If there were a Mount Rushmore of Muscle Cars my tester this week would surely be on it. But first let’s think about how awesome a mountain chiseled with the likeness of Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers would be! Okay, enough daydreaming.

My tester for the week is the 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack. Any muscle car enthusiast will appreciate the Scat Pack name that was used in the 60s to promote Dodge as a premier muscle cars to auto enthusiasts. Recently, another Challenger trim has gotten more publicity than the Scat Pack. And that’s the Hellcat. The ungodly fast Hellcat boasts 707 horsepower and certainly chiseled itself proudly on the side of the mountain for that kind of legendary power.

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But, the Scat Pack can easily peel out of the shadow of the Hellcat with its amazing power and brash looks. In fact, my tester was the bold Sublime color (think lime green) and had an overall aggressive look to it. The Challenger is the most stout, and most aggressive looking of the big three muscle cars, in my opinion.

Exterior

The bold appearance is due in large part to its old-school looking front end that looks like a classic street rod. A black matte grille is handsome and bold and two engine vents flank the hood. The back end is just as nice, still boasting a brash, but classic build while holding true to the classic Dodge taillights that are easy to detect on the street. The Challenger is especially sexy at night thanks to the high-density head and tail lamps.

Engine

And you’ll see those lights coming at you very quickly thanks to the V8 hemi engine in the Challenger Scat Pack. The standard Challenger has a 305-horsepower V6 engine or a smaller V8 engine that makes 375 horsepower. However, the Scat Pack has a special 6.4-liter V8 Hemi engine that delivers 485 growling horses.

The power in the Scat Pack Challenger is immediate and constant. It goes 0-60 MPH in about 4.5 seconds. And continue driving and the engine growls loudly while throwing shifts perfectly through each of the eight gears in the 8-speed automatic transmission. The new TorqueFlite transmission technology is one of the new features (along with the Scat Pack and Hellcat models) to this model year’s Challenger. And what great additions they are!

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Interior

The impressiveness of the Challenger doesn’t stop on the outside or under the hood. Inside this two-door beast are comfortable seats. My tester came with suede/Nappa leather high-performance seats. I generally find most “racing-style seats” to be uncomfortable and better suited for the youth. Not so with these seats in the Challenger where comfort was clearly a top priority.

Another new feature in this year’s Challenger is the 8.4-inch touchscreen navigation that drives the UConnect infotainment system. I’ve already experienced this updated technology in other Chrysler products, but it’s new to the Challenger line. It’s easy to use, intuitive and the sound quality is fantastic. But why would you want to blare the speakers and drown out the roar of that big, bad engine?

Fuel Economy

Despite the bigger engine, the Challenger actually boasts improved fuel economy, thanks mostly to the new, efficient eight-speed transmission. It has an EPA rating of 15 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway. Despite how heavy footed I drove it, the Challenger performed fairly well averaging about 19 mpg. Considering how inefficiently I drove it, that was a pleasant surprise.

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Pricing

The 2015 Dodge Challenger has a starting price of $28,000 (for the tamer version). The Challenger Scat Pack however has a price tag of $45,570. With the Hellcat version going over $60,000, that’s quite a bargain for such power.

American muscle cars are brash, bold and fast. In 2015, Dodge is challenging the rest of the field by raising the bar for all other muscle cars. And with the Challenger, Dodge will (quickly) ascend to the top of the mountain!

 

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack

Price/As test price………………………………………… $45,570/$45,570

Mileage…………………………………… 15 mpg/city; 25 mpg/hwy

Engine……………………………………… 6.4 liter V8

Horsepower/Torque…………………………… 485 hp/475 lbs./ft.

Transmission…………………………… Eight speed automatic

Drive Wheels……………. Rear wheel drive

Final Assembly Point……………. Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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Jimmy Dinsmore

For several years Jimmy Dinsmore has reviewed new vehicles, offering up a unique look and an interesting voice in his weekly column. Jimmy looks at vehicles from the consumer’s point of view. Light on the technical jargon, and lacking the cynicism that pervades many other auto reviews, Driver’s Side treats each vehicle fairly, offering a light-hearted take. Email him at - jimmydinsmore@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @driversside.

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