2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

A practical hell-raiser

10 Exterior
8 Interior
6 Fuel Economy
9 Peformance
9 Value
8.4

Dodge claims the new Charger R/T Scat Pack roars like a lion. Indeed, we can imagine one diamond-laden Lucious Lyon cruising around NY in one of these loud-mouthed beasts.

More chiseled than Brad Pitt’s abs in Fight Club and boasting the same blistering stats as the 2-door Challenger R/T Scat Pack, this family-friendly muscle-maniac has room for the whole clan with full-size sedan luxury interiors. Not bad for a car celebrating its 100th birthday.

A lot has changed in Dodge’s centennial year, with an almost completely reshaped sheet metal body. But don’t fret; this is still quintessentially Dodge, and was designed to resemble the 1969 model. In fact, it even reprises the role of the old SRT8 Super Bee.

EXTERIOR

The unglamorously named B5 Blue paint job is more attractive than it sounds, and adds to the car’s mean and masculine appearance. It actually looks indistinguishable from the more powerful Charger Hellcat and though it may be slower, the Charger is damn quick in its own right, and loud enough to wake a bear from hibernation.

Once the bear – or curious pedestrian – has been poked, their attention will be drawn to the classic Scat Pack styling with revamped scalloped bodysides and bespoke front bumper and grille. The overhauled aluminum hood is sculpted like David with hints of heritage charm that take inspiration from the Dodge Viper.

The capless fuel filler is another sleek feature that allows drivers to electronically lock and unlock the filler door, making theft a non-issue. Our blue tester rolled on 20-inch x 9-inch polished aluminium wheels with black pockets and satin finish, and 245/45ZR20 all-season performance tires.

The speed demon comes alive after dark thanks to redesigned LED fog lamps, LED daytime running lamps and new projector-beam wraparound headlamps. The lighting elements are vast and offer sweeping coverage. The central high-mounted rear stop lamp, for example, is unmistakable and works in harmony with the car’s side marker headlamps.

Our favorite lighting feature, however, were the puddle lamps. The exterior mirror mounted puddle lamps don’t just provide a splattering of light when you exit the vehicle. Much like everything Scat Pack-related, the results are overstated, and make you feel as though you’re stepping into the spotlight on a red carpet. The mirrors themselves are heated and power adjustable with dimming capabilities.

The dual bright exhaust tips shine under the sun almost as well as they do in the moonlight, so you’re presence on the road is never understated. Dodge’s signature LED racetrack taillamp has been streamlined and works as the perfect finishing touch to this glorious body.

INTERIOR

Modern refinement meets old-school muscle inside the robust frame.

A sophisticated black interior with Nappa leather-trimmed seats compliment oversized Alcantara suede bolsters and perforated seat inserts for a ride more plush and comforting than a bed full of your childhood teddies. The embroidered Scat Pack logo in is just the tip of this seating wet-dream. Unpick the seams (please don’t) and you’ll discover the mechanics responsible for heating and ventilating the front seats.

Bums in the back get heating, too, but this isn’t a feature we relied on. The ventilation system, however, was a godsend on sticky afternoons last week, as was the dual-zone automatic temperature control with humidity sensor. The outside temperature display confirmed we were right to crank to A/C.

While wielding the heated leather-wrapped and power adjustable steering wheel in adaptive cruise control mode, I noticed a few standout features including the 7-inch reconfigurable digital cluster display and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen that work in tandem with the accompanying analogue instruments.

Switching between gears was smooth as silk due to the performance-inspired electronic shifter and die-cast metal paddle shifters. The vibrant adjustable pedals were a nice touch and almost glowed when the LED ambient overhead lighting was in use. In case you tire of the Scat Pack’s brutish soundtrack, employ the steering wheel mounted audio controls and switch on the 6 premium speakers and 276-watt amplifier.

Opposed to the miniscule rear seats that constituted the backend of the original late ‘60s Scat Pack, the modern Charger R/T has plenty of junk in the trunk; or it will if you fill it to its 16.5-foot capacity. Passengers riding in the 60/40 split-folding rear seats share an overall cabin space of 105.7 cubic feet, making it the most comfortable Scat Pack to grace our roads.

Just like the Challenger Scat Pack we tested earlier this year, the Charger blends retro flair with ultra-modern details. E.g. the tech-savvy auto-dimming rear-view mirror with microphone overlooks the original ‘60s Super Bee badge between the compass gauges.

PERFORMANCE

2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

If you thought driving a full-size family sedan eliminated your potential for speed, you were wrong. With glimmering stats of 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque (the same as the 2-door Challenger Scat Pack), the Charger is a force to be reckoned with.

