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While it's not seeing the drastic facelift of its brother, the Charger, at the 2014 New York Auto Show, the 2015 Challenger is packing some upgrades of its own. It wears even more retro-inspired styling cues, and there are new 6.4-liter Scat Pack and Shaker trims.
If you thought the Challenger looked retro before, Dodge is taking things even farther with inspiration for the refresh coming from the iconic 1971 model. Up front, it has a new split grille, a larger power bulge in the hood and projector fog lights. At the rear, the classic inspiration continues with split LED taillights with Gloss Black trim, and a rear valance panel redesigned to make the 2015 model look wider and lower.
The '71 motif is carried inside as well with a high-sill center console and aluminum gauge bezels. There's still more than a touch of modernity, with an available 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system and 7-inch customizable display between the retro-inspired speedometer and tachometer. For better safety, the Challenger is also now available with forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection. Stability control and electric power steering are standard across all models too.
No one wants to have their car stolen, but a new study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau has some bad news for older Honda owners and pickup drivers. Fortunately, it has better news for drivers overall. The group is reporting that according to preliminary data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, thefts were down 3.2 percent in 2013 (versus 2012) to fewer than 700,000 cars. That's the lowest figure since 1967. That's also less than half of the peak of over 1.66 million thefts in 1991. "The drop in thefts is good news for all of us," says NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. "But it still amounts to a vehicle being stolen every 45 seconds and losses of over $4 billion a year."
Honda drivers might not find it such good news with older Accord and Civic models topping this year's theft study. Toyota and Dodge can't really celebrate, either, with two models each on the list, as well. Overall, this year's list was split evenly between foreign and domestic models, which were mostly pickups.
The 10 most likely vehicles to be stolen in 2013 were:
To be honest, we're surprised something like this didn't pop up sooner. Chrysler is riffing on gift registries for couples getting married or expecting babies and cross-pollinating it with a social media funding website like Kickstarter to help customers buy its 2013 Dodge Dart. The Dodge Dart Registry allows people to build and customize a new Dart exactly how they want it, then let other people purchase some or all of the components as gifts.
The registry lets you add features like dark headlights, dual exhaust, various wheels and even interior options without choosing a specific trim level. This sounds a lot like the system Scion uses to let its customers configure cars, and this could be a great idea for Dodge. Of course, this system has the added benefit of being a social media affair for you to share with your friends... you know, so they can help pay for some of the parts, too.
The best thing about the registry is that you can configure your dream Dart from the comfort of your home computer, which strikes us as much better than walking around Bed, Bath and Beyond for the better part of an afternoon with an electronic scanner. The one thing that Dodge doesn't offer? "Thank You" cards. Those are on you.