Dodge ups the performance ante with new Charger, Challenger, Scat Pack kits

2015 Dodge Charger teaser

Dodge released this photo of the 2015 Dodge Charger to be revealed at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. (click to enlarge)

Dodge has announced that a new generation of the long-overdue-for-an-update Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger will be introduced at the New York International Auto Show next week, and other than a couple of teaser photos, not much has been revealed. Not that there are fundamental elements of the classic American muscle cars that need changing. Look more for evolution than revolution and a doubling down on the performance.

The Dodge Charger Charger gets what Dodge calls “a full-body makeover,” but says that “nearly every single body panel [has been] resculpted.” Does that mean some of the new Charger body panels remain the same?

On the other hand, Dodge calls that Dodge Challenger “new from the inside out for 2015” and will have, Dodge tells us, “a new powertrain combination.” We’ll take that to mean the eight-speed transmission we’ve seen in the Ram pickup, for example.

2015 Dodge Challenger instrument panel teaser

Instrument panel teaser photo of the 2015 Dodge Challenger instrument panel. (click to enlarge)

Not that the current Dodge Challenger doesn’t still have appeal. Dodge received 2,000 orders from dealers for the 2914 Challenger R/T Shaker in just four days. Dealers believe they’ll have no problem selling the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker, which combines the  5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine with with a classic hood and intake design that has a functional exposed-element cold-air intake system protruding through the hood like a pair of nostrils. If that represents a threatening enough image.

For those who may not know, it’s called a “shaker”because the exposed scoop is mounted on the engine rather than the body, thereby seen as shaking, and well, the rest is obvious. Dodge doesn’t claim any extra horsepower, but the standardized testing done in the labs wouldn’t show anything, if anything, from the intake that supposedly pulls in cooler, denser air than that from under the hood. Of course, most intake systems now draw in cooler air from behind the grille, including the Challenger. So perhaps there’s some advantage there.

Historical Dodge Scat Pack Logo

The historical Dodge Scat Pack logo from the ’60s is being revived for the new Scat Pack.

The shaker hood might not bring a huge power boost—if not more horsepower from cool air, then at least it’s cool—the return of Dodge Scat Pack accessories can deliver real horsepower. Scat Pack 1, Scat Pack 2 and Scat Pack 3 performance stage kits will be available for the 2014 Dodge Challengers and Chargers that when installed by an authorized dealer will even be warrantied.

The kits beef up the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 the old fashioned way, with freer breathing on the intake and exhaust sides of the engine, and each kit builds on the kit before it. Going to Scat Pack 3 means also having ponied up for Scat Pack 2 and Scat Pack 1.

The Scat Pack 1 performance stage kit for the 2014 Dodge Challenger and 2014 Dodge Charger raises output by up to 18 horsepower and 18 lb.-ft. of torque, says Dodge, via a Mopar (not shaker) cold-air intake and Mopar cat-back exhaust, and an all-new performance calibrated engine controller, optimized to the 5.7-liter Hemi with Scat Pack 1. The kit also comes with a Mopar Mopar low restriction oil filter.

Scat Pack 2 builds on the Scat Pack 1 with a Mopar performance camshaft kit, including the camshaft, plus tiebars, heavy-duty pushrods and gaskets. Scat Pack to also includes a new engine control unit. The kit brings horsepower up by 30 over the base engine 5.7 Hemi’s output.

2014 Dodge Charger R/T with Scat Package 3

2014 Dodge Charger R/T with Scat Package 3 (click to enlarge)

Scat Pack 3 boosts output by 58 horsepower over the base 5.7 and adds 47 lb.-ft. of torque by with some serious performance pieces, including Mopar performance CNC ported cylinder heads, Mopar high-flow headers and Mopar high-flow catalysts.

Each of the kits also includes a badge.

The Scat Pack kits don’t come cheap, with Scat Pack 1 listing for $2,195. Add another $1,895 for the camshaft in Scat Pack 2, and on top of that, Scat Pack 3 is five bucks shy of $5,000.

Going all the way to Scat Back 3 adds up to $9,085. For a 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T, no options, the bottom line is, let’s see, $30,495 plus the nine grand plus, our smokin’ abacus shows a total of $39,580.

On the other side of the equation, Scat Pack 3 takes the 5.7-liter V-8 in the 2014 from 372 of the standard R/T to 430 horsepower.

2014 Mopar ’14 Challenger

2014 Mopar ’14 Challenger

We’ll let you do the rest of the dollar and power math for the lesser kits on the Challenger as well as kits on the Dodge Charger R/T.

The in-house competition for the Scat Pack 3 on the Challenger R/T is the Challenger SRT8 392. For $50 grand, you can have a Challenger with 470 horsepower and a lot of features not on the base R/T.

Of course, few of those Scat Pack-equipped Challengers will go out the door as bare R/T models. We expect a few kits might be applied to the limited-edition Mopar ’14 Challenger, Mopar’s annual production of Challengers loaded with Mopar accessories, from wheels to special striping ane more, everything except more power under the Shaker hood. Unless you already have a Mopar ’14 Challenger, however, you can’t get one. All 100 were sold within five days of their going on sale.

Of course, all this becomes moot—except for those who can’t wait –when the 2015 Challenger and Charger to arrive.

And then the speculation about a new SRT Barracuda might come and what it might be. Gee, we love going fast.