The executive branch and government agencies like the EPA are making it more difficult for car manufacturers to build more advanced muscle cars. The government has made it clear that the industry will suffer consequences if certain mpg standards across fleets are not met by a certain date.
Dodge looked at those requirements, winked, and built one of the fastest and strongest muscle cars in the history of the industry.
The 2015 Challenger delivers up to 707 horsepower with the all-new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 in the SRT Hellcat; 485 horsepower with the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 in the SRT 392 and the all-new R/T 392 Scat Pack; 375 horsepower with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 in the R/T; and 305 horsepower and up to 30 mpg with the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 coupled to the new segment-first TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission in the base SXT. That 30 mpg was the wink.
The powerful engine under the hood delivers the torque, but on the inside Challenger and Challenger SRT feature an all-new interior loaded with class exclusive technology, including the Uconnect 8.4-inch touch-screen system and all-new SRT Performance Pages, which enables greater performance and further makes this iconic coupe an extension of the driver.
Dodge is one of the fastest growing car manufacturers in America today, with five years of previous generations of solid Challenger uptake increases. In 2013, the Dodge Challenger set an all-time sales record. Last year alone Challenger sold 430,000 units. Sales are predicted to grow 42 percent in the next five years.
The 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with best-in-class 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. torque (six speed manual or eight-speed automatic) does 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 182 mph.
The 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI Hellcat with 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. torque makes the Hellcat the most powerful muscle car ever.
Power is not the only thing affiliated with the Challenger. World-class stopping power with new available four-piston Brembo brakes and the largest six-piston front brake package ever on SRT models.
There is a three-mode adaptive suspension system on SRT models that holds Challenger to the road or track. You are able to power into the curve, coming out in complete control. I tried out this suspension system in person at the Portland International Raceway just outside the city. Several hours on the track and two days of actual road driving allowed me to use the new driver modes to personally tailor the driving experience.
Challenger has a wonderful modern interior with unmatched features and customization. There are 14 delightful interiors with new retro patterns and colors like Houndstooth, Tungsten Torque, Ballistic II premium cloth, and Pearl White or Ruby Red leather sport seats.
New heated and ventilated performance seats are available in Nappa Leather, Alcantara suede, and Laguna premium leather. The leather wrapped steering wheel (flat bottom steering wheel) has available paddle shifters.
The Challenger’s iconic exterior is superb, starting with the heritage-inspired split grille surround accompanying the projector headlamps with halo light emitting diode (LED) surrounds, and projector fog lamps.
The new heritage-proclaimed split LED tail lamps with Gloss Black surround accentuate the retro and high-impact exterior colors ranging from Sublime Green and B5 Blue to TorRed.
All this interior and exterior beauty rests on SRT wheel options, including new 20-inchx9-inch 5-spoke lightweight forged aluminum Sling Shot wheels in Hype Black, Matte Black, or Brass Monkey/dark bronze finish.
Just because Challenger has the power of a fighter jet doesn’t mean it has to give up comfort and great technology. Things like the 7-inch TFT customizable cluster with “Tic-Toc-Tach” gauges, 8.4-inch touchscreen, rearview backup camera, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 emergency call, and roadside assistance are all found in the 2015 Challenger. Look for the Challenger in Dodge showrooms around mid-October.
2015 Challenger Prices
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat starting at $59,995
Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker starting at $38,995
Dodge Challenger R/T starting at $31,495
Dodge Challenger SXT starting at $26,995
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He can be reached at this newspaper or firstname.lastname@example.org.