Review: 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

Monday July 27th, 2015 at 1:77 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

By David Colman

Hypes: Show car Looks, Ease of Operation
Gripes: Slow KIckdown Gear, Limited Rear Vision

In the prime of the muscle car era, back in 1970, Chrysler fielded an SCCA Trans Am racing team of Dodge Challengers and Plymouth Barracudas. These were basically the same car, with only stylistic differences between them. Although Chrysler never won the Trans Am series title with either model, the cars were successful brand ambassadors, especially the Barracudas entered by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers. Gurney’s AAR ‘Cuda, as it was known by its laser stripes then, lives on today as the Dodge Challenger SXT Plus. Optimal Challengers are available either with a 375hp, 5.7 liter HEMI V8, or a 470hp, 6.4 liter HEMI. The model we tested, however, was powered by a fuel conserving 3.6 liter V6 good for 23 MPG in overall driving, and 30 MPG on the highway. The V6 Challenger SXT Plus is plenty quick as long as you’ve selected the right gear in the 8-speed Torqueflite transmission. Otherwise, acceleration is rather leisurely, as it takes the drive train a full second to get with the program when you floor the throttle with Torqueflite in Drive. Overall performance is more AARP ‘Coulda than AAR ‘Cuda.

2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

Despite this occasional power outage, the Challenger is still rewarding to hustle through curves. You can thank the big footprint of the standard Firestone Firehawk GT tires (245/45R20) for the extra stability. These beefy rollers are enhanced by optional polished alloy 20 inch wheels ($795) with “Graphite Pockets.” Their hexagonal spoke pattern and dazzling finish look especially good when bolted to a Challenger finished in “Phantom Black Metallic Tri-Coat Pearl” exterior paint. Though you might expect to pay extra for this show car finish, it’s available as a standard shade. Complementing the sparkly black is an eye-popping Ruby Red interior. The SXT is definitely a looker, with sleek body contours and twin faux hood scoops imparting that just-raced look so much a part of muscle car credibility.

2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

Weight saving has never been a muscle car strong suit, and the Challenger, at 4,195 pounds, continues that dubious tradition. You sense the SXT’s mass every time you flick the steering wheel from lock to lock through a series of switchback curves. While the Challenger obediently follows your lead, it takes a couple of milliseconds before the chassis settles down. In fact, the SXT version seems rather softly sprung, a trait which imparts a cushy ride at the expense of fully snubbed handling. It’s actually a worthy trade-off for real world driving, a compromise that pays off in comfort every time you’re confronted with an array of speed bumps.

2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

With a length of 16.5 feet, and a wheelbase of 116 inches, the cabin of the Challenger is a spacious enclosure. Although access to the back seat is somewhat impeded by the aft positioning of the front seats, once passengers are ensconced in the rear they will enjoy a moderately pleasurable ride. The Challenger’s sheer size also endows it with a flat floored, 16 cubic foot trunk. Rear seat backs can be dropped to access interior space for lengthy items. The heavily sloped rear roof and small backlight limit rear visibility, so the standard Park Sense rear park assist system and standard Park View rear back-up camera are essential safety components for maneuvering the Challenger in tight quarters. Our test example also featured an optional, $1,195 Power Sunroof which helped to shed light on the many black door and dash panels that engulf the Ruby Red seats. For $795, you may also want to upgrade to the Driver Convenience Group, which endows the Challenger with a slick Remote Start System, as well as Blind Spot and Rear Cross Path Detection, plus HID headlamps. The Blind Spot monitors illuminate handily under the rear view mirror stalks, and the Cross Path alert sounds when you are backing out of a parking space into circulating traffic. Both aids are worth having in view of the Dodge’s limited rear vision.

