Dodge Preps Eight-Speed Auto and Reworked V8s for 2015 Challenger

Spy shot of the 2015 Dodge Challenger 5 photos
Photo: Autoevolution
Spy photo of 2015 Dodge ChallengerSpy photo of 2015 Dodge ChallengerSpy photo of 2015 Dodge ChallengerSpy photo of 2015 Dodge Challenger
That's right: the future facelifted Challenger will come with all sorts of performance goodies throughout its engine range. It's a natural move for Dodge if you take into consideration Ford's and GM's newest offerings.  The all-new 2015 Mustang GT will get a supercharged 5.0-liter mill with 500+ horsepower on tap, while the Camaro ZL1 has 580 tyre shredding horsepower, therefore Dodge really needs to step up its game with the 2015 Challenger.
Base models equipped with the V6 engine will sport an eight-speed automatic transmission, which should drop the 0-60 time to 6.6 seconds. Those extra gears aren't there for top speed; their role is to improve economy figures, probably to 31 mpg on the highway. It remains unclear if the 3.6-liter V6 unit will receive more horsepower. The current engine is rated at 305 hp and 268 lb-ft (363 Nm) of torque.

If six cylinders aren't your thing, then boy you'll love what Dodge has on the pipeline for its V8 Challenger fans. Both the 375 hp 5.7 Hemi and the 470 hp 6.4-liter SRT engine are reportedly due for a minor boost in power, along with that new eight-speed auto.

There are rumors that Dodge is preparing a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 model, with power rating in the high 600s, according to SRT CEO Ralph Gilles. That translates into a more powerful unit than the SRT Viper's V10, rated at 640 horsepower. This begs the question - how will a cheaper but more powerful alternative affect SRT Viper sales? This is an important matter for SRT and the future of the Viper. By the way, SRT only managed to sell 91 Vipers in the first two months of 2014, and the Viper plant will cease all activities from April 14th until June 23rd due to low sales figures.

This top-of-the-range 6.2 supercharged Challenger will definitely cost big bucks - like over $70,000, but that's still way cheaper than the Viper's MSRP of over $100k. Dodge's 6.2-liter Challenger promises better torsional rigidity, stiffer suspension, reworked cooling and bigger brake discs and calipers. The 6.2 V8 might find its way into the Charger as well, but information is still unclear if this unit will equip other models like the 300 and Grand Cherokee SRT8.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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