2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack

Right on, Chrysler! The 1970s Scat Pack is back!

9 Exterior
8 Interior
9 Performance
5 Fuel Economy
8 Value
7.8

Do you want to annoy neighbors and environmentalists alike? Trick the local kids into thinking an earthquake’s hit and make the hearing impaired believe they’ve experienced a momentary miracle? Or do you just want to bask in the glory of an iconic muscle car on steroids? Well, look no further. The 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack is here!

This week we had the privilege of test-driving the new R/T Scat Pack, and while admittedly it’s no 707 horsepower SRT Hellcat, it comes pretty close with a roaring 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine, producing 485 horsepower and a boisterous 475 lb.-ft. of torque.

A long-buried lawsuit has been brought against Chrysler for its use of the term ‘Scat Pack’. The claimant – a crankshaft company who have been trading as Scat Enterprises for over half a century – maintains Chrysler have plagiarized their trademark. Scat Enterprises originally ignited the feud in the 1960s when Chrysler introduced a handful of models with the Scat Pack moniker – Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS and Super Bee. To the disappointment of many muscle car maniacs, the carmaker soon relented and shelved the Scat Pack name for over 40 years.

So, ongoing legal proceedings withstanding, let’s praise the automotive gods for the resurrection of this beloved car, and enjoy the Scat Pack series for as long as we possibly can.

EXTERIOR

Pop on your bell-bottoms and grow a moustache because nostalgia is as unavoidable as hippies in the 70s with the Scat Pack’s 1971-inspired exterior. The Sublime green beauty flaunts a fierce looking flat hood, black grill, HID headlamps and performance front splitter, all presiding over 20-by-9-inch hyper-black lightweight forged-aluminum wheels featuring black pockets, 15.4-inch front brake rotors with four-piston front and rear Brembo calipers. Dependable BSW three-season performance Goodyear Eagle F1 tires add traction and stability to the operation.

The satin black fuel filler door and decklid spoiler, updated front end and taillights, and of course, Scat Pack fender badge and Bumble Bee rear stripe, make for a decidedly drool-inducing Dodge.

INTERIOR

The 2015 Challenger line enjoys a significantly improved interior compared to the outgoing model, bringing it up to par with competitors and retaining a sense of vintage muscle car charm. The Leather Interior Group add-on ($1500 MSRP) includes comfy high-performance Nappa leather seats with Alcantara Suede inserts. If the adrenalin garnered from driving this teeth-chattering car doesn’t sufficiently warm your bones, the heated and ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel certainly will.

The retro landscape is brought into the 21st century with the addition of the in-dash infotainment system and 7-inch multi-view TFT gauge cluster.

TECH

For a muscle car, the Dodge is no meathead.

An 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment touchscreen and Garmin-navigation system, featuring voice command and recognition, takes pride of place on the dashboard alongside the TFT gauge cluster.

What self respecting infotainment system wouldn’t include HD and satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB/iPod, SD card reader and CD capabilities? Not this one! In fact, the Scat Pack even enables drivers to tap into their mobile streaming apps through Uconnect and offers 3G connectivity, morphing the entire car into a WiFi enabled roving hotspot.

Blast your tunes (or audio book) through an impressive Harman/Kardon audio system with six premium speakers and 276-watt amplifier.

New and improved Dodge Performance Pages ensure you wont miss a millimeter. Pages include Transmission and Steering Response, Launch Control and Driver Configuration Modes such as Default, Sport and Track, which allows for a personalized driving experience. Whether analysing your torque output, monitoring fuel economy, or simply checking your oil and coolant without getting your hands dirty, the applications are manifold and magnificent. Stats can be displayed via the gauge cluster or infotainment system.

Unlike its predecessors, today’s Scat Pack has a number of safety features comprising blind spot monitoring, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and rear cross path detection. The electronic shifter, keyless lock/unlock and push-start button are also useful technical upgrades.

PERFORMANCE

2015 Dodge Challenger RT Scat Pack

This is not the vehicle for a shrinking violet, or one who resides near an aged care facility. It’s unapologetically loud at all times. As opposed to the standard R/T model that is fitted with a 5.7L engine, the Scat Pack heats things up with a 6.4L HEMI V-8 engine, promising 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque.

Added to the mechanical bag of tricks is an exclusive TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission with adaptive electronic control, assisting with handling and precision.

Counterbalancing the muscle car’s broad hood and 4,261 lb. waistline – and guarding against understeer and listing – is a 0.5-inch lowered ride-height. As such, cornering is surprisingly acute for such a hefty beast and the superior suspension can be attributed to much of this dexterity.

The high-performance set-up is bolstered by Bilstein Shocks, active stainless steel performance dual exhaust system and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Front suspension combines independent SLA with high upper ‘A’ arm, monotube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar, and lateral/diagonal lower links with dual ball joint knuckles.

Meanwhile, the rear suspension sports five-link independent with coil springs, gas charged monotube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar and isolated suspension cradle.

The sensitive throttle takes a little getting used to, especially when combined with such a powerful engine, but once you do the fun can really begin. Switch to Sport mode and take full advantage of the paddle shifting for a hair-raising ride.

FUEL ECONOMY

2015 Dodge Challenger RT Scat Pack

Whoever said torque is cheap obviously hadn’t heard of the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack. This car does not play nice when it comes to fuel economy. But did you expect any different?

Estimated at 15 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, we averaged 15.5 mpg during our week behind the wheel and enjoyed every expensive mile.

The cylinder deactivation technology allows drivers to switch to 4-cylinder operation on longer haul drives to, theoretically, improve these figures, but we saw no evidence of this.

Touting a take-off time of 4.2 seconds from naught to 60, we’re fairly certain this figure could only be achieved on a slick-enabled strip and utilising the launch control. We observed closer to 4.5 seconds.

What about stoppage time? How does a distance of 154 feet from 70 mph sound? Not bad? We thought so, too.

VERDICT

There’s no shortage of competition in the Challenger market, but in our opinion, the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack is up there with the best when considering performance and price tag (our test model was priced at $47,860).

The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and ZL1 appear to be the Scat Pack’s most obvious threats. Heavier than the rest, the Scat Pack comes away quicker than the more expensive Mustang and with the flawless HEMI engine, it really is hard to beat.

Sure, it could stand to lose a few pounds, and fuel economy is laughable, but the price is right, and nostalgia irresistible. Dare we say it; this might just be the best damn Dodger going around.


Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Victor Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog

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