We recently heard a quote on an episode of the Autoblog Podcast from host Dan Roth that accurately sums up your time in a new Dodge Challenger. “Every drive in a Dodge Challenger,” starts Roth, “occurs in 1971.” After spending a few days in one, it’s hard to argue that point.

(Full Disclosure: We were in Texas for an event, and needed a vehicle to get us from the event until we could take possession of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat we were scheduled to get. So, Dodge kindly picked us up in the airport with this and a full tank of gas. Some days are better than others.)

Before going into too much detail about the Charger Scat Pack Shaker, there are a few things we need to get out of the way. First, there are no original photos of the car. Upon arrival in San Antonio for the TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo, the car immediately became dirty. We rather use press photos than a really dirty car.

Second, this isn’t going to be a full review of this car. Why? Because we’ve already reviewed a 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack late last year, and we loved it. What we will cover in this review is the two major differences between this car and that one. First, the addition of the Shaker hood and intake. Second, this new car was equipped with the 8-speed automatic transmission.

Let’s start with the automatic transmission. For those who still like the manual, the 6-speed is available and is the standard transmission. Unlike the Charger, you have the option for both in the Challenger. But there might be a few reasons why you’d want to opt for the automatic, even if you’re a manual transmission driver.

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First off, it’s bloody brilliant. The box is sourced from ZF in Germany and works magnificently in the Challenger. Other manufacturers use it, too, including Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, and more. Just tooling around town it’s smooth and comfortable, but when it’s in its sportiest setting, it cracks of shifts lightning quick.

If you are one who likes using the paddle shifters, this transmission is suited for them. There is little lag from pulling the paddle and having the car execute the gear change. It’s almost as fast as many dual-clutch transmissions out there.

Second, you might want the transmission for the better fuel economy. With the automatic, each fuel economy number is 1 mpg better. That means it’s rated at 15 city, 25 highway, or 18 combined. Thanks to the automatic transmission, the car even has cylinder deactivation to help save on fuel.

We did complain a bit about the fuel economy in the last Challenger Scat Pack we had, and we also mentioned it not being stellar in the Charger, either. Why? Because you also have to run premium gasoline.

Now, the automatic has a serious plus, if you’re going to get the car, and that is that you avoid the $1,000 government-mandated Gas Guzzler tax. With that $1,000 you’re saving, the automatic transmission basically is a $400 investment instead of a $1,400 one. That sounds like a good deal to us.

But enough about fuel economy, it’s not why you buy this car.

The Shaker hood and intake are awesome. That’s it. Full stop. If we were to buy a Challenger tomorrow, it’s what we’d get. We’d probably even get it over the pricier, and more powerful, Hellcat Challenger just because the Shaker is so freakin’ cool.

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The intake is functional, even if it doesn’t officially raise the horsepower or torque of the car over a normal Scat Pack. But it is cool to watch it shake and vibrate, especially when it shifts quickly from one gear to the next. It is 1971 incarnate.

The Shaker package adds things that you want in addition to the hood and intake, but it should be noted that the car we had in for review last year had nearly every option and was $44,965 with the Gas Guzzler Tax. This car, without HID headlights and some other choice options, is $46,180. While it might not be as much of a value as the regular Scat Pack Challenger, it is still an awesome ride. We’d pay the extra for the Shaker, and you probably would, too.

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

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