By Patrick Rall
When the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T debuted in New York City last week, among the limited details was the fact that the new Charger R/T will not be offered with All Wheel Drive. Since the modern Dodge Charger sedan was introduced, those folks who wanted the performance of a powerful V8 and the sure footed versatility of All Wheel Drive could turn to the Charger R/T with AWD. The Charger was one of the first large sedans in the industry to feature an automatic disconnecting transfer case which allowed the AWD Dodge sedan impressive fuel economy in situations where traction from all four wheels isn’t needed. Charger R/T AWD owners could enjoy the performance of the Hemi and the ability to face some serious winter weather conditions without even pushing a button. It was a cool feature that made for an attractive option for Charger R/T buyers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t attractive enough, as the company has seemingly killed the all wheel drive option for the 2015 Hemi powered Dodge Charger.
As soon as the news surfaced that the advanced all wheel drive system would only be offered in 2015 Dodge Charger sedans with the Pentastar V6 ruffled some features in the Mopar community. People were unhappy that the company had taken away an option that seemed like such a solid drivetrain configuration – especially for people who live in areas that get heavy amounts of snow. Dodge faithful questioned why Dodge would remove the AWD/V8 combo from the 2015 Charger order sheet and according to the folks at Allpar, it all comes down to take rates.
Exact numbers have not been offered up as to how poor the take rate was for the AWD Charger R/T and considering that they were low enough to kill the AWD option for 2015, those figures likely wont be made official. However, they were low enough that the company didn’t see a point in working all wheel drive into the 2015 R/T package. I have to say, having had the opportunity to drive the Charger in both rear wheel drive and all wheel drive forms, I can totally see why most consumes opt for the RWD Charger R/T. While the performance is still very good in the AWD Charger R/T, having traction to all four wheels kills some of the tire spinning fun that so many muscle car buyers demand – even those who want four doors.
The 2015 Dodge Charger SXT with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 will be available with the 8-speed automatic and the advanced all wheel drive system but for at least the first run of 2015 Charger R/T models – there will be no combination of AWD and the Hemi. Ultimately, those folks who are that upset by this move probably shouldn’t have bought more AWD Hemi Chargers and maybe the Chrysler Group would have kept the option in the lineup for 2015. Most importantly, the vast majority of folks considering the 2015 Charger R/T wont mind being forced to have a car that sends more power to the pavement and gets better fuel economy at the minimal expense of reduced winter performance.