2014 is a centennial year for Dodge—they’re celebrating their 100th anniversary as America’s mainstream performance brand.
Looking back through Dodge’s history, the characteristics of their early model Challenger and Charger, whether it being aesthetic or performance, hold on very tightly to the new refined models.
When you think of the Dodge Charger you think of their quarter mile records from the ‘60s, and the Dodge Charger Daytona breaking the 200 mph barrier in 1970. When it comes to the Challenger, you envision solid, bold, stylish muscle that was capable of making any motorist’s knees weak and pulse elevate all while providing that raw performance. Both vehicles debuted with the powerhouse 426 HEMI V8 in 1966, two years after the motor was banned due to it not being made available to the public, and it won the hearts of muscle lovers all over again as well as its place on the track.
Celebrating in a Big Way
No matter how you perceive it, the Challenger and the Charger are the soul of the brand. And now the two are redefining the realm of the muscle car and identifying where Dodge will go as a whole.
Out of the two redefined brutes, the Charger received a full-body makeover while staying true to its sporty appeal and fast appearance. But it doesn’t just appear fast, it also stayed true to the performance that the Charger is legendary for. The Charger now comes equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard on both available Charger engines—a standard 3.6-liter V6 Pentaster engine and a new R/T-equipped 5.7-liter HEMI V8.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Challenger didn’t receive such aesthetic changes as the Charger simply to keep the retro, muscle design of its predecessor. The Challenger essentially places itself as a throwback of the iconic 1971 Challenger. The 2015 model draws off the ’71 model by involving cues from the ‘71’s split-grille, revamped with four LED halo headlamps. On the back end, the Challenger features a new split tail lamp design that continues the stylistic flavor of the ’71 model.
Making a Good Thing Better
Available to the throwback Challenger will be a new Scat Pack 6.4-liter HEMI V8 trim that is estimated for 458 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque via either a six-speed manual or the new eight-speed automatic transmission, accompanied by Brembo brakes and new 20×9” forged aluminum wheels finished in hyper black II. The same 3.6-liter Pentaster engine from the Charger is also available, which boasts 305 horsepower, or the iconic heritage R/T and R/T Plus Shaker models will be available that features 5.7-liter HEMI V8 capable of up to 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Specific to the Challenger, new retro interior and exterior colors will be available to further mend the void between the Challengers heritage and its next evolution.
The new heritage-saturated Challenger and Charger will be available in November, along with its ground breaking SRT Hellcat counterparts that have been reinvigorating the realm on their own terms. By boasting a massive 707 horsepower they’re claiming the podiums as the fastest muscle car and sedan ever. As it was mentioned before, the Challenger and the Charger are the heart and soul of Dodge, and they’re redefining the brand and the industry before our very own eyes.