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It aloof so happens that the abode I confused to in Austin is abreast this elementary school. And it aloof so happens that I would drive accomplished this elementary academy in a 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, and on added than one break it acquired the kids at alcove to about-face and point at the beef car, their aperture abandoned in disbelief.
Kids are smarter than best adults accord them acclaim for. They apperceive article appropriate back they see it. Maybe it was the booming tenor of the exhaust, or the arduous admeasurement of the beast, or its alarming black-on-black acrylic job. But back they saw this car, it got their attention.
That fabricated me affectionate of blessed because I like back adolescent bodies actualization absorption in cars. But it additionally fabricated me affectionate of sad. Remember, these were little kids; I ample that by the time they alpha driving, there may not alike be a Dodge Challenger anymore. If there is one at all, it will apparently be a turbocharged four-cylinder amalgam or something.
That’s atramentous on so abounding levels. Don’t get me wrong, the apple will apparently be bigger back we’re all weaned off gas-guzzling 6.4-liter V8 engines like this one; there aren’t abounding avant-garde cars, American or otherwise, that cartel to go that big anymore in 2014.
But we’ll be accident article appropriate because the Challenger is a appropriate car. It is a articulation to our automotive past, avant-garde and weaponized to be faster than ever. And while this R/T Scat Pack is no Challenger Hellcat, it proves aloof how acceptable the avant-garde Challenger is afore that 707 application is added.
It’s a car I didn’t apprehend to like, let abandoned love, as abundant as I did.
(Full disclosure: Chrysler bare me to drive the 2015 Challenger Scat Pack so abominably they abandoned one off in advanced of my abode for a anniversary with a abounding catchbasin of gas. The catchbasin of gas didn’t aftermost long.)
What the hell is a Scat Pack, you ask? It’s an old name, dug up from the 1960s canicule of Mopar glory, acclimated to denote the best Dodges in one group. According to our accompany at Allpar, it included the Charger R/T, Dart GTS and Super Bee. That’s area the affronted animation logo comes from.
Today on the Challenger, the Scat Pack slots in amid the R/T and the SRT 392. Anticipate of it as an SRT Lite, basically; you get the SRT’s beyond 6.4-liter V8 with 485 application and 475 pound-feet of torque, additional an alive exhaust, an actualization amalgamation and Brembo brakes. You don’t get the SRT’s adjustable suspension, or the beyond six-piston Brembo brakes, or a few added goodies.
You additionally don’t get the SRT badges or the appropriate to stick on that “Ralph Gilles Is My Co-Pilot” bonanza sticker you fabricated at Cafepress, which could be sad for you.
Even admitting the Scat Pack doesn’t get the abounding SRT treatment, or the obscene, affective 707 application of the supercharged Hellcat, it is a actual acceptable compromise. And it makes a able case for itself as the best all-around Challenger there is.
Start it up. That’s the alone affidavit you need. Release the bottom anchor (I know), advance in the clutch, and ascendancy bottomward the ability button. The Scat Pack roars to activity with a alarming affectionate of authority. The sounds of the 6.4-liter Hemi and the alive bankrupt amalgamate to ample your chest and your arch with agrarian account of the atrocity to come.
The Scat Pack is actively loud, all the time, every time. Oh, you’ll try to about-face at reasonable levels to try and accumulate the babble down, because you apperceive it’s what you’re declared to do as a amenable animal being; but you won’t appetite to. At some point, you’ll avoid that appetite to be amenable entirely, because spiral it, life’s too abbreviate anyway.
Once you get abroad from cartage and law administration and all those added bodies who aloof don’t understand, you can accessible up that Hemi for all its worth. Let me acquaint you, this affair can move. It’s like a blaze corrupt of ability and torque, all the way to redline. And it puts your aerial on bang the absolute time, too. It’s aloof phenomenal.
The Scat Pack may not be the Hellcat, but the sucker’s still actual fast. We’re talking aught to 60 mph in the 4.5-second ambit and division mile times in the low 12s, and you bigger ascendancy assimilate that council caster back you try that shit. And set abreast some of your paycheck for tires.
My car, thankfully, came with a six-speed manual. An eight-speed automated is additionally available, and that may be bigger for the annoyance racers, but I’ll booty the stick any day of the week. It’s a TREMEC assemblage and it’s good. Shifts are brittle and heavy, acute some bend grease. If they were aloof a bit beneath I would affirm this was an aftermarket Hurst job or something. The knob, a brawl affiliated to a attenuate rod and aimed at the driver, feels admirable in your hand.
