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2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Review by Steve Purdy +VIDEO


2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack  (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack

By Steve Purdy
The Auto Channel
Michigan Bureau

If there is a God, this is what he meant a muscle car to be.

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack  (select to view enlarged photo)

There comes a time in the life of every car reviewer when his/her driveway is graced with something really special. This is one of those times for me with the hot and heady Challenger R/T Scat Pack waiting out there for me to take her out on our back roads and let her loose with a hearty laugh and a hi-yo silver . . . away.

This might be the quintessential modern muscle car offering a more sincere homage to its progenitors than others of its ilk. Though Camaro and Mustang have those retro styling queues and muscular personalities pointing to their respective pasts, I think the Challenger does the best job of honoring that past. In the old days, when this reviewer was young and foolish (I’m no longer young but still proudly foolish), we had a nice variety of buff motoring options, most notably the “pony car” category of Mustang, Camaro, Challenger and AMX. We can’t overlook the full-size cars like Charger, 409 Biscayne, and a plethora of others but the small, powerful coupes might be the most revered.

Ralph Gilles, perhaps the coolest guy in the business oversaw this macho, no-nonsense design. He penned the Chrysler 300 as well then went on to become the VP of Design for all of FCA. Though a rather young guy, Ralph has a great sense of heritage and we see him at most of the important classic and collector car shows.

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack  (select to view enlarged photo)

Let’s start with just a few numbers for this R/T Scat Pack: 6.4-liter Hemi V8, 485 horsepower, 475 pound-feet of torque, 8-speed automatic, 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.0, 80-110 mph in about 3 seconds (don’t ask how I know) and 25 mpg on the highway. All this performance and an amazing level of other content starts at about 37 grand. Hurray for modern technology. Wish I had a radar detector.

Our test car has enough options – most of them cosmetic and electronic – to bring the price to 43 grand. But if you look closely at the standard content and see what we’re getting in the option list I think you’ll be impressed as was I. The lists are too long to list here but all the specs are available here on TAC. You can save $1,400,y the way, by opting for the six-speed manual transmission instead of the eight-speed automatic. But, be assured, the automatic is just as much fun, in a little different way.




Our Challenger Scat Pack came in an eye-catching green, the very color of day-glow that road workers wear. The good news: it is visible to all so you can’t miss it coming down the road and you’ll catch the eye of anyone who loves cars. The bad news: it is visible to the cops as well who may think you are going faster than you are just because of your glowing presence, the car’s aggressive stance and those heart-pounding noises you’ll be making. There is no mistaking it for anything but a Challenger. Though substantially larger than the original it has the shapes, profile and styling that leave no doubt of its identity. Adding to the visual drama are the massive 20X9-inch polished aluminum wheels shod with grippy 245/45R20 all season performance tires.

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack  (select to view enlarged photo)

The Challenger’s interior is a no-nonsense space with materials and design that offer little pretense. It is attractive and much more shapely than the original, or the just past design of the Challenger. The 7-inch mulit-function display uses large icons for less distraction while manipulating them and a better-than-average level of understandability. Front buckets hold us in place well though without oversize or overly stiff bolsters. The rear seat can accommodate small people if the front seats are not all the way back but even small people would not want to ride to far back there.

On the road it is everything you might expect – solid, stable, tight and noisy but not uncivilized. The suspension will keep you under control with no surprises even when pushed hard. On bad surface roads a considerably amount of resonating noise from those low-profile tires will intrude into the cabin, but on decent pavement we were impressed by its quietness.

Now, those to whom there is no such thing as too much horsepower may want to compete with thousands of others to snag the limited production, 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat. I am one of those power lovers, but this Scat Pack would make me perfectly happy. I could play with it all day generating all the adrenalin I could stand.

And, it could be a practical daily driver as well. We managed 21 mpg this week with about equal miles racked up on highways, back road and city streets. We could, no doubt, make the rated 25-mpg on the highway if we could keep it loping along at the speed limit without putting our foot in it once in a while. Not an easy task to be sure. But at 70 mph in 8th gear we’re doing just 1600 rpm, and at 80 we’re barely flirting with 2,000 rpm. We have so much torque that we can still punch it from low rpm with a gratifying response.

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack  (select to view enlarged photo)

The Dodge new car warranty covers the whole car for 3 years or 36,000 miles and the powertrain for 5 years or 50,000 miles.

As I was finishing this story it was time for the Midwest Auto Media Association’s Spring Rally at the famous Road America racecourse where 100 journalists assemble with about 100 cars and have the opportunity to drive, drive, drive as many cars as they can in a day and a half. I was able to take a couple of hot laps with the Scat Pack. All I can say is Wow! The brute power and tight handling along with that quick-shifting 8-speed automatic made the racetrack run a real treat. And, of course, that raucous note coming from the active dual-exhaust on full throttle resonates right through to your physical core.

If there is a God, this is what he meant a muscle car to be.

© Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved