All of the new Camaro’s powertrains sound enticing in their own ways and we’re very much interested in what tuners will do with the turbocharged four-banger. Moreover, the promise of the sixth-generation car’s stronger yet lighter chassis and a more driver-focused cockpit are attributes that, on paper, should make it the best Camaro ever.
We were impressed with the Scat Pack’s acceleration, turning, and braking—all of it happening with relative ease. It’s a comfortable car with a generously proportioned interior. You never feel cramped, sightlines are good, and there’s plenty of headroom. And unlike other competitors in the ponycar segment, there’s room for passengers and stuff, since the Challenger is based off a slightly shorter version of the same platform as the Charger and 300C.
The time-honored question car enthusiasts often ask is undoubtedly, “What will it run?” Meaning, how quickly can a given car cover the quarter-mile. Drag racing is universal and allows us to compare cars and driver skill no matter where in the world the car is raced. Sure, a great ’Ring time is important, but how many of us will travel to Germany to race? Going quick in the quarter (or eighth-mile) requires a favorable power-to-weight ratio, good traction, and some driver skill. With the 2015 GT, you get 435 ponies and the weight is about 3,750 pounds. So, what will it run and how will the IRS perform on the strip?
We use the release-pause-release method, and it works really well. Let us explain. Since you don’t have a huge sidewall (like slicks have) to absorb the initial “hit” during launch, you’ll need to create a buffer to absorb the initial movement at the tires. If you don’t have a buffer, you’ll just spin. When it’s time to go, release the clutch quickly, but controlled. Then, just as the car is transferring weight, pause your left leg for a moment.
The all-new 3.6L V-6 is optional in the LT and is rated at 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. It features direct injection, variable valve timing and, for the first time, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), which disables two cylinders. The 2.0L turbo and 3.6L engines are offered with a standard six-speed manual transmission or GM’s all-new 8L45 paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission, which is based on the eight-speed design introduced in the Corvette and fullsize trucks.
We ended up with a few 13.0 runs and a best of 12.94 at 112.58. It took a little longer than we anticipated to find the sweet spot for launching. As always, more time would have equaled better e.t.’s. In the end, our best run came from revving the 5.0 to approximately 3,200 rpm, and by releasing the clutch smoothly and rolling the throttle to the floor, rather than smashing it open. Drag radials and 3.73s would have gotten us in the 12.50s or 12.60s, based on the mph.
“In the best Shelby tradition, we took our already high-performance 575 horsepower Shelby Raptor and made it even more capable,” said Shelby American Vice President of Operations Akos J. Feher. “Fifty lucky owners will have the baddest, best-handling and best-looking Shelby truck we offer. Not to mention, all of the interior fit-and-finish people expect from Shelby. It’s a truck that can thrive under the most extreme conditions.”
At Mopars at the Strip, Hot Rod magazine had a similarly optioned automatic Scat Pack Charger, and ran a 12.87/107. That’s quick for any car, let alone one that tops the scale at over two tons. Our curiosity led us to the Dynojet chassis dyno at Kenne-Bell Performance, where we put our 2015 Scat Pack Challenger on the rollers. The press-fleet example put out 434 hp to the wheels, which was 9 hp more than a bone-stock ’14 SRT 392 Challenger tested earlier on the same dyno by Kenne-Bell.
And while not strictly an SRT product, the ’15 Dodge Scat Pack Challenger reviewed here would not be possible without SRT. We’ll let you do the math this time: 485 hp from an SRT-sourced 6.4L Hemi that gets 25 mpg (no gas guzzler tax), a seriously fortified eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission with paddle shifters, fully independent suspension front and rear, big Brembo brakes, an active 2.75-inch stainless steel exhaust system, 20-inch rolling stock, and a huge list of standard amenities that includes Dodge’s popular uConnect 8.4 infotainment/connectivity package with SRT’s breakthrough Performance Pages. All this Bow Tie-stomping, Mustang-eating goodness costs $39,890 as tested here, including a $995 destination charge. (That price actually goes down by $1,400 when you equip the Scat Pack Challenger with a TREMEC TR-6060 six-speed manual trans.)
Also like the Corvette, the LT1 (and 3.6L V-6) is available with a dual-mode exhaust, which features electronically controlled valves that bypass the mufflers under acceleration, uncorking the engine and more importantly enhancing the sound level. You can even personalize the exhaust sound, from a “stealth” mode to the most aggressive “track” mode.
Enthusiasts will tell you there are three types of shifting: granny, speed, and power. Simply stated, if you shift aggressively but lift off the gas, you’re speed shifting. If you ram the gears with the throttle held on the mat, you’re powershifting. Granny shifting is not worth talking about. In any case, you want to complete the shift as quickly as possible and with as little flare in the rpm. Timing is everything. Practice makes perfect. If you’re uncomfortable powershifting, try it at a lower rpm until your shifting is seamless.
We tend to preload the shifter just a bit, then stab the clutch and rip the shifter. We repositioned our hand from a side grip to a top grip to ram the shifter forward for the Two-to-Three exchange. In the new GT you’re shoving it almost directly forward—aim too much to the right and you’ll find Fifth, which happened to us twice. Then, get ready to pull straight back for Fourth. For Fourth, put your elbow away from your body to prevent yanking the shifter into Second gear.
Standard lighting includes halogen projector beam headlamps and taillamps. RS and SS models add HID projector-beam headlamps and LED “signature lighting” daytime running lights including a sweeping LED light pipe integrated in the headlamp and an LED light pipe integrated into the front fascia. RS and SS models also feature LED lighting for the rear taillamps, including auxiliary LED light guides that mirror the shape of the front signature lighting.