By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos FCA
For 2015, Dodge is going deep with the remake of the Dodge Challenger, the iconic 1971 Challenger inspired the design of this modern day muscle car, but the re-creation of this classic styling extends well beneath the surface of the sheet metal.
Inspired by the iconic 1971 Challenger, all 2015 models take on a bold new appearance that draws on the 1971 model’s split-grille and split-tail lamp cues, updated to 2015 with four signature LED headlamp halo surrounds offset by piano black trim, single projector beam headlamps at each front corner light the road ahead and high intensity discharge headlamps are also available.
In profile, the Challenger’s signature muscle car proportions and large thruster rear quarter panels stand out, while fender and belt lines tie together at the front and rear of the car to create a sleeker appearance.
A new split tail lamp design continues the historic 1971 model’s inspiration. For a modern look, the Dodge brand’s signature LED treatment creates a single ribbon of light within each lamp. A redesigned rear valance provides the 2015 Challenger with a widened, more planted appearance, while fascia mounted exhaust tips provide a high performance finished look.
Inside the 2015 Dodge Challenger is an all new enthusiast designed cockpit featuring world-class materials, execution and technology, also inspired by the interior of the 1971 Challenger.
The all new cleanly executed instrument panel features an aluminum stamped driver’s bezel that establishes the driver’s cockpit. For a high tech look, an innovative 7-inch TFT instrument cluster screen extends through the driver’s bezel and provides a customizable display. The all new gauge cluster features an analog speedometer and tachometer that straddle the TFT customizable instrument cluster and provide a heritage inspired look with throwback radial numbering and concave shape. Additionally, the center stack neatly houses the new 5-inch and the available 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreens.
A new steering wheel features a sculpted rim so the driver’s hands have a sure grip at the 2- and 10-o’clock positions, while available paddle shifters are located on the backs of the upper spokes. To make long cruises more comfortable, the new 2015 Dodge Challenger features redesigned seats with improved cushioning and more comfortable contours.
Challenger SXT and SXT Plus models feature the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, which delivers 305 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and a responsive 268 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm. A cold-air induction system and dual exhausts from the headers back to the exhaust tips help to deliver more than 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque from 1,800 to 6,400 rpm all for outstanding drivability and responsiveness. Paired with the new standard eight speed transmission, the Pentastar V-6 improves its fuel efficiency compared with the outgoing model up to an estimated 30 mpg on the highway.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger’s eight-speed automatic transmission delivers precision and fuel efficiency, along with a new electronic shifter, sport mode and paddle-shifting capabilities for more performance, as well as an improvement in fuel economy. Once limited to sedans costing twice as much, the new Dodge Challenger democratizes this exclusive world class technology, offering the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission standard on every V-6 model for 2015.
The Challenger’s Uconnect Access system leverages advanced embedded cellular technology, which enables direct, one touch connections with emergency service providers, roadside assistance dispatchers and vehicle information specialists. With its available mobile phone app, owners can start their vehicle and lock or unlock doors from a distance. Challenger owners also can access on-demand Wi-Fi, making their car a moving hot spot.
New for 2015 Uconnect via Mobile lets customers enjoy their personal Internet radio accounts and stream audio content using their own mobile device data plans. It seamlessly brings popular Internet radio apps into the Dodge Challenger. Like all Uconnect brand features, it is designed to be easy to learn and easy to use.
The available navigation system accommodates one step voice controlled destination entry and enhanced 3-D navigation map graphics, making it simple for drivers to recognize where they are and where they need to go. The larger 8.4-inch touchscreen is also 29-percent larger than its predecessor.
Dodge Challenger occupants gain additional protection and accident avoidance assistance, including Blindspot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path Detection and adaptive cruise control. The Challenger’s new adaptive cruise control matches traffic speed, accelerating to highway speed providing additional assistance whether on long highway drives or in heavy traffic. All new rain sensing wipers and automatic high-beam control aid the driver by assisting with common functions during inclement weather conditions. In addition, Challenger offers 9-1-1 call/Assist Call, which connects occupants at the push of a button directly with emergency-service providers via built-in cellular connection exclusive to Chrysler Group’s Uconnect Access service.
Since the reintroduction of the Challenger, the Dodge brand’s performance icon continues to deliver exactly what muscle car enthusiasts want, a powerful and efficient engine lineup, iconic muscle-car design with numerous personalization packages. Dodge Challenger combines world-class ride, refinement and braking performance with more power and a track-tuned suspension to deliver a thrilling driving experience.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $29,995.00 for the 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus, the one I drove included the Technology, Driver Convenience, and Harman Kardon Premium Sound Groups, Power Sunroof, Uconnect 8.4AN AM/FM/SXM/HD/BT/NAV, and it came in at $36,165.00 including destination charge. The EPA fuel economy estimates 19 MPG city, 30 MPG highway and 23 MPG combined.