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2014 Nismo Fiesta event [Gallery]

2014.04.27 - Nismo Fiesta eventThe 2014 Nismo Fiesta event started with am owner’s caravan drive from Nissan’s North American HQ in Franklin, TN to the site of the car show in San Marcos, TX. The event included two days of back roads drives, an autocross, dyno, track event at Harris Hill Raceway, and wrapped up with a full day car show. We attended the car show and have our gallery of 124 images below.

Nissan brought several cars to the show, including a new Nismo GT-R, a Nismo Z, and a New York City Taxi. These were driven down to the show in the caravan.

We’ve been to several Nissan shows sponsored by this group over the years and they have always been organized very well. And kudos to Nissan as well for the support provided… and we hope to be a part of a future event at their HQ.

New: Pinterest board! Full gallery of images below:

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Cutaway Miata NC reveals all the details

img_1213With a new Miata (finally) on the way for 2015, it’s time to go back to 2005 when Mazda revealed the 3rd-generation Miata to members of the press. We were there, and thrilled to find a cutaway Miata, with all the details large and small opened for our eyes.

Several cutaway cars, chassis, and engines were available for photography.

Take special note of all the weight-savings measures designed  into this car. Mazda went to extraordinary lengths to keep the weight down, while increasing strength and keeping costs in line.  This is known by Mazda as a “gram strategy”, where each piece is weighed down to the gram, and every gram has to be justified. This is even more amazing when you consider that the MX-5 doesn’t share chassis parts with any other product.

Enjoy our gallery of over 50 cutaway images – the most unique on the web.

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Cars and Coffee Austin hosts Wheeler Dealer Mike Brewer [Gallery]

thumb_IMG_1487 In a special edition of the monthly Cars and Coffee event today in Austin, TX. This was the second special edition of Cars and Coffee Austin this year, the first being the Esotico Italiano car show featuring Valentino Balboni.

Mike Brewer of The Discovery Channel show Wheeler Dealer was the special guest. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate, and between the rain and a wind chill of well under 50 degrees, Mike probably thought he was home in Britain.

Nonetheless, he graciously talked to attendees and owners and showed us the “special relationship” car enthusiasts have around the world.

Discovery was filming material for a future show, so unlike the regular monthly Cars and Coffee show, the displays today were intended to be limited to muscle cars of the 60s and 70s.

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Esotico Italiano car show with Valentino Balboni [Gallery]

At an Italian car show today in Austin TX, besides a great collection of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and other Italian classics, we were pleasantly surprised to find Valentino Balboni.

If you don’t know who he is, you haven’t been doing your reading for the past 40 years. Valentino spent 40 years with Lamborghini, rising from an apprentice to a position as chief test driver and ambassador for the company. He only left due to Italian Government regulations forced him into an unwanted retirement.

The picture shows him graciously signing cars at the show today.

He was a really nice guy, great to talk to, and so very much a tremendous part of the history of Lamborghini.

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Austin Cars and Coffee Feb. 2014: Tesla Model S dyno

2014.02.09 austin cars and coffee tesla model s dynoWith a record 750 cars showing at the February 2014 Cars and Coffee monthly event in Austin Texas, there were all sort of unusual cars to get up close to. Including classic, exotic, European, Japanese, off-road, military, race cars, tuner cars, drift cars, stretch limos, and the usual assortment of the usual muscle cars.

But perhaps the most unusual car here, a Tesla Model S, is one of the most interesting because it is so different from the rest. We had an extended test drive last year and it was the most unusual car we drove in 2013… and yet it was as easy or easier to drive than a conventional car. And surprisingly fun with its enormous – and instant – torque. If this is the future, it’s terrific. And a large and very active Tesla owners association in Austin proves it.

An attempt was made today to dyno one particular Model S – an attempt that failed.

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Jay Leno visits the Nissan design studio for a 1st look at the next Z

Jay Leno recently visited the Nissan design studio in Japan, where he met with Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura and found designers hard at work styling the next Z. The Z is clearly in the design phase where hundreds of drawings will be made and final styling elements will be selected. That probably puts the timeframe of the debut out 2-3 years… depending on which platform will be used. If it will again be shared with the upcoming Q50, then sooner. Otherwise later.