2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

The basic Challenger SXT Plus provides a number of luxurious and surprising standard fitments in a vehicle with a base price of just $29,995. Chief among them are Keyless Enter ‘n Go, a terrific system which allows you to forget about fiddling with your key forever more. Just slip the fob into your pocket, and every time you approach your locked Challenger, it opens magically when you touch the door release. A voice activated Uconnect Access system affords voice texting of 140 character messages, plus a mobile Access App (free for the first 6 months) that provides restaurant, hotel, entertainment, gas, bank and parking information. A 7 inch reconfigurable display on the instrument panel makes Uconnect surfing easy.

With its comfy and inviting interior, stealthy exterior, and long list of standard features, the affordable V6 version of the Challenger is the Big Easy of today’s muscle cars.

2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

  • Engine: 3.6 liter V6 with 24 valves and VVT
  • Horsepower: 305hp
  • Torque: N/A
  • Fuel Consumption: 23 MPG City/30 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $34,175
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2015 Dodge Challenger 6.4L Scat Pack

Wednesday March 25th, 2015 at 9:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Dodge Challenger 6.4L Scat Pack

By David Colman

Hypes: Massive HEMI Horsepower and Torque
Gripes: Doesn’t Come With Barry Newman to Drive

Your first clue that this is a very serious driver’s car appears on the window sticker under the heading “Tires.” Most manufacturers designate tire choice in a most casual manner, stating they’ve provided either “all season radials” or “performance radials.” Such non-specific categories afford car makers the latitude to equip your new car with anything available in the supply chain provided the tires meet OEM specs. For those of us who value the importance of precise tire specification, Dodge’s commitment to using only the Goodyear Eagle F1 on the Hemi Challenger is welcome and reassuring news.

The rest of this phenomenal piece of driving nirvana is equally well equipped. Under the twin scoops of the expansive hood lies that eternal gem of an engine, the HEMI, this time displacing 6.4 liters, and belting out 485hp at 6000rpm, and 475lb.-ft. of torque at 4200rpm. Nothing else provides the instant surge and gratification of this newly refined Hemi, which now benefits from a lightened valve train. Under those massive valve covers, you’ll find sodium filled exhaust valves, hollow intake valve stems, and 16 hydraulic lifters with roller tips.

2015 Dodge Challenger 6.4L Scat Pack

The Torque Flight transmission has been drag racing’s hot ticket for so many decades now that few remember its debut six decades ago. The latest variant of this elephantine gear box, designated 8HP70, is a $1,400 option which now contains 8 gears. The fat T-handle floor console stick will remind aging muscle car owners of their bucket seat mounts from years ago. But of course, in the 21st century, Dodge has not only slipped 4 extra gear sets into the transmission case, but provided manual override of up and down shifts with paddles on the steering wheel and a manual gate on the floor stick. All you really need to spur this Challenger is your right foot, however. All that torque means instant acceleration even when you just leave the Toque Flight in Drive and stomp the accelerator pedal. You can feel the race breeding of the transmission as it slams home each up shift with military authority. The benefit of the super overdrive 8th gear allows the Challenger to lope along the freeway at just 1500rpm while returning an admirable 25MPG. Of course, your mileage may vary, given the mellifluous orchestra of sounds emitted by the Hemi when you floor the aluminum ribbed gas pedal. Worst case scenario is about 15MPG. We managed 17MPG through one full tank test.

2015 Dodge Challenger 6.4L Scat Pack

Do not buy this car unless you enjoy being the center of attention. At virtually every rest stop, someone came up to ask a question, share a story, or just enthuse about the looks of the Challenger. Maybe it’s the car’s throwback snout, with four round, vintage style headlights, that makes observers think they’re looking at the Challenger that starred in the legendary movie Vanishing Point. More likely, however, it’s the magnetically attractive, outrageous shade of green this Dodge is painted. Called “Sublime,” it’s a carryover color from Dodge’s inventive and playful palette of the 60s. The Scat Pack Appearance Package ($1,995) provides body color tail spoiler, flat black front air dam, matching matte tail stripes, and “Hyper-Black” lightweight forged aluminum wheels measuring 20 x 9 inches. These rims carry only Goodyear’s best F1 tires (245/45R20).

