Trying to figure out which 2015 Challenger best fits your desired performance goals and options list requires poring over a labyrinth of commingled model names and trim packages; we figured a basic primer would be helpful coming out of our press introduction with the cars yesterday in rainy Portland. Here goes:
Tag - Dodge
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The Charger SRT8 Super Bee, in its General-Lee-aping shade of orange, is a two ton slab of complete un-subtlety. As someone who values fast cars that also fly below the radar, I feel a bit ashamed admitting that I completely love it.
If you can believe it, we’re no strangers to the charms of the minivan here at Speed:Sport:Life. Sure, our interests might lean heavily toward the performance end of the automotive scale, but that’s not to say we can’t see the value presented by a wholly functional vehicle. The right tool for the job, you could say. And if hauling five or more humans in comfort is a challenge that’s regularly presented to you (and you’re unwilling to part with the $50k+ often required by a top-of-the-line 7-seat SUV) then there’s little reason to look elsewhere: a minivan is what you need.
Pity the image of the Caravan Man. Constantly derided and stigmatized, minivan ownership of late has nearly become a punch line, as if being in their presence or being forced to *gasp* drive one is something to be looked down upon. Hopefully that tide will start flowing the other way in short order – after all, the social arguments usually made against minivans can also be leveraged at the somewhat trendier crossovers that moved in to fill their territory. Let’s go down the list – mostly owned and driven by females, check. Often populated with hordes of kids and all their detritus, check and check. Styled like a box, check. Based on a mid-to-full size sedan platform, check. Am I describing a minivan or a crossover? Exactly.
I always relish the opportunity to test different iterations and trim levels of the same model, perhaps because it helps me determine whether the inherent goodness (or badness) of a given car is innate, or limited to a specific loaded-up example. In the case of the Dodge Challenger, my experience with the model line had thus far been limited to the full-fat SRT8 392 model with 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. I thoroughly enjoyed that car, loaded as it was to a near $50k price tag, but would its core values be retained in the 95-horsepower-tamer R/T Coupe? Only one way to find out.
Resto-modders, listen up: stop tearing apart perfectly salvageable classic muscle cars, fitting them with wide wheels and tubbed fenders, and instead go straight to your nearest Dodge dealer. There, you’ll find the Challenger SRT8 392, a classic 70s muscle car disguised as a brand new, modern five-seat coupe with a warranty. The Challenger looks as tough as those resto-modded vintage rides, hunkered down the way it is on its 20” 5-spoke wheels, a deep chin spoiler splitting the flies up front and a pair of over-the-roof vinyl stripes the only decoration on what is otherwise a totally throwback body.