Dodge Challenger

Sinister looks and raw power are standard on the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392.

PHOENIX, AZ – Getting a jump on the summer driving season comes early this year with a test drive of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392 in the desert southwest.

Paving the thrill ride are Arizona’s pristine freeways that carry a posted rural speed limit of 75 miles per hour lead by big sweeping curves and straight-aways that stretch to the horizon.

The rear-drive 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392, retro–styled from the 1971 Dodge Challenger, gets its power from a 6.4-liter V8 HEMI engine that builds 485 horsepower.

With a prudent throttle, fuel economy of 15 miles per gallon/city and 25 mpg/highway can be achieved when coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission priced at $1400.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard and achieves 14/23 mpg respectively.

My real-world combined mileage is 16 mpg with an equipped automatic transmission.

For this model, Dodge traces its Challenger lineage with a numeric ‘392’ moniker (6.4L equivalent) that pays homage to cubic inch engine displacement that ruled the streets and bragging rights of the first Muscle Car Era in the 1960s.

Other throwbacks to Dodge muscle car legacy include an optional 392 raised “Shaker” hood scoop and available flat-black painted hood.

Performance underpinnings include a tuned suspension anchored front to back with gas-charged Bilstein shock absorbers that keep the 392’s body posture flat through corners.

Brake force is superb at any speed with controlled stopping power supplied by front 15.4 inch Brembo rotors with six-piston calipers. Rear discs measure 13.8 inches.

Both sets are vented and slotted for maximum cooling performance.

Ride quality is absorbent regardless of road surface complexion with standard 20-inch SRT-exclusive “Slingshot” split seven-spoke forged aluminum Hyper Black finished wheels wrapped with Pirelli rubber.

Challenger’s interior is 95-percent new for 2015. The model’s headliner, rear trim and floor pan are sole carryovers.

Cabin accommodations comfortably greet four adults with a driver–focused center console and retro gauge cluster.

Challenger’s rear quarters lead the two-door Large Car segment with best knee, hip and legroom.

Some rear riders may find sight-lines limited however, as the tall front seat backs and thick rear window pillars reduce the view out of the side glass.

Taking youngsters along for a spin is a snap as two child car seats fit perfectly on the three person rear bench.

Dodge Challenger is a car that crosses generations and embraces the driving experience.

Base price for the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392 is $44,995. Add $995 for freight.