Dodge opened its 2014 New York Auto Show with a video featuring some of the world’s oldest living people.
That’s fitting because, not only does Dodge turns 100 in 2014, but – like your grandmother – its models are sometimes viewed as lovably dated.
Take the Challenger, which hasn’t received any significant visual upgrades since its 2008 rebirth, and is of course based on the iconic 1971 model.
So Dodge decided to unveil a refreshed 2015 Challenger (alongside the 2015 Charger) at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
At least, that’s what the press release said.
The 2015 Challenger is nearly identical to the outgoing model; the only major differences are a new split grille, LED headlight surrounds, and the “racetrack” taillights seen previously on the Charger, Dart, and Durango. The Shaker hood also returns for 2015 on certain models, giving the Challenger an appropriately-retro vibe.
Under the hood of base SXT models is a 3.6-liter “Pentastar” V6 that produces 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, mated to a new eight-speed automatic.
The R/T gets the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, with 375 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Choosing the Hemi also allows buyers to choose between the eight-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission.
Finally, Dodge will offer a 6.4-liter Hemi in Scat Pack models, good for 470 hp and 470 lb-ft. For the driver who has to have everything, there’s the top 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker model, which includes the 6.4-liter motor, all of the currently-available performance upgrades, and more nostalgic buzzwords per liter than any other car.
Note that no 2015 Challenger model wears an SRT badge. Chrysler’s performance division is reportedly working on a special V8 of its own for the Challenger. Called “Hellcat,” it could produce as much as 600 hp.
Turning to technology, the 2015 Challenger gets Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system and its 8.4-inch touch screen. There’s a special Performance Pages feature that allows drivers to adjust parameters like shift speed, launch control, and throttle response.
A new seven-inch TFT gauge display can also display 0 to 60 mph times, lap times, and a g-force readout, because why read tweets when you’ve got a Hemi?
Dodge’s conservative approach may seem a bit cavalier, especially with the 2015 Ford Mustang just around the corner. Yet the Challenger racked up record sales last year, which is unusual for a five-year-old design.
Maybe this old dog can learn some new tricks after all.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger arrives in showrooms in the third quarter of 2014, but customers can lease a 2014 model for one year and upgrade to a 2015 for no extra cost through the “Double Up” program.