Looking over all the drawings and video below, and knowing how the process works, we note that the basic proportions are all nearly identical – so it’s clear that the chassis underneath and the resulting hard points have in general been determined. And it’s clear that a return to the proportions and styling cues of the original 240Z is the plan!

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Falling Down: SHO engine swap into Geo Metro

When your usefulness to society has ended… when you’ve lost everything in life but your soul, this is the fate which befalls you. You find yourself transplanted into a lowly Geo Metro, a rolling hell, the next worse thing on the planet to a Citroen 2CV.

Mind you, this is not a proper swap, such as the SHO engine swap into the Korean-made Ford Fiesta known as the “SHOgun”. No, this is a hack job, built solely to trash in the silly and unprofessional race series known as the LeMons (a bastardized redneck rip-off of the most famous race in the world). A short but violent life in the twilight, a rolling zombie, you bleed your guts out, and you end up in the trash heap you wished you’d gone to with your original body.

Meet the Geo Metro with SHO engine swap. Consider this: would the SCCA ever sanction such a hackjob? Of course not:

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17
Jul

Ford releases official power figures for 2015 Mustang

435 HP in the improved Coyote V-8. 310 HP in the EcoBoost 2.3. We’ve been waiting the entire year for Ford to finally release HP specs for the new Mustang, and today that finally happened.

We’re not surprised by the incremental gain in the Coyote… we’d bet the CO2 emissions improved there as well – especially since it’s got to pass tough European standards. The 2.3 EcoBoost is a pleasant surprise – we remember our early 4.6 liter SVT Cobras that made less power and had a far less usable torque curve. We’d be willing to bet that the 2.3 EcoBoost Mustang will become known int he autocross circuit (as was the Mustang SVO – both back in the day and for many many years thereafter).

With today’s final power and weight specs released by Ford, all that’s left now are the first real road tests of production cars. And those are in the works.

Ford Press Release follows.


Horsepower Unleashed – Motivating the All-New Ford Mustang with Improved Power-to-Weight Ratios

  • 5.0-liter V8 headlines all-new Ford Mustang lineup with 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque and improved power-to-weight ratio
  • New 2.3-liter EcoBoost® brings turbocharging and direct injection to Mustang with 310 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque – best-ever power density from a Ford engine
  • Manual transmission provides smoother shifting than previous Mustangs; automatic transmission features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and downshift rev-matching

The all-new 2015 Ford Mustang offers three great engines including a standard 300-horsepower V6, a brand-new 310-horsepower EcoBoost® or an upgraded 435-horsepower V8. Each powerplant is available with either a manual or automatic transmission that makes the pony car a great all-around performer – no matter how the equipment is mixed and matched to suit any individual driving style.

The fewer the pounds a car carries for every unit of horsepower generated by the engine, the quicker and nimbler it feels, making power-to-weight ratio a key measure of performance. A recent study by Autoblog of cars currently available in the U.S. market puts Mustang at the top of the charts in power-to-weight ratio for all three price categories a customer can specify.

Mustang extends its lead further for 2015 with the EcoBoost-powered fastback now carrying fewer than 11.4 pounds per horsepower; Mustang GT has as few as 8.52 pounds per horsepower.

Less is more, EcoBoost comes to Mustang
The addition of a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine brings turbocharging to the Mustang powertrain lineup. This engine was designed specifically for Mustang, to meet the needs of drivers looking for outstanding performance and fuel efficiency.

The geometry of the EcoBoost intake manifold and turbocharger housing has been optimized to provide better breathing and higher output in Mustang. Producing 310 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine fits the bill for a true Mustang powerplant – with the highest power density yet from a Ford engine.

“This EcoBoost engine delivers the healthy output Mustang drivers expect, regardless of the car’s speed,” said Scott Makowski, EcoBoost powertrain engineering manager. “It delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to – with a broad, flat torque curve and great driveability under any conditions.”

The newest member of Ford’s global EcoBoost engine family, the 2.3-liter continues to take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies including direct fuel injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing and turbocharging to produce big-engine power and torque with improved fuel efficiency.

