The 2015 Dodge Challenger is offered in six different trims: SXT, SXT Plus, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat. Like the pony cars of old, the Challenger offers something for everyone, with offerings ranging from sporty and economical to full-blown muscle car and, in the case of the Hellcat, something completely insane.
SXT and SXT Plus models come with a 305-horsepower 3.6L V6 engine, which is capable of an EPA-estimated 30 mpg on the highway. The Challenger R/T draws its power from a 5.7L Hemi V8, which makes 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. The new R/T Scat Pack features a 6.4L Hemi V8 with 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet, while still returning up to 25 mpg on the hightway. The SRT 392 utilizes that same engine, while the top-of-the-heap Challenger SRT Hellcat has a new 6.2l supercharged Hemi V8. The monstrous engine makes 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque -- the most powerful muscle car engine ever produced. All Challengers feature a standard 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, though a TREMEC 6-speed manual is available in all the V8 cars.
Challenger SXT models have the same retro muscle-car silhouette as the others, but they're a little bit more sensible, with a low base price and reasonable fuel economy on the highway, while still providing satisfying acceleration for most everyday driving. The V8 models, however, have a different attitude, with a rumbling exhaust sound, tremendous torque just off idle, and a true muscle-car feel. Thanks to Dodge's multi-displacement system, which shuts down some of the cylinders during coasting or cruising to save fuel, all Hemi engines have the power to lay rubber but can also behave themselves when cruising.
Seating rests rather low in the Challenger, and the car's tall shoulders lend a protective feeling. The redesigned front seats have plenty of space for the largest folks, and although technically the Challenger is a 5-person coupe, its back seat can be quite tight, and entry and exit from the back seats can be a challenge. The trunk, however, is huge and easily accessed; Dodge says it's as big as that of the Charger sedan.
The high-performance SRT models at the top of the Challenger range are truly where the muscle-car cues all come together. They include HID headlamps, power heated mirrors, a remote start system, heated leather seats, a media center with hard-drive system and Boston Acoustics sound. Exterior cues include hood stripes, a rear spoiler, a functional hood scoop, a satin chrome grille and special SRT 20-inch alloy wheels. The appearance extras make the most of the blunt, aggressive shape and low, wide stance.
Standard features across the Challenger model line include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, side airbags and side-curtain airbags. The base Challenger SXT isn't luxurious but it includes nearly all the features that are expected at its price level, including keyless entry, cruise control, air conditioning, power foldaway mirrors and a CD/MP3 sound system with auxiliary input. In addition to the V8, suspension, steering, and wheel upgrades, the R/T adds fog lamps, satellite radio, Bluetooth and a spoiler, while the R/T Scat Pack also includes premium cloth sport seats, Brembo 6-piston brakes, and a Bilstein high-performance suspension.
For 2015, Dodge has updated the Challenger's exterior styling with subtle tweaks and some notable mechanical improvements. Whereas last year's car resembled the 1970 Challenger, the new model's styling is more in line with the looks of the 1971 Challenger, and features a split grille, new quad projector headlights, more aerodynamic sills, and a revised rear fascia and taillight setup. An 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission is standard across the lineup, though V8 models have an 6-speed manual option. The transmission accounts for improved acceleration and a fuel economy improvement of up to 9 percent. For weight savings, cast aluminum axles replace the previous steel axles. Inside, a 7-inch TFT gauge cluster is new, as is a center stack instrument panel with either the standard 5-inch or optional 8.4-inch Uconnect controls. The steering wheel, too, is new and features optional paddle shifters.
New models include the Challenger R/T Scat Pack, which features a 485-horsepower 6.4L Hemi V8, enough to propel the car to 60 mph just over 4 seconds. In the SRT performance range, the new SRT 392 boasts the same 6.4L Hemi as the Scat Pack but adds goodies like 6-piston Brembo brakes, adaptive suspension, and a Harman Kardon stereo. Finally, the SRT Hellcat brings supercar-level performance from its 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8. Challengers are price from $26,995 to $59,995.