Even during one of the rainiest weeks in years, the big bad Dodge acquitted itself with commendable finesse. As long as you mind the gas pedal judiciously, the Goodyears churned through standing water without so much as a side slip. When the terrain dried out, the Challenger’s independent front suspension with high mounted upper A-arms provided precise feedback. Variable rate power steering, augmented by dual ball-joint knuckles, provided a constant stream of precise information. At the rear, a fully independent five link suspension cradle, with coil springs and stabilizer bar kept the Challenger’s tail well planted. Massive, vented, four-piston Brembo disc brakes at each corner arrest the Scat Pack’s momentum with decisive finality. Although the ride of this Dodge is unapologetically harsh, you quickly learn to love its laser focus on high performance.

2015 Dodge Challenger 6.4L Scat Pack

Simply put, you cannot buy a nastier ride for anything close to this kind of money elsewhere. That mythic Challenger of Vanishing Point never really vanished at all.

2015 Dodge Challenger 6.4L Scat Pack

  • Engine: 6.4 Liter HEMI V-8 16 valves, 16 conventional hydraulic lifters, all with roller tips
  • Horsepower: 485hp@6000rpm
  • Torque: 475lb.-ft.@4200rpm
  • Fuel Consumption: 15MPG City/25MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $47,860
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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Porsche, Buick, Modern Muscle Cars at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit

Wednesday January 19th, 2011 at 9:11 PM
Posted by: ponycargirl

©2011 Megan Green - Porsche 918 Spyder RSR at 2011 NAIASArticle and photos by Megan Green

Porsche 918 RSR
At a 6:30 a.m. press conference in snowy Detroit, the press gathered around in anticipation of the first reveal of the day. With smoky fanfare, Porsche rolled out their 918 RSR , a high-end hybrid sports car. The best of the 2010 Spyder concept and 911 GT3 R hybrid were combined to create the fluid yet powerful two-seat coupe powered by a V8 mid-engine. Two electric motors on the front axle contribute as well as store power while braking, utilizing its flywheel accumulator – taking the place of a second seat to the right of the driver. On the console, modern touch technology is eschewed in favor of rocker switches. Finishing aesthetic touches include brown leather bucket seats and steering wheel, wing doors, with the body painted a cool blue accented with bright orange racing stripes and brake calipers. It’s just a shame that the 918 RSR didn’t stick around for more admiration during the public show days.

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2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Limited Edition Review – Just Keep Livin'

Friday July 17th, 2009 at 1:77 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8

By Danny Chang

Pros

  • Bad-a$s looks
  • Bad-a$s power
  • Uncontrollable urge to drive fast

Cons

  • Bad MPG
  • Failure to impress young ladies
  • Uncontrollable urge to drive fast

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V8 car cookout: Bratwurst (Audi S5), Beef Teriyaki (Lexus IS-F) or Bacon Cheeseburgers (Challenger SRT-8)?

Friday November 21st, 2008 at 6:1111 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT82009 Audi S52009 Lexus IS-F

By Kurt Gensheimer

Horsepower. Raw, tire-melting horsepower. Every man worth his chest hair can’t deny it’s one of the first criteria for buying a car powered by a V8. Typically, the more the horsepower and the lower the MSRP, the more attractive it looks. It was the formula that made the muscle car era a piece of American history. But nowadays, American automakers aren’t the only ones making rear-wheel-drive radial roasters; Japan and Germany have also gotten in on the unmitigated horsepower wars, albeit with a little more luxury and refinement.

We recently had a Bridgestone bar-b-que with three fire-breathing, rear/all-wheel-drive V8s representing each of the three respective automaking countries. Japan arrived respectfully in the Lexus IS-F, Germany showed up to the cookout well dressed in the Audi S5, and the United States arrived rockin’ a mullet and Miller Lite in the Dodge Challenger SRT8. Three different V8s, three different countries, and three very different cars.

