Let’s take a trip back to 1971… Oh wait, I can’t. I wasn’t alive then. Dodge has been around for a lot longer than that, but their inspiration for the 2015 Dodge Challenger was taken from the 1971. The old new Challenger clung too much onto its past, but the new car brings it into the 21st century (while still looking like a badass car from the 70s). But does the more than cosmetic changes to the 2015 Challenger make it a better car, or should you spend your money on a modern day Camaro and Mustang? Ultimately, you might have already made that decision, as muscle car loyalists are as passionate as truck loyalists. But what I can say is the new Dodge Challenger, especially in Scat Pack guise, is a damn good car and a bit of a rarity in today’s automotive space.

READ: View the full photoshoot of the Scat Pack here!

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(Full Disclosure: The fine folks at FCA dropped off the Challenger with a full tank of gas. It quickly needed refilled. Also, Jason Carroll of Square1 Photography is responsible for the photos, and helped secure Mandy and Lindsay for the shoot. It was a fun week.)

Visual changes to 2015 come in the form of a slight re-tweaked front fascia and a new rear bumper with new LED racetrack taillights. Exclusive to the Scat Pack (as part of the Scat Pack Appearance Package) includes 20″ dark wheels, and the Super Bee stripe across the trunk. As a throwback color, this Challenger came painted in Sublime, which is a green pearl coat. This is definitely a car you’re seen in, and a car that law enforcement likes to look out for.

Lindsay posing with the Challenger.

The thing that I find uniquely special about the Scat Pack, and what I think makes it such a badass car is the motor. To anyone other than the most eagle-eyed viewer, the Challenger Scat Pack looks like a Challenger R/T. The seats are even stitched as such. However, if you open the hood you’re greeted by an engine that says “Powered by SRT” on it. Why? Because instead of the 5.7L HEMI that normally comes in the R/T, the Scat Pack gets the 6.4L (392 cu/in for those who are counting) HEMI V8 with 485 hp and 475 lb/ft of torque. To me, that’s the ultimate muscle car throwback; not knowing what you got under the hood.

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Mandy checking out the SRT 392 engine in the Scat Pack.

In addition to the equivalent of a ballistic missile under the hood, power is delivered to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. Despite an annoying skip shift function that forces you into 4th gear under light throttle loads, the transmission is solid. Throws are fairly light and the clutch is manageable in stop-and-go traffic. I applaud for Dodge offering a manual in this car, and it’s a tad unfortunate that it’s not offered in the new Charger. But be advised, if you opt for the manual transmission you’ll be hit with a $1,000 Gas Guzzler Tax.

You’ll become very familiar with this if you own a Scat Pack!

For some strange reason, by default, all Challengers (including the Hellcat) come with factory all-season tires. My review unit was equipped with the optional 3-season performance tires, and you’re going to want to check that option box. If you must drive this car in the winter, get a dedicated set of snow tires. The Scat Pack also has bigger Brembo brakes, including decent 4-piston brakes up front. A Bilstein suspension (non-adjustable in Scat Pack trim) keeps everything in check.

It’s important to note here how comfortable the Scat Pack is to drive. While the suspension is stiffer than many normal cars, it is quite comfortable on long trips. That is enhanced by a set of comfortable leather and suede seats that have both heating and ventilation. Heck, my test car even had a heated steering wheel! Additional features included HID headlights with automatic high beams, automatic windscreen wipers, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, a nine speaker stereo and navigation. If this car was an automatic, it would have also had radar cruise control.

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But still, even with all of those features added, the car’s MSRP is $44,965, and that includes the Gas Guzzler Tax. Starting at $37,495, the 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack is a heck of a deal. To me, it kinda makes the SRT 392 a more expensive, and redundant, option.

The Scat Pack even includes the Performance Pages app from the SRT and SRT Hellcat. This app can give you 1/4 mile time, 1/8 mile time, 0-60, 0-100 and more. It also includes a computer-controlled launch control system. Despite looking like it’s from the seventies, the car comes packed with modern technology.

One gripe about the Performance Pages is the time it takes for the app to load. The launch control portion loads instantly, but to access the other meters on the 8.4″ display, it takes a few seconds to load. Luckily, most of that functionality is built into the screen in the instrument cluster and loads quickly.

The Challenger is a large car. Even as you drive faster, it doesn’t feel smaller. You’re always aware of how big it is, but the blind spots aren’t as bad as the Camaro and blind spot monitoring really helps. There’s plenty of space for driver and front passenger, even if they’re super tall. The back seat can be a little cramped if the person sitting in front is of the taller persuasion.

The other big gripe is the fuel economy. I performed a fuel economy run, which was mostly highway, and I was able to eek a bit more than 23 mpg out of it. The EPA’s rating is 14 city, 24 highway, and 17 combined. A 23 mpg highway is right on the money, but for the week I saw around 19 mpg combined. That’s not bad, but considering there’s already an extra $1000 you’re giving to the government when you buy it, and the need for premium unleaded, it can be a costly car to keep running.

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The thing is, it’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s comfortable. On the highway, you can talk to your passenger without having to raise your voice. In sport mode, the exhaust burbles and growls like a naturally-aspirated V8 should. Even at slow speeds, it still sounds and looks great. It’s a car that gets under your skin and you fall in love with it. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great combination of performance, practicality, and looks. For me, that’s a big win for the 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack.

  • Great looks and sound.
  • Excellent performance.
  • Best infotainment in the business.
  • Overall size and weight.
  • Fuel economy.

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