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost is the first Ford engine to use a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger that provides quicker boost response while enabling lower emissions and improved efficiency. The cylinder head features an integrated exhaust manifold that separates the inner and outer pairs of cylinders into each of the two inlet passages to the turbo.

Keeping the exhaust pulses separated from the next cylinder in the firing order virtually eliminates mixing losses and maximizes the pulse energy to the turbine wheel. The result is similar performance to a more complex twin-turbocharger configuration, meaning quicker turbine spin-up and torque delivery when the driver needs it for passing maneuvers.

The separated exhaust ports also enable the exhaust valves to stay open longer for reduced pumping losses that improve specific fuel consumption compared to a single-scroll turbocharger configuration.

With a compact mill generating nearly 135 horsepower per liter and more than 139 lb.-ft. of torque per liter – powering a performance car whose drivers are more inclined to use it – ensuring engine durability was critical. Enhancements to the Mustang EcoBoost engine to withstand the added stresses include:

  • Forged-steel crankshaft
  • Piston-cooling jets
  • Steel piston ring carriers
  • Premium bearing materials
  • Upgraded valve seat materials
  • Forged-steel connecting rods
  • High-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block with ladder-frame bearing caps
  • Deep-sump, die-cast aluminum oil pan

The beating heart of a pony
No Ford Mustang engine lineup would be complete without a great V8 engine at its core. The 5.0-liter V8 powers into a new generation with a host of upgrades that help it breathe better, especially at higher engine speeds. Many of these changes are derived from lessons learned in developing the special-edition 2012 Mustang Boss 302.

Getting air into the cylinders and exhaust out is key to generating more power and torque from any engine. That has been the focus in the development of this V8, which features:

  • Larger intake valves
  • Larger exhaust valves
  • Revised intake camshafts
  • Revised exhaust camshafts
  • Stiffer valve springs ensure valves close completely at high rpm
  • New cylinder head casting – revised ports provide straighter path to the valves for less restrictive intake and exhaust flow; combustion chamber modifications accommodate larger valves
  • Sinter forged connecting rods are lighter and more durable for high-rpm operation
  • Redesigned piston tops – deeper cutouts clear the new larger valves
  • Rebalanced forged crankshaft to support higher-rpm operation

These upgrades have boosted output of the V8 to 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.

A new intake manifold includes charge motion control valves to partially close off port flow at lower engine speeds. This increases the air charge tumble and swirl for improved air-fuel mixing, resulting in better fuel economy, improved idle stability and lower emissions.

The variable camshaft timing on the intake side now has a greater range of adjustment available thanks to mid-lock phasers. This enables better optimized control of the valve timing over a broader range of engine speeds and loads for improved fuel economy and emissions.

Shifting gears
More than most drivers, Mustang owners like to take control and shift for themselves. Whether they select a fully manual gearbox or the updated automatic transmission, the experience will be better than in any previous pony.

The manual has a new shift linkage design for easier engagement and improved precision. The shift lever is now positioned closer to the driver and away from the cupholders, creating a clear path for shifting.

Mustang blends outstanding all-around performance and everyday usability. Drivers who prefer to let the car handle the shifting during their daily work run, but who still want to take control when the roads get twisty, will appreciate the new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles with rev-matching downshifts – now standard with the SelectShift® six-speed automatic transmission.

The automatic also features a redesigned case with cast-in ribs that help make it stiffer and reduce weight. Internally, clutches are optimized and operating temperature increased to reduce friction. The output shaft is now supported by a ball bearing that enables a top speed of 155 mph for Mustang GT.

With a choice of powertrains to suit driving preferences and lifestyles, the new Mustang has cutting-edge technology under the hood to match its modern design. Yet regardless of engine choice, the car remains quintessentially Mustang.

17
Jul

Ford releases official weight figures for 2015 Mustang

… along with a comparison against the 2014 Mustang. For the sake of reference, the official curb weight of a 2013 Boss 302 is 3632 pounds.

2014-2015 mustang weight

And for the even more important numbers, this also from Ford today:

“Mustang EcoBoost fastback has best-ever weight distribution for a Mustang, with 52 percent of its weight over the front axle and 48 percent to the rear, while Mustang GT has 53 percent of its mass on the front wheels.”

