Running with a new Pack

6222283_orig2015 Dodge Challenger RT Scat Pack

CarTimeTV just received a 2015 Dodge Challenger RT Scat Pack with the 6.4L Hemi and 6 Speed TREMEC manual transmission from FCA. The first visual impression was this car just looks hot from the deep chin spoiler to the 20X9 rims.

3218144_origDay 1: The moment I slipped into the black interior with the red Alcantara seats I noticed immediately how supportive the side bolsters were and new this car was going to be fun to drive. The steering wheel placement fits me perfectly as I’m 6′ feet tall with long legs. I have to commend Dodge for giving us a real telescopic/tilt wheel. What do I mean by that? Ever sit in a car with plenty of leg room and find out the steering wheel is still too far away for your driving comfort? Not in this baby! The foot well is so deep, I had to move my seat up which is the opposite of what I usually do. I could then move the steering wheel into a position for perfect car control.

The seats are very comfortable and I can see myself making the trip from Houston to Los Angeles and back with no aches or pains. The new seats are a huge improvement over the previous Challengers. When spending over $30K for any car, the back of the seats should be power, not manual. I like to fine tune my seat settings. (Dodge, that’s a hint)

1486124_origThe gauges are simple, but I find not only Dodge, but also with the Ford Mustang that I would like to see the round gauges moved a bit closer together. When you look at the curvature of the steering wheel I like the gauges to fit within the wheel, not the edges of the gauges being hidden by the wheel. It’s just a minor thing and I’m overly picky to take for what it’s worth.

The dash design screams Challenger of old, but that’s a good thing and sort of a not-so-good thing. I like retro, but to stay current a much modern dash design could be installed and still not take away from the amazing look of the exterior.

Information Center: After just one day, I’m still learning the system. The number one thing I love is the backup camera. This camera is crystal clear, more so than any of the Ford products and the wide camera angle not only shows incredible depth, but height as well. It’s makes backing up a breeze and the warning system when someone is driving when backing up or someone walking their dog or pushing a shopping cart keeps you from getting hit or hitting them.

As for the rest of the interior, the back seats fold down and are good for shorter people or children. Visually, all cars in this class (Mustang and Camaro) all have the C-pillar blindspot, but that’s expected. I give Dodge kudos for creating side mirrors I can actually see into with no weird angles (like the Mustang GT) and love the blind spot indicators which should be standard on every car made from now on.

1095672_origThe Power: Equipped with the 6.4L Hemi and this car has a 6 speed manual transmission, not tiptronic but a REAL manual transmission. The plus side is it won’t get stolen since most people can’t drive a stick! When driving a stick, you feel more in control and it gives you more cool points with your friends and at car shows. The other transmission available is the 8 speed automatic wit tiptronic paddle shifters on the steering wheel. This year, engineers added 15 additional horses and 5 more lb-ft of torque for new figures of 485 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 475 lb-ft at 4200. Transmitting power to the rear wheels is your choice of a six-speed manual or a new eight-speed automatic, the latter with steering-wheel paddles that Dodge claims can summon shifts in as quickly as 160 milliseconds.

Driving: Remember this is only day 1 of 7. The clutch is what you would expect from a large V8 hiding under the hood. A little heavy, but smooth with an easy shifting pattern. From 1st geat to 2nd the fun starts when you hit 5,000rpm and all the horsepower is unleashed at 6,400rpm and the 475lbs of torque arrive at 4,200rpm so the smile comes across your face very quickly.

I’m driving this car in Houston, TX with millions upon millions of people who like to sit in traffic all day and becoming haters of the driving experience. So what does one do with a car like this? You bypass all the congestion areas and find streets and roads when you can get a true feel of driving. I have to say this car gave me back the love of driving again. Like most people I drive to and from work without any thinking becoming a zombie in the process. Driving the 2015 Dodge Challenger RT with Scat Pack made me want to drive to the dealer and place my order with the only difficulty being to choose what color I wanted. I still haven’t decided.

When living in a city as large as Houston, a manual transmission is not the preferred choice and you can see when walking the lots of car dealers and seeing 99.9% of all cars being automatics. A manual makes you use all your senses and to me makes one a better driver. You can’t text, talk, Twitter, Facebook or Insragram with one hand on the wheel and the other on the gearshift. This is driving people!

5732963_origSo what’s it like going through the gears? Heaven! The power comes on so fast from 1st to 3rd you just want to keep starting over it’s so much fun. 4th to 6th is just for cruising and maintaining any sort of miles per gallon. The stability control is great and keeps the car planted in it’s own lane. Sure you and swing the rear out a bit, but a little wiggle never hurt anyone and adds to the driving experience. The rumble in the jungle comes from a finely tuned exhaust that let’s everyone know you’ve arrived, but quiets down when hitting the highway, which works for me.

This Dodge Challenger is equipped with the Scat Pack option. The base price is $37,495 and the Scat Pack option adds $1,500 to the cost and is well worth it if you can’t afford the Hellcat.

Scat Pack Option Includes ($1,500)
6.4L Hemi V8
Suede/Nappa Leather High Performance  Seats w/Logo
Heated and Ventilated Front Seats
Heater Steering Wheel
Power Tilt/Telescopic  Steering Column
Hectic Mesh Interior Bezels
Driver Convenience Group
High Intensity Discharge Headlamps
Blind Spot and Rear Cross Path Detection
Universal Garage Door Opener
Gas Guzzler Tax ($1,000) YIKES!
Destination Charge ($995)
Price as Tested: $41,785

Wheelbase: 116.0 in
Length: 198.0 in
Width: 75.7 in Height:55.9 in
Curb weight: 4200 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 4.2-4.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 9.7-10.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.4-12.6 sec
Top speed: 175 mph

EPA city/highway driving: 14-15/23-25 mpg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *