Dodge wowed the public during their press conference at the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) with the revealing of its all new 2015 Challenger and Charger models.
The 2015 Charger received a complete exterior overhaul, abandoning much of its old style for a much sleeker, modern look. The traditional hexagonal grille design was replaced with a modern front fascia similar to those found in its Dart models. This grille change created a schism between Charger fans with some enamored by the switch and others complaining that it’s too far of a departure from its nostalgic appearance. However, one thing fans and consumers won’t have to sacrifice is the powertrain. The 2015 Charger comes with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 300-horsepower engine through an eight-speed transmission and a fuel economy of 31 mpg, or a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 eight-speed.
Dodge is positioning the Charger as a “four-door muscle car” that is capable of both the speed and performance of a muscle car with the safety, reliability and comfort of a family four-door sedan. It is Dodge’s hope that this radical stance will help it break into a market dominated by Nissan Maximas, Hyundai Azeras, Chevy Impalas, Toyota Avalons and Ford Tauruses.
In 2014, the sales for Dodge Chargers were strong, but they have since dropped off at the beginning of this year. This predicament is more of a sign of the times for this section of the vehicle marketplace than a weakness in the Charger itself. Regardless of this circumstance, a change had to be made to the to make the Charger more competitive within the realm of midsize sedans. More people are moving away from full-size sedans toward midsize crossover SUVs, which look similar to the full-size sedans but with more practical space on the inside.
The all-new 2015 Challenger received fewer exterior changes than the Charger. Consumers can choose from a 3.6-liter 305-horsepower Pentastar V6 with an eight-speed transmission or a 5.7-liter 375-horsepower Hemi V8 capable of delivering 410 pound-foot of torque also through an eight-speed transmission. Dodge reintroduced a modern version of its Super Bee Scat Package production car known as the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack 392. The 392 boasts a V8 Hemi Shaker engine capable of producing 485 horsepower, 475 pound-foot of torque, and a top speed of 182 mph.
Both models will be available late next year.
The Driving Life provides an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at all manufacturer debuts at the 2014 NYIAS. Stay tuned as we bring you everything from the Jacob K. Javits Center.