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Dodge Challenger SRT10 Concept to be revealed at 2008 SEMA

Friday October 17th, 2008 at 6:1010 AM
Posted by: Derek


Time to get outta Dodge and head to Las Vegas for the 2008 SEMA show. Three new Challenger concept vehicles will be under the spotlights at the Dodge booth this year. The new 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT10 with a smokin’ 600 hp Viper V10 engine laying power to the wheels. A Dodge Challenger Blacktop, built by the Mopar Underground design team, improved breathing by adding a cat-back dual exhaust, cold air intake to the already hefty 5.7L HEMI® V8. Visual cues are set by the 22 inch Viper wheels, custom spoilers, front brow, and black-on-black racing stripe paint scheme.

Also in the corral this year is the Dodge Challenger Targa which is a all-out competition car that completed the Targa Newfoundlands race this year. The Mopar hood is equipped with a scoop to make room for the 540-horsepower, 490 lb. ft. of torque, 392 HEMI® V-8 Mopar crate motor. Mated to a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox, the engine blasts power to the rear wheels through a production 2009 modified gear ratio in the rear end. Looking svelte, sleek, and downright ornery is the Challenger Blacktop. Details of the Challenger Blacktop, conceived by the Mopar Undergroud team, follows below the jump.

(photos of the SRT10 Concept, Challenger Blacktop, and Challenger Targa cars below the jump)

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Pricing for All-New 2009 Dodge Challenger Starts in the Low $20's

Monday June 9th, 2008 at 1:66 PM
Posted by: Derek

2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8Dodge’s remake of the classic 1970s muscle coupe, the Challenger, will start below $22,000 when the 2009 model arrives in showrooms this fall.

The automaker announced pricing for the three-car 2009 Challenger lineup on Monday. The base SE starts at $21,995, the R/T is $29,995, and the SRT8 is $39,995. Prices include a $675 destination charge.

The Challenger SE comes with a 3.5-liter V6, which makes 250 hp and is paired with a four-speed automatic. Other standard equipment includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel-disc brakes and keyless entry.

The R/T upgrades to the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which makes 370 hp–30 more than it makes in the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300, which ride on a similar chassis. The Challenger R/T also comes with dual chrome exhaust, P225/60HR-18 all-season touring tires and a rear spoiler.

Hotrodder’s who have no apprehensions of getting speeding tickets will want to pay another $995 for the “track pak,” which includes the Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual with a pistol-grip shifter. The stick-and-Hemi combination boosts output to 375 hp.

The SRT8 comes with the 6.1-liter Hemi V8 that pumps out 425 hp. Five-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions are available. Standard equipment includes 20-inch forged aluminum wheels and functional hood scoops. The race-inspired interior has reconfigurable displays that show 0-to-60-mph and lap times.

Dodge launched the Challenger this year as an ’08 with limited availability–only 6400 were available, outfitted as SRT8s. High gas prices won’t sway the muscle car enthusiasts and we expect the SRT8 to leave the showroom faster than Speedy Gonzalez with a caffeine overdose. Would you believe Dodge got more than 11,000 requests to buy the car? (Editor)

Official press announcement from Dodge is below the jump.

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Dodge Announces Pricing for All-new 2008 Challenger SRT8®

Friday November 30th, 2007 at 10:1111 AM
Posted by: Derek

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8

Dodge Challenger SRT8 available for $37,995

  • The American muscle coupe is back, packed with modern technology and innovation
  • Demand for contemporary version of iconic pony car drives Dodge to accept orders for the 2008 Challenger SRT8® beginning Dec. 3, 2007
  • Introduction begins with limited-edition Dodge Challenger SRT8 models – each with numbered dash plaque
  • Complete, broader Challenger lineup details and pricing still to come
  • 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 models feature 6.1-liter HEMI® V-8 and are available in Black, Silver or HEMI Orange

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