Dodge's iconic muscle coupe will flex its way into dealerships later this summer, but it won't necessarily stretch your budget on the base-model end with a starting-price increase of only $500. The 2015 Challenger starts at $27,990 (all prices include a $995 destination charge).
The Challenger is available with four different powertrains, starting with the base SXT model, followed by R/T, R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392, and the much-hyped, 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat. SXT models again come with a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 305 hp and 268 pounds-feet of torque. New for 2015 is an eight-speed automatic transmission that Dodge says boosts fuel economy by as much as 11 percent; last year's version was EPA rated at 18/27/21 mpg city/highway/combined.
Standard exterior features include a 1971-inspired split satin-chrome grille, dual exhaust with bright tips, 18-inch aluminum wheels, a "power bulge hood" with twin functional intakes and power body-colored folding heated side mirrors. Inside the SXT comes with cloth seating, a stamped aluminum instrument panel bezel, a six-way power driver's seat, a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone temperature control, keyless entry with push-button start and a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel and shift knob.
The SXT Plus model upgrades to 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with graphite pockets, all-season performance tires, performance suspension and brakes, a deck lid rear spoiler, Nappa leather seating, a heated steering wheel, an 8.4-inch touch-screen and a backup camera. It starts at $30,990.
The R/T starts at $32,490 and has a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that makes 375 hp and 410 pounds-feet of torque when paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Exterior features include performance dual exhaust, R/T grille badging and Hemi hood badging, and 20-inch satin-carbon aluminum wheels. The R/T Plus, similarly upgraded as the SXT Plus, starts at $35,490.
The R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392 add a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 good for 485 hp and 475 pounds-feet of torque. The R/T Scat Pack starts at $39,490 (including destination and a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax); with the eight-speed automatic transmission, that price increases to $39,890. The SRT 392 adds a Viper-inspired hood with functional center intake, unique Hyper Black aluminum wheels and high-performance brakes; it starts at $46,990 with the manual and $47,390 with the eight-speed automatic.
The SRT Hellcat packs a 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat engine producing a monstrous 707 hp and 650 pounds-feet of torque and boasts a 10.8-second quarter-mile, according to Dodge. It starts at $60,990, including destination and a $2,100 gas-guzzler tax (the eight-speed automatic reduces the gas penalty to $1,700). The new top-end model is pricey, but in line with the Challenger's muscle-car peers: the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro starts at $24,550 for the base LS model, while the Z/28 starts at a whopping $75,000 with destination and gas penalty. The 2015 Ford Mustang starts at $24,425 for the standard V-6 fastback style, and climbs to a starting price of $46,995 for the GT 50 Years Limited Edition style.
Upgraded tech and safety features for the 2015 lineup include a standard 7-inch configurable gauge cluster, the Uconnect multimedia system with a 5- or 8.4-inch touch-screen, and available forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic high-beams, blind spot warning and rear cross-path detection.
The 2015 Challenger goes on sale this fall.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears