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REVIEW: 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack – Rocket And Roll

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Burnouts are fun, and you can make them big and smoky with the Challenger R/T  Scat Pack. The rest of the car is pretty neat too.

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Here at BestRide.com, we have a lot of love for the Dodge Challenger. The headline-grabber has been the staggeringly powerful Hellcat, with its 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 rippling with exotic-car might .

Buyers went nuts for the Hellcat, and Dodge couldn’t keep up with demand. Unfilled orders for 2015 Hellcats were vouchered to the 2016 model year, and both they and newcomers would have to wait for production to ramp up from its late summer start.

Hellcat production will double in the new model year – Dodge isn’t making the underproduction mistake twice.

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The shortage has meant that a lot of people who wanted a Hellcat couldn’t get one.

And so some looks were likely cast to other Challengers, to see if a lesser one would satisfy.

There’s broad appeal throughout the lineup; a Challenger SXT V6 tested recently was attention-getting and all-around satisfying, even with its 305 horses being less than half of the Hellcat’s. Its eight-speed automatic helps it get 30 mpg EPA highway.

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Choice, thy name is Challenger. There are 10 Challenger trims in all, and five of them are R/Ts, like the Scat Pack test car.

Mixed into those trims are four engines – the automatic-only V6 and three Hemi V8s, which can also be had with manual transmissions.

The V8s start at 375 horses for the 5.7-liter, then jump to the 485 horses for the 6.4-liter and 707 for the 6.2-liter supercharged version in the SRT Hellcat. If you want to go fast, then the Challenger is here to help.

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Heritage is of course a key Challenger aspect, and for 2016, a Shaker hood scoop is available on select trims.

2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker

It attaches to the top of the engine and rises up through a hole in the hood.

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In effect, the Shaker hood scoop provides a visual correspondent to the barely-contained burble that trains itself through the Challenger’s structure. It’s old-school excitement that’s served straight-up.

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Speaking of heritage, the rad color Plum Crazy returns for 2016.

2016 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker

The tested Challenger R/T Scat Pack carried a $37,995 base price and had the $1,100 Scat Pack Appearance Group, which included a gloss black grille and HID headlights…

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…along with stripes, special floor mats and this Satin Black Fuel Filler Door, which admittedly looked and felt great.

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Though a six-speed manual is standard, the test car had the $1,400, eight-speed TorqueFlite with paddle shifters and AutoStick manual selection with the gear lever.

As automatic gear selectors go, Chrysler’s is one of the best, with an easy-grip T-shape and a wonderfully positive action.

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The tested R/T’s 485-horsepower engine did not disappoint. There’s so much power on tap that it takes concentration to refrain from making every takeoff a burnout.

In our week with it, we were only partly successful doing that, and so the trip computer typically displayed gas mileage in the 5-7 mpg range. The EPA says 15 mpg city and 25 highway, but as they say, your mileage may vary.

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And that’s where the Scat Pack comes in, with a full suite of controls to help you set the RPM threshold of your spinning-wheel thrusts…

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…as well as allowing fine-tuning of the tools at your disposal.

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To keep you from angling off into the weeds, the Challenger specifies that you find level ground before you try any of this. And when I shared with a CHP cop friend the fun I had blasting around with this setup, he calmly intoned, “So, you’re doing this on private property, yes?”

Um, yes officer. That’s a phrase I’d have down pat if I had to deal with the Scat Pack’s speedy temptations.

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The blastoffs are blistering, and they come in two phases. First, the wheels spin and the Challenger scrabbles forward like a cat trying to escape a bath.

Then when the wheels connect, the Challenger makes the scenery very blurry. The wheelspin is fun, but the thrust the Challenger effects when it hits its launch RPM threshold is truly the stuff of “wow.”

Handling and braking are up to the task of managing the power, with confidence being inspired by the Brembo four-piston brakes…

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…and three-season, 20-inch performance tires.

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Inside, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack scores with a supportive six-way power driver’s seat. The lumbar support adjusts up and down as well as in and out for optimal positioning.

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The standard cloth upholstery is grippy, and the stitched logos are fun.

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The rear seat is tight and has thick blind spots, but at least there’s a fold-down center armrest. The seatbacks fold to expand trunk space.

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At least the R/T Scat Pack has a standard ParkView rear camera, which aim out from the rear spoiler.

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The Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen is easy to use, with crisp displays and quick responses.

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The console bin has USB and other connections…

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…although as with many other rear-wheel drive cars, the console demands that a big-screen smartphone be wedged in.

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Quality is good throughout the Challenger’s interior. Door panels were easily scuffed, but the padded portions were welcomed.

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The console’s faux-metal trim had a tasteful low sheen finish.

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A test car’s bugaboo was its not-quite-aligned trunk lid. Its horizontal lights didn’t quite match up to their mates in the tail light panel. I’ve noticed this on Challengers I’ve seen since this tester.

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Overall, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack is a car that makes an indelible impression.

Its sheer speed is awesome, and its strength is palpable. Challenger is an appropriate name for this beast, as it challenges you to enjoy its talents while avoiding the attentions of the local constabulary.

For those who want a well-rounded car that goes very fast, it’s a risk worth accepting.

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Tell us in the comments – would YOU be able to contain your enthusiasm for the burnouts the Challenger loves to do?

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack

Base Price: $37,995

Price As Tested: $41,490

Options:

R/T Scat Pack 6.4L HEMI V8 24G
Interior/Exterior Scat Pack Appearance Group: $1,100
Satin Black Fuel filler Door
Gloss black Grille
High Intensity Discharge Headlamps
Scat Pack Bumblebee Stripe
Scat Pack Premium Floor Mats
Performance Steering Wheel

TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission: $1,400
Steering Wheel With Paddle Shifters
AutoStick Automatic Transmission

245/45ZR20 Three-Season Performance Tires: N/C

Destination Charge: $995

LIKES

– Incredible acceleration

– Exciting rumble

– Brawny suspension and brakes

DISLIKES

– V8 gas mileage

– Rear visibility

– Tail light misalignment

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