Dodge’s New Muscle Car Lineup Defies Green Movement

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At the press preview of the 2014 New York Auto Show, Honda (NYSE:HMC) had its uber-efficient 2015 Fit on display; BMW (BMAXY.PK) was offering rides in its first all-electric car, the i3; and Toyota (NYSE:TM) gave attendees a taste of a zero-emissions future with a trip on board a fuel-cell vehicle. You couldn’t help but feel that green movement taking hold of the U.S. auto industry. Then Dodge barreled in with a ferocious muscle car lineup for 2015, showing how confident Fiat Chrysler (FIATY.PK) executives are in the bright future of retro performance cars.

Dodge didn’t sheepishly introduce this new wave of muscle. To the contrary, the Fiat Chrysler brand nearly blew off the doors of the Javits Center’s main room with a press conference that was part heavy metal concert, part celebration of 100 years of Dodge, and part salute to the iconic muscle cars of the Big Three era. Once the smoke had cleared, Dodge’s 2015 Challenger and 2015 Charger could be seen in all their glory.

While the legendary Mustang will shed weight and offer a four-cylinder model for 2015, Dodge made sure to pack a more powerful engine in its new Challenger. The new lineup will include the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 (306 horsepower), the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 (375 hp, 410 lb-ft torque), and a thunderous 6.4-liter Hemi V8 in the Scat Pack trim that pushes the power to 485 hp with 475 lb-ft of torque. With the “Shaker” mounted in the middle of the Challenger hood, Dodge brought the car back to its 1971 model roots. Power quotients were cleverly increased along with fuel economy in the 2015 Charger SXT.

Is the muscle-bound strategy working for Dodge? The sales numbers suggest it’s paying off in spades.

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