The 2015 Dodge Charger Debuts with a Controversial New Look
We knew that the 2015 Dodge Charger would debut with a new look at the 2014 New York International Auto Show and we even had a teaser showing a vastly restyled headlight, but since the first images of the newest Charger leaked last night, there has been an uproar across the social networks about the Dart-like qualities of the 2015 Charger. While I am not among the people who are so violently offended by the redesign, I am among the group of people who is truly shocked to see Chrysler stray so far from the look of the 2014 Charger.
The current (2014) Dodge Charger sedan wears an aggressive design that was introduced for the 2011 model year with a great deal of success, making it that much more of a shock that the Chrysler Group would offer up a midcycle refresh of the Charger that focused on an exterior redesign. What is even more shocking is that the company has seemingly changed the aspects which had proven to be the most popular features of the ultra aggressive muscle sedan. Much to the chagrin of both Mopar lovers and Mopar haters, the 2015 Dodge Charger wears a front end that is like nothing that we have seen on the Charger in the past…although critics insist that we have seen this front end on the smaller Dodge Dart.
While Dodge will claim that pretty much every body panel of the 2015 Charger is new, it is impossible to talk about this car without addressing the new front end. Gone are the large, angry looking headlights that have proven to be so popular and in their place are long, thin headlights that wrap around the front corners of the Charger. These headlights have LED trim above and below the HID production headlight bulbs for a look that is both stylish and high tech – yet so distinctly unlike the 2014 Charger and that is the big part of why this redesign is so controversial. Between the headlights sits a recognizable crosshair grille which flows down into the angular lower fascia and in that aspect, the 2015 Charger has an undeniably Dart-like look. That has been the key critical point of the new Charger face, but if you set aside the fact that the 2015 Charger looks like the Dodge Dart this isnt a bad looking car by any means. In fact, had this Charger debuted before the Dart, people would have been applauding Chrysler for offering a Dart that looks like the popular Charger.
Above this new front end, the 2015 Dodge Charger wears a reformed hood that has a significantly different design that the 2014 models and that hood flows into a “brow” that comes down further over the grille and headlights than the current model. This gives the 2015 Charger a lower, more aggressive stance up front that I find to be a great evolutionary shift for the big Dodge sedan.
From the side, the 2015 Dodge Charger (shown in all of these pictures in R/T trim) looks very much like the 2014 Charger, with the exception of the LED headlights that wrap around to meet the fenders and the similar wrap around effect with the taillights. The rest of the side view of the 2015 Charger follows the same theme as the current models with a deep indentation beginning in the front doors and traveling towards the back of the car. It looks like the B pillar might be slightly more swept back to give the greenhouse a sportier look as well.
Out back, the 2015 Dodge Charger still sports the gorgeous LED race track taillight design, but it has been refined with a thinner lens that wraps around a bit to the side of the car – while the 2014 models have their taillights squarely on the rear face of the car.
On the inside, the 2015 Dodge Charger gets a new gauge cluster with a 7 inch center screen, a restyled 3-spoke steering wheel and the 8.4 inch touchscreen is now standard across more trimlines (everything except for SE) – but for the most part the interior of the 2015 Charger is similar to the 2014 models. The Charger has a great interior layout, so the inclusion of new driver information technology will only improve an already impressive cockpit.
Although some folks are hating on the exterior design of the 2015 Dodge Charger, people hate on everything when it is new – from the 2015 Ford Mustang to the 2014 SRT Viper to the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro – so this new Charger will likely do just as well as the current models. While some diehard lovers of the current Charger design might be turned off by this new, high tech front end look, the new design should attract those folks who want a car that is unquestionably more sophisticated looking while still maintaining the muscle stance…and the big performance.