Throughout the ’80s, ’90s, and the first decade of the new millennia, Dodge was—to put it bluntly—bad at math. Ford and Chevy (and Pontiac in earlier years) adeptly applied the age-old hot rodder’s calculus of horsepower divided by weight divided by MSRP. This performance quotient resulted in a hot horsepower battle that saw almost yearly changes in the top-dog spot, and an upward spiral in the performance index as a whole. Except in Chrysler-built products.
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.
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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.
With nearly half a century of history behind it, that’s a huge legacy to build upon. Our confidence is high, based on our initial impressions, and we look forward to putting those impressions to the test. We’ll keep you posted.
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