Admittedly, it’s doesn’t compete with the 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque emitted from the Charger SRT Hellcat, but the 6.4L SRT HEMI V-8 engine is no layabout. We reached 60 mph in just over 4 seconds after initiating the Launch Control, a fantastic new function accessed through Dodge Performance Pages. We went through the Performance Pages like a book and loved the story! The ability to turn the paddle shifters on and off and switch transmission modes places the power squarely in the drivers’ hands. Programmable steering and stability control Pages kept things progressing smoothly while we were playing with the paddles.

We can’t praise the new TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission with adaptive electronic control highly enough. The handling and cornering time is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it quick. Rear-wheel-drive comes standard on the Charger, but an AWD alternative is available on the V-6.

The electric power steering offers the choice of three modes: Normal, Comfort and Sport. Surprise, surprise, we prefer the Sport mode above the others, not only for its fierce throttle response, but steering so tight you’ll want to marry it. A top speed of 175 mph only seals the deal.

FUEL ECONOMY

2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

No one in their right mind would buy the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack hoping for longevity in the fuel department. The EPA says 15 mpg is manageable in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, for an average of 18 mpg. In just under a week our observed average was closer to 16 mpg.

TECHNOLOGY

Unlike early American muscle, the Dodge Charger Scat Pack is endowed with some fairly significant tech upgrades and inclusions. Rear visibility isn’t great, so Dodge have included ParkSense rear park assist system and back-up camera, which I found vital when attempting to maneuver into tight spots. The remote start system turns the Scat Pack into a temperate paradise; start the engine, initiate climate control, defrost the outside mirrors and warm the seats all from your bed (that’s where I did it, anyway).

If you’re anything like me, weekends are spent hauling family, sporting gear and the occasional kid around in your car. Dodge have been kind enough to offer Keyless Enter ‘N Go so all you need to do is touch the door handle (as long as the key is in close proximity) and the car unlocks. The Start/Stop button means the keys never have to leave your pocket.

Combined with Uconnect Access and the 8.4-inch touchscreen, the car felt like an extension of myself (dramatic, I know, but this system is awesome). The WiFi enabled system allows drivers to tap into Performance Pages and mobile apps, and voice recognition picks up every word. The Navigation display shows your route in 3D and offers real time updates on everything from SiriusXM traffic and fuel stats, to movie times and sports scores.

2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

Audio outputs are streamed through the Alpine speakers, as is SiriusSXM Satellite Radio. Bluetooth, USB ports, HDMI and a 12-volt power outlet get a look in, too, so we were always connected to something!

Any car with the potential to reach 175 mph MUST have some damn good braking features. Luckily, this Dodge darling has them in spades. The Antilock Braking System and Rain Brake Support comes standard, while the Advanced Brake System does its thing in the event of an emergency. The most admirable braking component is without doubt the Ready Alert Braking system that shifts the brake pads towards the rotors for rapid braking power in the event of an emergency. The Rain Brake Support works in similar fashion, as it encourages the brake pads to brush against the rotors and effectively keep them dry in wet conditions.

CONCLUSION

Pros:

To the naked eye there’s very little differentiating the Charger Scat Pack from the Hellcat variety. It’s aggressive, it’s bold, it’s audacious, and we absolutely love it.

The Charger’s smooth, controlled ride must be commended, especially when taking its power potential into consideration. The upgraded quality of materials used to cover the car’s bare bones, enormous 8.4-inch touchscreen and the spacious interior are a few other unexpected perks. But without doubt, the monumental power emanating from the spectacular HEMI engine left us spellbound. The engine’s wail was music to our ears; like a hypnotists spell; a brutish melody we can’t get out of our heads; and we were ready to do anything the Charger demanded.

Cons:

It pains us to find fault with this gorgeous piece of engineering, but a few nagging complaints could use improvement. The poor fuel efficiency is one obvious area that may deter budget-minded folk. In our opinion, the horsepower and dynamic drive more than compensate for the lackluster mpg stats. Rear visibility wasn’t great either, and the omission of a manual transmission isn’t ideal.

The base price for one of these bad boys is $39,995 and after inclusions our Charger was valued at $43,280. Yes, you saw right. $43,280!

For under $45,000 the Charger Scat Pack is a steal, and ranks amongst my top five road testers of all time, trumping the likes of the $35,000 Camaro SS with 426 horsepower. Close, but no cigar. Fellow Chevrolet muscle machine, the iconic SS sedan, comes close to beating the Scat Pack’s brawn but still falls short with 410 horsepower, 0-60 time in the low 5-second range and a base price of $45,000.

Ford put their best foot forward with the 435 horsepower Mustang GT, while the Ford Taurus fares even worse, outputting a maximum of 365 horsepower.

For the price and power, the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack trumps the lot, and wouldn’t shy away giving more exorbitant European counterparts – Jag XFR-S, BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG – a run for their money.


Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Victor Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog

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