13
Jul

Cars and Coffee, Austin – July 2014 [Gallery]

logo - Cars and Coffee AustinIt’s been a cold winter and a wet spring here in Central Texas this year… several shows had to be cancelled and some were held in the rain. But today, with a high of 97 degrees and a clear blue “Texas” sky, all such memories are gone. Cars and Coffee Austine had one of it’s largest attendances, and the show (and accompanying dyno) were on full blast.

What was our favorite car there? This time we’ll break with convention, and choose this Rolls that came here today right off the lot. Check out that door panel!

Here’s our full gallery of 121 images, covering just some of the cars there.

16
Jun

NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo hints at future GT-R

NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo (1) It’s strange, it’s bizarre, and it’s impractical. We love it. Nissan’s latest concept, the “NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo”, shows us one potential direction of Nissan styling studios for a future GT-R.

This is Nissan’s answer to the Toyota FT-1 Concept, a slightly more practical concept that also would need major revisions before it could be built. But both concepts point to certain styling features which would survive into production. In the case of the Nissan, it’s the narrow headlamps, the shape of the greenhouse (same as the current GT-R, and the slap-sided front and rear fenders (again, similar to the current GT-R). And this isn’t a rolling concept, much less a prototype – it was designed in virtual space as a game piece for the PlayStation.

Nissan Press Release follows:


June 16, 2014

Nissan and PlayStation reveal future vision

Virtual supercar created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the legendary Gran Turismo® driving franchise
  • NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo hints at the future
  • 2+2 virtual supercar with advanced aerodynamic body

NASHVILLE. Tenn. – Nissan today lifts the virtual covers off the NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo, a vision of what a high performance Nissan could look like in the future. It was created through close collaboration with the creators of Gran Turismo®, Polyphony Digital Inc., the legendary PlayStation® driving franchise.

NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo began life as dream project for Nissan designers who were given free rein to create their dream supercar for their own Gran Turismo fantasy garage.

Created by a team of young designers at Nissan Design Europe, in London, England, the model was considered to have so much potential that it has benefited from input from an advanced engineering team based at Nissan Technical Centre in Atsugi, Japan.

As a result, NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo gives hints as to how a supercar of the future might look.

In July, automotive enthusiasts will be able to discover that performance first-hand when it becomes available to download in Gran Turismo®6, just as they did with the NISSAN GT-R and Skylines from earlier episodes of the historic franchise. That performance heritage and commitment to delivering excitement for enthusiasts is why there are Nissan vehicles in the franchise.

But as a specialist in automotive design in three-dimensions, Nissan believes that the real-world is ready for the NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo. Watch this space…

“PlayStation” and “Gran Turismo” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.

NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo (1)
NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo (2)
NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo (3)

1
Jun

June 2014 Leander TX car show [Gallery]

logo - leander car showAfter being cancelled several times this year due to rain (very unusual here in Central Texas due to the drought conditions we have suffered over the past few years), the Leander show has been on a roll with a great show last month and now another show this month without interruption.

But in our opinion it was only a fair show: the weather was dull and humid, the show was dominated by too many Dodges right in the middle, and many of the most exotic cars we used to see here, especially French cars, didn’t show. We need a greater variety of cars here, not just endless lookalike Dodge muscle cars, but a wide variety of cars. We’d like to see a great emphasis on balance: more French cars, early Model Ts, more military vehicles, more cars with swaps (only 1 was present today). Variety is the spice of life, and when any one brand or type dominates, it’s not representative of our great hobby and fewer attendees find their interest.

For the star of the show, we’re going to pick this Datsun 1600 Roadster (Fairlady in Japan). It was clean, highly desirable, and unmodified (except for a set of 300ZX rims). Full pictures of this are in the gallery.

Gallery follows:

30
May

Spotted on the Road: The Modern Soccer Mom Family

Times are changing… and we have to accept all sorts of families these days, including Zombies. They are people too, or at least they were.

modern soccer mom

:-) spotted at a Starbucks in Central Texas.

