First came Hellcat, forever changing the gearhead meaning of the numbers “707.” Hellcat almost overshadowed what was arguably the more significant performance/value breakthrough—the 485hp Scat Pack Challenger and Charger. Nevertheless, it hasn’t escaped our attention, and we hope it won’t escape yours either.
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.
The all-new Mustang has garnered rave reviews from editors and critics for the enhancements in handling. The suspension provides amazing compliance and has better balance than any Mustang to come before, but what about straight-line acceleration? What’s it like to do a burnout, launch, and powershift your way down quarter-mile? Will there be wheelhop, broken half-shafts, and scattered differentials?
While the drag racing launch can be violent (we’ve all seen racers dump the clutch and blast off the line), street tires require a smooth, controlled application of power to stay hooked. Your best times will come from getting off the line clean. Finesse is key. Believe it or not, we recommend novice drivers launch as if they were driving away from a traffic light, but with more rpm and slightly quicker clutch release. We would say 2,500 is a great place to start. Using this rpm, you’ll probably bog the engine a bit. No problem—add rpm, or get the clutch out quicker.
With 2015 being the first year of the Scat Pack package as well as the first year of a styling refresh for the entire Challenger line, we don’t expect much to change for 2016. It would, however, be nice to see a corresponding level of excitement in the color palette next year—currently there’s not a single warm color available in the entire Challenger line-up, with the exception of TorRed.
The LT1 engine is available with a standard Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission that borrows the Active Rev Match technology from the Corvette’s seven-speed manual. It “blips” the throttle automatically on downshifts. It’s very effective, but a little disconcerting the first time you use it. The Hydra-Matic 8L90 paddle-shift eight-speed automatic is optional.
So how do you make the Shelby Raptor even better, how about slapping on King off-road racing shocks, all-new 35×12.5R18 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires wrapped around a set of custom 18-inch wheels and, oh yeah—stuffing a supercharger under the hood to give it 700hp.
Despite having enough power to bury the speedometer quickly, the Shelby GT feels very refined and composed. You could easily daily drive it or take a road trip in one without going deaf from a loud exhaust drone. The Borla exhaust gives the supercharged 5.0L Coyote an aggressive tone that harks back to the early days of the Shelby Mustangs that just simply can’t be beat.
More on all of them below, but it’s worth noting for anyone having philosophical reservations about a four-cylinder Camaro that at 275 horsepower, it’s more powerful than any small-block V-8 offered between 1972 and 1992 and at 335 horses, the new V-6 flat-out trumps every small-block from 1967 to 2002. Progress can be a wonderful thing.
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.
Never has this much power been available to performance enthusiasts for so little money. The Hellcat is nice, but if we face facts, very few of us can afford the price of entry at $60K (plus dealer markup). The 392 Scat Pack is available for $20 grand less, and is sold at every Dodge dealership, not just the SRT-approved stores. The Scat Pack name itself is a blast from the past, and along with the Super Bee logo and Scat Pack specific styling elements, evokes the famous four-year run of Scat Pack products put out by Dodge beginning in 1967.
If you’re looking for a good elapsed time, shallow staging is a must. Prestage, stop, collect yourself, and then carefully inch forward until you barely turn on the Stage beam. I’ve seen lots of racers dump the car in both beams in one motion, which usually results in the car being “deep” staged. Since your time starts when your front tires break the stage beam, shallow staging gives you a running start on the timing system. Shallow versus deep can be worth as much as two-tenths of a second!
Shelby American is a name that is famous for power and performance in the automotive world thanks to its long historic racing pedigree in the early 1960s to present. Many Mustangs have rolled out of the Shelby’s doors to conquer both the street and track and for 2015, they are pulling out the stops with their all-new S550 Shelby GT Mustang. The S550 Mustang also features a fully independent rear suspension on its entire lineup, which has all corner carving enthusiasts excited.