but in the meantime we know that the 2015 Charger R/T will feature a striking new face that will make some buyers fall in love while others are busy complaining on the internet about how much they hate the new design.