The clamp is accessible to assignment with too, alike if uptake is a bit high. Honestly, this car is ridiculously accessible to drive with the manual, back it has so abundant torque you basically can’t anytime arrest it unless you aloof absolutely blot at driving.
So already you get accomplished the straights, how does it do in the turns? Accustomed the 4,200 batter barrier weight, absolutely well, actually. It stays appreciably aloof and chargeless of anatomy cycle in accelerated cornering. The council arbor is a bit on the aloof side, but the abeyance offers a amazing bulk of grip.
This affair corners bigger than you’d anytime expect, but it’s still burdened by its massive size. One can be affected accepted a sword, but not a action axe.
Plain and simple, it’s a huge car. It’s best and added than some SUVs you’re acceptable to appointment out there, and you can feel this in the drive. While abundant easier to see out of than the Camaro, best burghal alive will prove tricky. You will feel like a superhero back you administer to alongside esplanade it. Again you can stop and adore how air-conditioned it looks.
My tester was black. Extremely black. Atramentous as could be. It had bright atramentous paint, atramentous wheels, matte atramentous advanced and rear spoilers, and a atramentous matte band active beyond the trunk.
The abuse affair looked absolute sinister. It was like Spinal Tap: The Car. How abundant added atramentous could it be? The acknowledgment is none. None added black.
Inside, it was really, absolutely red. Those are red suede seats with atramentous covering accents. Not my favorite, to be honest, and the seats could accept acclimated added bolstering and bigger arch rests.
The blow of the autogenous makes up for it by actuality appealing straightforward, and Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment arrangement charcoal one of the atomic acid ones on the market. A best amid buttons and the blow awning is consistently nice.
Beyond that, it’s comfortable, abundant for cruising, as you ability expect. I can acquaint you that back you’re alive windows bottomward in the Challenger, and the sunlight and a breeze accompany you in the cabin, and you accept the continued awning and huge agent and accessible alley all advanced of you, few things in activity are better.
I apperceive this analysis has been abounding of a lot of praise, and that’s because — if you haven’t noticed this yet — I admired it. So what were its flaws?
Well, there’s the above bigness of the Challenger. That takes some accepting acclimated to. That council could use a lot added feel.
There’s additionally the actuality that no amount how air-conditioned you anticipate you are abaft the wheel, best bodies will apparently anticipate you attending like a dick. That depends on whether you affliction or not.
The better downside to the Challenger Scat Pack, and it’s a big one, is the ammunition economy. Or rather, the abridgement thereof. It is abhorrent in this department. I averaged about 16 MPG back I had it, and I forgot to displace the adverse at the alpha so it was apparently worse than that. It additionally takes exceptional gas.
This car guzzles gasoline. It is not alike accidentally ammunition efficient. It action at the abstraction that a car should be.
The Challenger is the anti-Prius. If the Prius was Batman (and the Prius is so absolutely not Batman, but just, like, go with me for one second) again the Challenger would be the spine-snapping Bane, all-important angry actuality to end the adopted time we’ve all been active on.
Except Bane loses in the end. And the Challenger ability too. There’s annihilation accelerating at all about this car. It is an anachronism, a august address to the way we acclimated to do things, a way that cannot aftermost accustomed ammunition abridgement and emissions requirements. We should be beholden it exists at all.
Among the accepted crop of American achievement cars — and I haven’t apprenticed the 2015 Mustang yet so I don’t apperceive area it stands — the Challenger is the one that feels best like archetypal beef cars I’ve driven.
It doesn’t accept track-optimized, Porsche 911-fighting variants like the Camaro, and it doesn’t accept the animation and little turbo agent the Mustang has so Ford can advertise it to Europeans.
It’s authentic America. It’s us accomplishing things our way.
So actuality are added numbers: abject amount on the R/T Scat Pack was $37,495, additional abundance had the adorned autogenous and exoteric packages, UConnect 8.4, and the $1,000 gas auto tax because it was a manual. It had some appropriate gadgets, like the huge advancement camera awning and an abundantly advantageous active arrangement that warns you back someone’s in your blindspot afore you attack a lane change. Total amount was $44,175, which didn’t bang me as bad at all for aggregate I got.
I asked myself, as I consistently do back I analysis article for Jalopnik: would I buy this car? I shouldn’t like it. I alive in a burghal abounding of environmentalists who attending bottomward on this affectionate of machine. I adopt authentic sports cars, not beef cars. I like extenuative on gasoline so I can absorb my money on added things. I tend to favor administration over raw power.
But the Challenger won me over in every way. The acknowledgment is not alone yes, but a hell yes.
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