27
May

All in the Family: NSX-Powered S2000 Swap

A controversy rages about swapping engines into an S2000. This isn’t a Miata that desperately needs a real engine… this is an S2000 and it  not only has a real engine, but a true sportscar engine with well-integrated state-of-the-art Formula1-borrowing technology. Owners, ourselves included, are more than happy with the factory engine. And the S2000 still easily beats the competition: the latest Miata (poor handling in stock form and a dated Ford Focus engine) and FR-S/BRZ (numb and under-powered engine).

So if you have to swap… there are V-6, I-6 and V-8 choices (and even a V-10!) to consider. And consider this: keeping it all in the family. Big-brother NSX has its own unique DOHC V-6 engine – and it’s not the wimpy 3-valve SOHC engine used in pedestrian Honda and Acura products (once swapped by Honda itself in its own project car) but uses honest-to-goodness double overhead cams. Free breathing technology that still hasn’t come to the rest of the Honda or Acura lineup.

nsx powered s2000 - 1

An easy fit, and retaining a low hoodline.

nsx powered s2000 - 2

Here it is, in all it’s beauty. Except please get that lowly VW-sourced reservoir out of there!

nsx powered s2000 - 3

Preparing to race at the Nurburgring.

Our take: this is an interesting swap, although NSX engines are hardly freely available nor inexpensive. And they don’t have a good reputation for keeping the engine lubricated in stock form on racetracks. But it shows that it can be done, and it will certainly retain the excellent S2000 attributes of balance and rev-happiness. But what we’d really like to see on an S2000 are the full set of NSX brakes: vented all around, and aluminum calipers. This is the weak spot in the S2000, especially in the rear, and we suspect that there is a way this could be done.

26
May

Spotted on the Road: Dirty 911

Spotted in Austin Texas: somebody has a sense of humor – telling this 911 owner in German to “wash me please”.

The problem is that Central Texas has been in a severe drought for several years. And in response, the City of Austin has had to implement Stage 2 water restrictions. This means that washing cars at your own home is prohibited. Only commercial car washes can still operate. Fines start at $75 for the first offense.

The main source of water for the Austin area is Lake Travis, which at this writing is down 56 feet from full. Unless the weather radically changes over the next few months, some small towns will run out of water entirely. And of the lake drops another roughly 25% in capacity, then Stage 3 regulations kick in. Those will be published if needed, but commercial car washes will then likely be unable to continue (some are already drilling their own wells, which would allow them to continue).

Conservation efforts are important, and thanks to informed residents these are making a difference. But we’re still at the mercy of the lake, with no relief in sight.

dirty 911- wash me

24
May

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 6.2 Hellcat prototype – start and rev

Here’s the prototype 2015 Challenger Hellcat starting and revving up for fans at a recent showing by Dodge. “Great” is not a strong enough word. But we have to wonder how this can be legal… we’ll reserve final judgement until we see the production vehicle in a few months.

20
May

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with Hellcat engine announced

2015 Dodge challenger HellcatAfter a long dry period with little change for the Dodge Challenger, 2015 finally sees several important improvements including the release of the highly anticipated Hellcat supercharged HEMI engine.

The Challenger is the largest and heaviest of the pony cars on the market, with the skinniest tires, and a replacement is still an uncertainty. So this mid-life re-freshening is very much needed to stay competitive.

Dodge Press Release follows:


Dodge Unleashes Most Powerful Challenger Ever

May 20, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich.

All-new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with 600-plus horsepower HEMI® Hellcat engine delivers unrivaled performance, race-inspired interior and new technologies geared toward the driving enthusiast:

  • New 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat features the all-new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® – the most powerful V-8 engine Chrysler Group LLC has ever produced
  • New Challenger SRT’s standard 392 HEMI V8 delivers 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of peak torque
  • Segment-first TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions available on both new Dodge Challenger SRT models
  • Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine features new Pirelli tire technology with class-exclusive standard Y-Plus rated four-season tires to help handle extreme loads
  • Both 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT models ride on new, SRT-exclusive forged-aluminum wheels
  • New Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI Hellcat features the largest front-brake package ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle as standard equipment
  • All-new, driver-focused cockpit is designed for true performance enthusiasts with stunning style, premium materials, world-class craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology
  • Functional, performance-designed exterior maintains Challenger’s original muscle car heritage and key Dodge brand hallmark

The newly consolidated Dodge and SRT brands are launching out of the gate at full throttle – introducing the new 600-plus horsepower 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine and its stablemate – the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT just one month after taking the wraps off the new Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker at the New York Auto Show.

