Why the 2015 Dodge Challenger Matters:
It’s not a full redesign, but the 2015 Dodge Challenger has been tweaked to give it a bit of a styling advantage over last year’s model. As Chrysler’s entry into the muscle coupe sweepstakes, the new Challenger continues to make hay off of its retro cues, leaning more on the 70s-era edition of the car than the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro that it faces off against. It’s an attractive package that offers more than just performance – the Challenger’s interior continues to be the largest in the segment, which makes it a practical choice as a daily driver for a wider range of buyers.
New 2015 Dodge Challenger: What’s New
The 2015 Dodge Challenger debuts new front and rear fascias that have a smoothing effect on the vehicle’s subtle menace. Dodge has said that the concept behind the refresh was to mimic the model year styling changes between the 1970 and 1971 models on which the modern design is based. Of course, the original Challenger didn’t come with LED taillights or LED halos around the headlights, but the point that the update is evolutionary is well made: practiced eyes will notice a bigger bulge in the hood (which can also be ordered in a ‘shaker’ design), as well a slimmer grille. Dodge has also added a number of blast-from-the-past color and stripe options to the 2015 Challenger’s palette.
Mechanically, the 2015 Dodge Challenger is largely unchanged. A 3.6-liter V-6 producing up to 305 horsepower represents the entry-level engine, while a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 good for 375 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque is also on the order sheet. Transmission choices include either an eight-speed automatic across the board, or a six-speed manual for the eight-cylinder model. One interesting under-hood wrinkle is the decision to offer last year’s SRT-only 6.4-liter V-8 (470 horses and 470 lb-ft of torque) outside the SRT branding box, as it can be had with either the Scat Pack or 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker trims (along with the same transmission choices as the smaller Hemi, more aggressive suspension tuning, bigger brakes, and track-ready rubber). This points to big things in the works from the rumored Hellcat supercharged SRT Challenger, which has yet to be revealed. Electric power steering also makes its debut with this model Challenger, as does an available TFT gauge cluster and the Uconnect 8.4-inch LCD touchscreen interface.
New 2015 Dodge Challenger: What Autobytel Thinks
The democratization of the 2015 Dodge Challenger’s top-tier V-8 engine is a boon to performance enthusiasts, while the introduction of next-generation Uconnect technology is a welcome addition to the coupe’s cabin. From a styling perspective, there’s really nothing ground-breaking: if you already liked the Challenger’s looks, (which we did), then you’ll also be happy with the 2015 model. It remains to be seen if a full-on re-think of the Challenger concept is on the way from Dodge in a few years time, or whether this refresh represents the apex of the nostalgic muscle car.