2015-2016 Dodge Charger: Upgrading and Restyling the Muscle Sedan
The primary upgrades to the Dodge Charger for the 2015 model year were upgraded electronics (more gadgets) and a transmission upgrade for V8s. The Charger also boasts a new shifter, which feels like a traditional type; it has a secondary gate for manual-override shifting (paddle shifters are also standard on R/T, optional on SXT).
For 2015, the Charger continues with its basic models — SE and SXT for V6 buyers, and R/T for V8 buyers; but the SE has been dramatically upgraded. All wheel drive is now on V6 models only — in the past, it was on V8s; we don’t know if this is a temporary arrangement.
2016 updates from 2015
For 2016, the Dodge Charger SXT went up to 300 horsepower and gained (along with R/T) a “blacktop” appearance group with a gloss black grille and fascia insert, mirrors, and 20-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels; in back, the car has a satin black spoiler and badge. The interior is also darkened, with dark brushed aluminum bezels and gloss black gauge rings. There is also a new performance-contoured steering wheel.
Available for the first time on a V-6 is the Super Track Pak, with “race-bred chassis upgrades including a 0.5 inch lower suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers, different tuning, a 3.07 rear axle ratio, and Dodge Performance Pages with a programmable shift light indicator, reaction time, 0-60 times, G-force indicator, and lap times in the gauge cluster.
2015 Dodge Charger performance and engineering changes from 2014
A new Sport mode reduces shift times from around 400 milliseconds to 250 milliseconds, increases engine responsiveness, and adjusts the stability control and steering feel.
The Hemi V8 is attached to the ZF 8HP70 eight-speed automatic (later, a Chrysler-built version is likely to be used). 0-60 times have dropped, even as gas mileage rose by 1 mpg .
The Charger R/T Road & Track includes Performance Pages, on the segment’s largest touchscreen — a 8.4-inch Uconnect setup. It includes active launch control, launch control RPM settings, and performance timers and gauges. The Road & Track also has a 3.07 axle ratio (vs. the standard 2.62), 220 mm rear axles, and unique engine and transmission calibrations, for a top speed of 145 mph and 0-60 mph bursts in less than 6 seconds (the 2011 V8 was rated at 6.24 seconds).
|V6||V6 (Rallye)||Hemi V8|
|EPA mileage (mpg)||19/31 RWD, 18/27 AWD||16/25|
|Power||292 @ 6350||300 @ 6350||370 @ 5250|
|Torque||260 @ 4800||264 @ 4800||395 @ 4200|
|Axle ratios||2.62 (RWD)
|Overall top gear||1.78, 2.05||1.78, 2.05||2.48|
The Super Track Pak (optional on R/T, standard on Road & Track) adds performance suspension tuning, Dodge Performance Pages, high-performance brakes and steering, 3.07 rear-axle ratio, and 20-by-8-inch dual five-spoke aluminum wheels with black painted pockets and P245/45ZR20 BSW all-season performance tires.
V6: SE, SXT
Rallye has eight horsepower more than standard Charger SXTs, thanks to a unique cold-air induction system, sport-tuned exhaust and engine calibration.
V6 models with all-wheel drive (AWD) have best-in-class city and highway fuel economy of 19 city, 27 highway, thanks partly to a front- axle-disconnect system.
All 2015 Dodge Chargers
A steering-column-mounted electric power steering system modulates power assistance according to conditions, and provides up to a 3% increase in efficiency.
New cast aluminum axles and housings replace the 2014s’ steel structures, saving weight. A new four-bolt design replaced the three-bolt pattern of prior years, too, to cut friction and increase durability.
The front suspension is mounted in a rigid, light cradle made from tubular steel. Premium hydro-bushings, monotube shock absorbers, and a lower-front-shock-to-suspension-link bushing increased control, ride and comfort.
The 2015 Dodge Charger’s five-link rear suspension design continues, with roll-steer geometry for independent control of camber and toe suspension movement. The hydroformed steel rear suspension cradle isolates the passenger compartment from road and axle noise, vibration, and harshness. Monotube shock absorbers, urethane jounce bumpers, and suspension links with rubber shock absorber bushings all work together to deliver ride and comfort, while upper and lower spring-seat isolators provide additional dampening to smooth over bumps.