Driven by the five SRT performance hallmarks, the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT and Challenger SRT with the Hellcat engine are re-designed and totally re-engineered to be the most true-to-form muscle coupes on the market with performance-enhancing technologies inside and out. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will feature the most powerful V-8 engine ever produced by Chrysler Group – the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8.

“The new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the ultimate performance muscle car,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO – Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Dodge is the Mainstream Performance brand, and now combined with SRT, we are able to unleash a true GT car with an all-new driver-focused interior and the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission combined with the most powerful V-8 Chrysler has ever produced. The Challenger Hellcat has been released!”

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT coupes will be built at the Brampton (Ont.) Assembly plant. Production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2014.

Awe-inspiring powertrains

For 2015, the Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine is propelled by the new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8. Its 600-plus horsepower rating will be the highest of any V-8 engine in Chrysler Group’s celebrated history. The all-new V-8 engine can be mated with an upgraded six-speed manual transmission or a beefy, new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic – the first such gearbox ever offered in the Dodge Challenger SRT’s time-honored segment.

This new HEMI® Hellcat engine is Dodge and SRT’s first application of V-8 supercharger technology, delivering the full brand experience with fresh potency.

The breakthrough supercharged engine features a forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces. The result is a crank so well-engineered it can withstand firing pressures of 110 bar (1,595 psi) – the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston, every two revolutions. And its unique, specially tuned crank damper has been tested to 13,000 rpm.

High-strength, forged-alloy pistons – developed using advanced telemetry measurement – are coupled to powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like-carbon-coated piston pins.

The new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 has premium-grade, heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads that are optimized for superior thermal conductivity. And its die-cast aluminum rocker covers are HEMI Orange.

In addition to the supercharged HEMI V-8 in the Challenger SRT Hellcat, the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT model also gets a power boost with upgrades to the 392 HEMI V-8. Horsepower climbs to 485 from 470, while peak torque jumps to 475 lb.-ft. from 470 lb.-ft.

The 392 also can be mated with a new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic or the proven six-speed manual transmission.

All-new Drive Modes tailor the driving experience to each individual driver

Whether its on-road or on-track, Challenger SRT owners can personalize their drive experience via the all-new Drive Modes feature. Drive Modes tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering (Challenger SRT only), paddle shifters (automatic transmission only), traction and suspension. Drive Modes are pre-configured for Sport, Track and Default settings, while the Custom setting lets the driver customize the drive experience to their favorite settings.

  • Custom – Allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance
  • Sport – Delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the Default Mode
  • Track – Delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces
  • Default – Activates automatically when starting the vehicle

The Drive Mode feature is controlled through the Uconnect system and may be accessed by performing any of the following:

  • Pushing the SRT button on the instrument panel switch bank
  • Selecting “Drive Modes” from the “SRT & Apps” menu
  • Selecting “Drive Modes” from within the Performance Pages menu

Unlocking the power

For the first time in Chrysler Group history, the all-new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine comes standard with two key fobs – red and black. The red key fob is the only key that can unlock the full horsepower and torque potential of the Challenger SRT Hellcat engine; while the black key fob limits the driver to a reduced engine output.

Valet Mode is offered on both Challenger SRT and Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine. When Valet Mode is activated, the following vehicle configurations are enabled:

  • Engine is remapped to significantly reduce horsepower and torque; limited to 4,000 rpm
  • Transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal
  • Transmission will treat the manual shifter position the same as the drive position
  • Traction, steering and suspension are set to their “Street” settings
  • Steering-wheel paddle shifters are disabled
  • Drive Mode functions are disabled
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is enabled to Full-on
  • Launch Control is disabled

The driver can activate and deactivate Valet Mode with a four-digit PIN code they create.

