By Steve Magnante
I just got home from attending press preview day at the New York Auto Show, and my head is spinning with the great news from Dodge. Not only has the 2015 Dodge Charger been given a sleek, new look — without losing its bold core — but the 2015 Dodge Challenger has a fresh grille and tail lamp treatment that evokes the timeless effect seen on 1971 Dodge Challengers. And yes, the Shaker hood is standard on the Dodge Challenger R/T Plus Shaker and 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker.
HEMI® fans can rejoice in news that the big 485 horsepower 6.4-liter (392 cubic inch) HEMI® is now standard in the 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack and Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Shaker. Until now, Dodge Challenger R/T buyers had to look over the fence at the SRT group, which had a lock on the big “orange block” 392 HEMI®. It’s not that the “black block” 5.7-liter (345 cubic inches) wasn’t potent. At up to 375-hp and 410-lb./ft. of torque (with six-speed manual transmission), the 5.7 has all the power you can use — for most situations. But when you’re at the strip, the 392’s extra 110 hp and 65-lb./ft. of torque over the 345-cube 5.7 should give owners of competing pony cars a great view of Challenger’s new split, LED tail lamps while you head for the winner’s circle.
Further helping the power-to-weight cause is a new aluminum rear differential case which adds strength yet shaves pounds versus the previous cast iron unit. And behind every Dodge Challenger (and Charger) engine, there’s a new eight-speed Torqueflite® automatic transmission that weighs a mere eight pounds more than the five-speed automatic it replaces. The addition of the more forward gear ratios improves acceleration and fuel economy. And again, it is standard issue on all automatic-transmission-equipped Pentastar® 3.6 V-6, and 5.7 and 6.4 HEMI®-powered Dodge Challengers and Dodge Chargers.
Of course, for shift-it-yourself Dodge Challenger drivers, the rugged six-speed manual Tremec TR-6060 has a low-mass twin-disc clutch and double overdrive (0.74:1 in fifth and 0.50:1 in sixth) and is available with either V-8. Highway cruising is sure to be a gas-pump-friendly experience if driven with restraint. Concentrate; you can do it!
Stay tuned next week as I continue my exploration of the new 2015 Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. By the way, even though these exciting new offerings won’t be at your Dodge dealers for several more months, you can lease any current 2014 model right now and trade it in on a 2015 of equal specification after only 12 months with no extra expense. Ask your Dodge dealer for specifics about this new Double-Up program.
Addressing the invited group of 300 automotive journalists, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis presents the 2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker edition. The burly 485-hp 392 HEMI® engine will also be available — minus the Shaker hood scoop — in the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack for a few less dollars. Tim’s fun car is a ’71 Dodge Challenger R/T!
The restyled 2015 Dodge Charger made a grand entrance aboard a scissor lift. So far, the 6.4 HEMI® is not available in the Dodge Charger line, though the new standard eight-speed Torqueflite automatic delivers quicker 0-60 acceleration — and improved fuel economy — versus the 2014 Dodge Charger’s five-speed automatic with the same power.
With the presentation complete, press agents mobbed the stage for a closer look at the new 2015 Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger offerings. When you see coverage of this event in your favorite magazine or website, the pictures were taken here, on the morning of April 17, 2014.
Though not highlighted as brightly as the restyled bodywork, the new class-exclusive Torqueflite eight-speed automatic transmission is a key element in Dodge’s ability to blend exciting acceleration with excellent fuel efficiency. I’ll have lots more next week, here at the Redline Dodge blog!