The camber is set at -1.0 degrees in the front and -1.75 degrees in the rear for high-speed cornering, with tires leaning inboard at the top relative to the body.
Gadgets and Gizmos
The 2015 Dodge Charger has a new seven-inch driver information display (or reconfigurable gauge cluster). This system (details here) shows everything from speed to tire pressure, fuel economy, audio, warning messages, turn-by-turn navigation or parallel/perpendicular park assist. It’s operated from the steering wheel.
The system can also be set to show Dodge Performance Pages, with statistics including 0-to-60 mph; 0-to-100 mph; eighth and quarter-mile elapsed times; braking distance; instant G-force measurement readouts and top- speed performance.
Two touchscreen stereos are available, with five inch and 8.4 inch screens. They use UConnect 5, which provides voice recognition, satellite radio, and USB and mini-headphone input jacks (standard). (Details on the UConnect systems.) UConnect Access adds various apps, using the user’s data connection, and adds an emergency button to the rearview mirror along with a general assistance button (for customer care or roadside assistance — details.)
Styling and Design
The 2015 Dodge Charger’s Coke-bottle design got a major makeover for 2015, with the company claiming “cleaner lines to create a sleek, chiseled, nimble and lighter visual weight. The exterior redesign includes changes to the hood, fenders, front and rear fascias, headlamps, tail lamps, front doors and spoiler.”
Joe Dehner, Head of Dodge Design, wrote, “These substantial updates make the new Charger what we call in design terms more ‘aero-dramatic.’”
The 2015 Dodge Charger draws from the 1969 model. Dehner wrote, “For the 2015 Dodge Charger, you see Challenger muscle-car styling combined with our modern ‘mask’ appearance from the latest Dart and Durango.”
Starting up front, the 2015 Charger’s new front has a new crosshair grille, LED fog lamps (except SE), LED turn signals and daytime running lights, and new projector-beam head lamps except on premium trims, which use high-intensity discharge lights. Blacked out front end graphics create a family resemblance with the Dodge Dart and Durango. Dodge logos are echoed in the outside corner of each headlamp.
In profile, the 2015 Charger carries forward its muscular Coke-bottle styling, with more streamlined side scallops, while headlamps and tail lamps are now wrapped around each corner.
The C-pillar was moved rearward and the rear overhang reduced for a greater fastback appearance. A new three- piece spoiler is more integrated into the deck lid, while the “racetrack” LED tail lamp uses the same continuous ribbon of light as the 2014 Durango. The third rear brake lamp was moved from the top of the deck lid to the roofline to make space for the backup camera.
New wheels are used on all models, with 20-inch wheels standard on R/T. Colors include TorRed and new B5 Blue, along with Redline Tri-coat Pearl, Jazz Blue, Granite Crystal Metallic, Billet Silver Metallic, Phantom Black Tri-coat Pearl, Ivory Tri-coat Pearl and Bright White.
The 2015 Dodge Charger’s restyled interior has new materials, a standard 7-inch instrument cluster, and a new center stack. Klaus Busse, Head of Interiors, wrote, “The new Charger features all the latest technology, new splashes of color and new seat trims.”
The driver’s side has an aluminum-lithograph bezel, with one-piece construction. The redesigned three-spoke steering wheel still has available paddle shifters, but the buttons to control the gauges are now larger and illuminated. Buttons for Uconnect and phone access now reside along the bottom edge of the horizontal spokes. As before, audio controls are on the back of the spokes.
Interior trims include Black and Tungsten cloth, Black and Pearl leather, and Black and Ruby Red leather. The aluminum bezels are finished in a dark brushed or Hectic Mesh pattern.
Oversized door pockets have grained surfacing and bottle holders. An oversized illuminated glove box with damped hinges has a velvet-like interior covering, and a shelf to store the owner’s manual. Ambient LED lighting is placed in foot wells, door-pull cups, the overhead console, door map pockets, and a bin in front of the shifter.