Without question, the 707-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is the member of the Charger sedan lineup that’ll attract the most attention this year.
But if you’re not headed to the track or looking to wow friends with timed performance runs and Hellcat bragging rights, you could save a lot of money just going for the middle-of-the-range, Hemi-V-8-powered 2015 Dodge Charger R/T.
We recently spent a few days driving the 2015 Charger R/T, and found it to be what Dodge has been targeting all along—a rear-wheel-drive performance sedan that builds on the heritage of muscle cars but is something more sophisticated, above and beyond that.
Dodge is steering the Charger lineup away, at least somewhat, from the more retro-flavored direction it’s taken in recent years. With this more refined exterior for 2015, as well as better materials and trims (and improved displays) for the tight, quiet, modern cabin introduced a couple of years ago, plus some additional refinement added this year with new steering and a retuned suspension, it’s at last the full modern interpretation of the classic American rear-wheel-drive sedan.
But there’s still plenty of muscle-car undercurrent. If the seemingly muscle-car-inspired Redline Red paint of our test car wouldn’t already tip you off, the moment you press the engine start button you’ll be reminded of this car’s muscle-car heritage. The big, 5.7-liter V-8 fires up with a pulsating V-8 rumble, and an ever-vocal tonality that’s present whether you’re idling or blipping the throttle.
While we haven’t driven the Charger Hellcat, we’ve driven the 707-hp Challenger Hellcat and even the 485-hp, 6.4-liter R/T Scat Pack models—all of which are offered in the Charger, so we can draw some comparisons and contrasts.