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We all knew That Kid. As a freshman, he was a big kid, overweight but surprisingly strong. Still, he was often picked on for his size. Then, he chatted with the football coach, who convinced him that his true calling was on the team's offensive line. After a season on the freshman squad and a summer of two-a-days, this mild-mannered, husky high schooler returned for his sophomore year as a big, imposing, solid piece of muscle. Needless to say, the same bullies that picked on him were praying he'd forgotten about them as a 10th grader.
That's the V8-powered 2015 Dodge Challenger. It arrived on the scene with a max of 425 horsepower and a bit of a weight problem. It completed its proverbial freshman year with a nice 2011 refresh, where the SRT8 was bumped up to 470 hp, but it still had some work to do.
Enter 2015, and fresh off three months of constant burpees and wind sprints, the newest Challenger is as big and powerful as it's ever been, but it's now got poise and potential, and my goodness, it's fun in a way that Dodge's muscle car has never been.
The guy who once made the Dodge Stratus a punchline of sorts is now a spokesman for the 2014 Dodge Durango, and the move appears to be paying off handsomely for Dodge. Will Ferrell, acting as 1970s-era TV news personality Ron Burgundy, has teamed up with the automaker for co-branded advertisements between the refreshed 2014 Durango and Ferrell's new movie, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Like Ferrell's fictional character, the ads are outrageous, flamboyant and a bit random. They're also successful: Automotive News says that more than 2.7 million people have already watched the videos since they debuted on October 5.
Those views are similar to the numbers that AN's top viral video of the year (e.g. Volkswagen's "Get Happy" Super Bowl ad) received, but there will eventually be as many as 70 videos comprising the Burgundy-Durango spots. According to the report, the videos were created primarily as a viral campaign online, although some are airing on television, too. For Dodge's part, the cost of the videos was significantly lower than a usual television campaign thanks to the fact that Ferrell wasn't paid for the spots since they were made in cooperation with promotional efforts for his new movie.
We've already posted a few of the videos in our previous post, but scroll down for several more - and head over to Adweek for a little added background on how these spots came to be.
My younger brother bought a Dodge Dart earlier this summer. It's a basic SXT, in Maximum Steel Metallic, with the 2.0-liter engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and not a whole lot else. Unfortunately, at the time, the Dart was one of the few cars in the compact class I'd never driven. I didn't know a lot about it, and therefore, didn't have a lot to say when he bought it. I think the words "based on an Alfa," popped out when I first saw it.
As it turns out, he's grown quite fond of the dark gray sedan, so it was with some degree of enthusiasm that I paid him a visit in this bright-orange Dart GT. I was excited to see what it was about the Dart that he enjoyed so much, despite my tester featuring a different engine, transmission and a lot more tech. After a week with the car, though, I must say: I don't quite see what all the fuss is about.