Outstanding ride and handling

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT rides on new, SRT-exclusive “77” eight-spoke 20 x 9-inch forged-aluminum “Hyper Black” wheels. Standard 245/45ZR20 (front and rear) Goodyear RSA2 All-Season or available Goodyear F1 Supercar Three-Season tires deliver serious grip and handling.

Standard wheels on the Challenger SRT with the Hellcat engine are new SRT-exclusive “Slingshot” split-seven spoke 20 x 9.5-inch, lightweight forged-aluminum wheels with a matte black finish; available on the SRT 392 as part of the SRT Track Pack. New P275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero Nero tires (front and rear) provide all-season traction while the newest tire technology from Pirelli includes the class exclusive four-season tire that is Y-Plus rated to handle the extreme speeds. Pirelli P Zero tires are available for three-season performance driving.

Available on the Challenger SRT Hellcat are 20 x 9.5-inch, lightweight forged-aluminum wheels with a Brass Monkey/dark bronze finish.

Benchmark braking

Standard on the 2015 Challenger SRT with the Hellcat engine is the largest front-brake package ever offered in an SRT vehicle, featuring all-new 390-mm (15.4-inch) Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers for outstanding heat management/thermal capacity and longevity. This upgraded high-performance brake package is available on the 392 HEMI® SRT model as part of the SRT Track Pack.

New anti-lock braking system (ABS), ESC and traction control systems are uniquely tuned and configurable for specific tire and powertrain configurations.

Aggressive and functional exteriors

Dodge and SRT designers and engineers spent 35 percent more time in the Chrysler Group’s full-scale wind tunnel in Auburn Hills, Michigan, (compared with the previous-generation Dodge Challenger SRT) developing and further refining the aggressive and functional exteriors on the Challenger SRT and Challenger SRT Hellcat. The result is a re-engineered Challenger capable of maximum aerodynamic performance for spirited driving on the road or the race track.

At the front, new fascia designs and all-new vertical-split grille provide a menacing update of its 1971 inspiration. A larger, power-bulge aluminum hood features a dedicated “cold-air” intake – a visual styling cue from the first Viper coupe built in 1996.

The hood on the new Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine also includes dual air extractors to ensure effective removal of heat and reduced air turbulence in the engine compartment. The hood is standard in body color and is available in a Satin Black finish. Both models of the Challenger SRT feature all-aluminum hoods designed to reduce weight.

Another key design element on the Challenger SRT Hellcat is the exclusive Air Catcher inlet port, which feeds ram-air directly into the engine air box through the driver-side parking lamp.

All-new quad projector headlamps give a more detailed appearance, while a more aggressive brow “chops” the upper portion of the lamp design for an even more sinister attitude.

Integrated projector fog lamps on the Challenger 392 SRT are pushed to the lower corners to help accentuate the car’s width while illuminating the road. A new duck-bill fascia splitter helps improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics.

The Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine features a larger front splitter designed for optimal downforce to minimize lift.

From the side, the signature muscular proportions and large thruster rear-quarter panels stand out from the crowd, while fender and belt lines tie together at the front and rear of the car to create a sleeker appearance. Differentiating the Challenger SRT Hellcat from the rest of the Challenger lineup are its “SUPERCHARGED” fender badges. Black sills accentuate the proportions of the muscle coupe and have been tuned in the wind tunnel to improve aerodynamics.

Out back, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT recalls the historic 1971 model’s styling with a new split tail-lamp design and rear fascia. The tail lamps feature the new signature LED graphic with its smooth glow of light that can be seen from blocks away. A redesigned rear valance helps the 2015 Challenger SRT models look more planted on the ground. A unique, taller rear spoiler on the SRT Hellcat features a raised SRT logo.

Race-inspired, high-performance interiors

Inside the 2015 Dodge Challenger is an all-new enthusiast-centric cockpit with world-class materials, execution and technology. Key elements are inspired by the interior of the 1971 Challenger.

The performance cockpit of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT carries an essence of the 1971 Challenger, in an artistic and more organically styled way.

