2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker Review

Nostalgia in a Modern Wrapper

In the late 1960s, muscle car fever had taken over America.

Everyone wanted the fastest, flashiest and loudest car they could get their hands on. To cash in on their popularity, Dodge began a program that would give the brand’s highest performance vehicles a little more distinction.

Called the Scat Pack, this group of cars represented the best of the best for Dodge. In 1968, the Scat Pack included the Charger R/T, Dart GTS and Swinger 340 as well as a pair of Cornets, the R/T and the Superbee. Wearing twin tail stripes and the superbee badge in some cases, the Scat Pack cars subtly showed the world they were the baddest Dodges available.

As the years rolled by, vehicles would be added to the Scat Pack like the Challenger and Charger Daytona, while others were dropped. But by 1972, the Scat Pack was no more as muscle cars were on the way out, thanks to insurance costs and rising gas prices.

A few years ago, Dodge revived the Scat Pack name as a series of upgrade packages for Charger and Challenger owners. This year, the company has taken things a step further by offering full-blown Scat Pack iterations of the 2015 Charger and Challenger. But this begs the question: Do these new cars deserve to wear the Scat Pack badge?

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Is it a Scat Pack?

Well, the answer is yes and no. The original Scat Pack signified the top version of each Dodge performance model, so using that logic, technically the 2015 SRT Challengers and Chargers should be in the Scat Pack. And in the 1960s and ’70s, the Scat cars featured little more than a few additional cosmetic changes. With the 2015 models, Dodge has completely overhauled the cars.

2015-Dodge-Challenger-392-HEMI-Scat-Pack-Shaker-13Based on the Challenger R/T, the 5.7-liter V8 usually found under the hood has been ripped out and replaced by a fire-breathing 6.4-liter V8. This engine leads to the 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker name, the first part of which refers to the cubic inch displacement of the HEMI V8 and latter that denotes the optional shaker scoop poking out of the hood.

SEE ALSO: 12 Important Things About the 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Shaker

Although that scoop doesn’t actually do anything to increase performance, it doesn’t really matter, as the big V8 makes 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. It can be paired up to an eight-speed automatic transmission or what I have here, a six-speed manual – the way the Scat gods intended it.

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And It’s More than Just Power

But Dodge wasn’t done there. The suspension has been upgraded with a higher performance setup and larger Brembo brake calipers with vented and slotted rotors are installed. None of these parts are the same as the wilder SRT cars, but they are higher in performance than the regular R/T and exclusive to the Scat Pack models.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Dodge Challenger 6.4L Scat Pack Review

Oh, and of course there is also the option for the twin tail stripes and a swarm of superbee logos plastered all over the car, inside and out, to ensure all passerby know this is indeed a Scat Pack Challenger.

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For the Love of the Sound

Along with the bigger V8, the Challenger also receives the freer-flowing exhaust system that alone is worth the price of Scat Pack admission. Just listening to the HEMI growl instantly brightens up your day. It’s as old school as a V8 sounds in 2015 and I love Dodge for it. Looking out over the massive hood, seeing the shaker scoop poking up and hearing that awesome V8 soundtrack, it really does feel like I’ve traveled back in time and am piloting a 1971 Challenger.

2015-Dodge-Challenger-392-HEMI-Scat-Pack-Shaker-08Unfortunately, the Challenger Scat Pack shares a few too many traits with the original cars. The car is massive and feels that way at all times. Its weight is officially listed at 4,082 lbs, but that’s for the R/T. The Scat Pack has a larger engine, larger brakes, beefier tires and whatnot. So with the SRT 392 Challenger weighing 4,240 lbs, I would put this car splitting the difference between R/T and SRT, sitting somewhere just under 4,200 lbs.

That isn’t light and after a few hard corners the car’s relatively narrow 245 mm tires will ask you to please stop the abuse. Steering is a bit vague for the car but at least the big brakes stop this tank with authority. The Scat Pack though may be the roughest riding 2015 Challenger as it features the most aggressive fixed suspension setup. The SRT cars can be made stiffer, but they do feature adjustable dampers that allow the driver to soften up the ride when wanted.

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And it Has a Hidden Talent

Being a big heavy car does have some advantages, though. It’s a little known fact shared by some cool, old school dads, but the Challenger can baby. Yup, that’s right, babies love Challengers. Just ask one, I’m sure they won’t tell you otherwise.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Review

2015-Dodge-Challenger-392-HEMI-Scat-Pack-Shaker-20OK, so it’s a coupe with massive doors and getting a child seat in and out of the back can be a bit of a hassle in tighter parking lots, but that’s its only downfall.

In fact, the Challenger excels in most other aspects. With 33.1 inches of rear legroom, a rear or forward facing child seats fits without issue in the backseat. Even when a rear facing infant seat is installed, front seat passengers still fit. This is not something that can be said for a lot of other coupes.

And then there’s the trunk. It’s massive. Measuring more than 16 cubic feet, it can swallow up all that baby gear needed when traveling.

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The Verdict: 2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker Review

The Challenger really is a straight-line car that’s about speed, sound and image. That makes the Scat Pack the perfect package for the big muscle car, as it adds a bigger engine, a louder exhaust and a flashier look.

Now if someone at Dodge would just see the marketing gold they’re missing by not using Scat Man John’s hit Scatman in their commercials…

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  • The price on the love and leave is every vehicle these days……..trucks over 30K and into the 50’s. With outsourced labor, the prices should still be in 1990-something range on everything.

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  • Deadpool Water

    Solid review! I own this exact color and trim. Absolutely love this vehicle and who cares how big it is. It’s a muscle car for Christ’s sakes. Real men don’t care about the weight of the car.

  • Makdaddy

    Tested one a few weeks ago……I haven’t smiled that much in years! Absolutely fantastic car. No it isn’t a small car and I hope they never change it……this is American Muscle…Period.

  • Makdaddy

    On the love and leave???? As far as labor goes, it aint just car manufacturers. Thank your congress as they continue to increase H1B visas along with high corporate taxes. Yes my friend, it’s always about the money.

  • r d

    Best friend just ordered this car and im waiting for some weekend rides. 392 Scat Pack, roof, 18 speakers without the shaker hood. $46,100 out the door.