It’s no Hellcat, but it is hellacious.
Driven by the hybridization and turbocharging trend, more and more automakers are going either part electric or downsizing – considerably – in order to comply with emission regulations, essentially planting a bunch of bees under the hood. Sometimes it’s not so bad – the bees are angrier and make a lot of noise, but seldom does one see written on the side (or rear end) of a car a little badge that says 6.4. Do I still need to explain what that stands for?
You see, the 2015 Challenger RT Scat Pack is one of the cars which doesn’t have a bee or a bunch of bees stuffed under the hood; instead, it has ALL the bees! In a nod to its rich history, laden with more muscle than a trailer full of weightlifters, Dodge decided to revive the Scat Pack moniker and give enthusiasts something that not many can come close to: a real car. Choose a black on black scheme and the car becomes a menacing beast that is bound to put you in the centre of attention; or maybe just itself, but that’s equally as good, because you’re one with the car.
Once you push that little button on the dashboard that says “Start”, the V8 burble will make your chest rattle and you’ll feel, as you tighten the grip on the steering wheel, that the whole vehicle is shaking. With a peak power figure of 485 horsepower and no less than 475 lb ft or torque, the 6.4 litre V8 SRT HEMI is capable of shooting from 0 to 60 in about 4 and a half seconds, but you can always try to get a better time (if you’re brave enough!).
Equipped with a 6 speed manual from Tremec, the Scat Pack R/T can also be fitted with an eight speed TorqueFlite paddle shifter transmission, which tends to be smoother than its stick counterpart. Brembo brakes with four piston Brembo callipers come as standard, but they’re not as good as the ones fitted on the Hellcat.
Despite the fact that it’s competing with the Camaro and Mustang, the Challenger is almost 10 inches longer than the latter, meaning that you’ll have to be a little more careful with the manoeuvring. However, that’s not a problem, as the HEMI is able to hold its own; push the throttle and you’ll disappear in a cloud of white smoke and angry growls. Speaking of which, the active exhaust is loud; downshift and give it some gas if you’re in need of attention and bask in the glory of tens of jaw drops and looks of admiration – maybe an occasional swearing, but it’s worth it.
If you’re interested in buying a muscle car, the fuel economy will clearly sit on a secondary plan, or else you’d have gotten yourself a Prius – or a bicycle, but Dodge rates the manual as getting 17 miles per gallon and the automatic at 18, mixed cycle. Don’t expect those values to be true in real life, as you’ll find yourself burning rubber more often that you would expect – a 13, 14 mpg average is far more realistic.
As part of the Scat Pack, you’ll get 20 inch forged wheels with a relatively bland design characteristic of the OE manufacturer. Boyd Coddington is currently working on a custom wheel series specific to the Challenger family. Our focus in the production of our one piece forged wheels for the challenger includes a design befitting this classic American muscle car, an exacting fitment and several finish options. Other options include a satin black front splitter and rear spoiler, an active exhaust, Bilstein shocks and an anti spin differential rear axle.
In the interior, leather doesn’t come as standard, but the majority of surfaces are soft and pleasant to the touch. An organized instrument cluster dwells behind the steering wheel, augmented by a large, eight inch Uconnect display mounted in the dash. Very user friendly, it allows you to control basic functions such as the audio system as well as displaying additional gauges, allowing you to record and save track times and G-forces.
As opposed to a Camaro, you can carry five people inside, but the rather low roofline sacrifices headroom. Also, the middle seat (as it’s narrower and mounted a bit higher than the other two) is more suitable for a child, but if you’re keen on making use of it, it will perform the role of a torture instrument with great success.
Rounding up, the 2015 Challenger RT Scat Pack is, as a whole, a great car. Mirroring the retro image of the ’71 Challenger, it represents a worthy alternative to the other muscle cars out there. Even if it’s slightly heavier and larger in size, its engine and exhaust bark will make you forget about those aspects and concentrate on what it really is: a true driver’s car, a high displacement beast in a world of matchboxes on wheels.
Simply admiring the car will not make you appreciate it – even if its size might be imposing. Starting it, sitting behind the wheel and ravaging the tires, all while you wake up half your block with that active exhaust, those are priceless and only then you’ll come to realize what the world might be missing out in a few decades from now.