The all-new cleanly executed instrument panel features a stamped aluminum bezel, which sets the tone for the driver’s display. For a high-tech look, an innovative 7-inch driver-selectable driver information display (DID) screen is centered in the gauge cluster and provides an almost infinitely customizable display. The all-new DID screen is flanked by new analog speedometer and tachometer gauges, which provide a heritage-inspired look with concave shapes and a hub-covered needle design, reminiscent of the “tic-toc-tach” gauges from the 1971 Challenger. For the Challenger SRT with the Hellcat engine, the fixed gauges and digital graphics are finished in a Dark Radar Red tone to make it even more unique.

Additionally, the dashboard’s center stack neatly houses the new standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen. New for 2015 drivers can select one of the many offered backgrounds to connect the digital look and feel with their chosen interior package.

A new, trapezoidal shaped stamped aluminum center console provides Challenger SRT’s interior with a fresh look. The aluminum trim gets one of two finishes, “Hectic Mesh” for the Challenger 392 SRT and “Dark Engine Turn” for the Challenger SRT Hellcat. The console also exudes craftsmanship and style with leather-wrapped surfaces and French-seamed accent stitching running from the back to the front. Employing a unique, elevated design, the all-new center console houses ergonomically located redundant button and knob controls for audio and climate functions. An all-new media hub with an SD card slot, USB outlet and audio jack is neatly housed inside the center console’s flocked armrest.

For those who opt for the segment-first TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, an all-new and class-exclusive electronic shifter with an all-new driver-oriented T-handle provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. For those who prefer having a third pedal, the precise and track-proven Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission is fitted with a throwback ball shifter.

A redesigned SRT-branded heated steering wheel features a flat bottom for the high-performance driver. Available paddle shifters (with automatic transmission) are located on the back of the upper spokes. The buttons to control the driver-configurable full-color thin-film transistor (TFT) display are large and illuminated. Buttons for Uconnect and phone access now reside along the bottom edge of the horizontal spokes. Optional adaptive cruise control is configured by buttons that are symmetrically opposite on the right hand side of the wheel. As before, the highly praised audio controls are still found on the back of the upper spokes. This new tilt-telescoping steering wheel also has a 360-degree heat element.

To make cruises more pleasurable, the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT features redesigned seats with improved cushioning and more comfortable contours. For improved comfort and convenience, new for 2015 are standard heated and ventilated front seats. The passenger seat also has an easy exit/entry function to provide access to the rear seat – this is controlled by a release handle on the top shoulder of the seat.

Challenger SRT offers performance seats with large side bolsters for maximum lateral support in hard cornering. The seats can be covered in Nappa leather/Alcantara material with embroidered SRT logos. Laguna premium leather, colored either sepia or black with embossed SRT logos, is available as part of an equipment package.

High-impact exterior colors

Many of the most memorable paint colors in automotive history have been found on the Challenger. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392 and SRT with the HEMI Hellcat will be available in 11 exterior colors:  B5 Blue Pearl Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Pearl Coat, Ivory White Tri-Coat Pearl, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Phantom Black Tri-Coat Pearl, Pitch Black Clear Coat, Redline Tri-Coat Pearl, Sublime Metallic Pearl Coat and TorRed Clear Coat.

Twin, full-body stripes are available in Black Satin Gloss and Silver High Gloss on the SRT 392.

 About Dodge

The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year as America’s mainstream performance brand, celebrating its 100th anniversary on July 1, 2014. With the purification of the brand and consolidation with SRT, Dodge is getting back to its performance roots with every single model it offers. The consolidated Dodge and SRT brands will offer a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out within their own segments. Dodge will be the “mainstream performance” brand within the Chrysler showroom. SRT will be positioned as the “ultimate performance” halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

From muscle cars to compact cars, minivans, crossovers and full-size SUVs, the Dodge brand’s full lineup of 2015 models deliver best-in-class horsepower, class-exclusive technology, unmatched capability and a slew of cool features, such as LED headlamps, Dodge signature racetrack tail lamps, dual exhaust, 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment centers and 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable gauge clusters, to name a few. For the 2015 model year, customers will be able to drive the new 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger, as well as the Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI Hellcat. The Dodge brand lineup also includes the 2015 Dodge Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey, including the new Crossroad model, and Dodge Viper SRT.

2015 Dodge challenger Hellcat