2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack review: Packing 6.4 liters of scat*

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack

The 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat is getting all the press, and at 707 horsepower, it certainly deserves a paragraph or two. But Dodge won’t sell very many of those. More significant to the man on the street, we’ll posit, is the 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack. At only 485 horsepower, it’s much more practical.

Riiiiight.

Well, let’s just say it’s not as wildly impractical. It’s still crazy fast, so much so that you’d never use more than the first inch or so of throttle pedal travel in day-to-day driving, unless of course you want to leave your license at the door. Hammer it and the Challenger Scat Pack unloads 485 horses like pulling both triggers of a double-barrel 12-gaugeshotgun at the same time. There’s one heck of a kick, a lot of noise, and you don’t want to be on the receiving end. But boy is it fun.

2015 Challenger Scat Pack badge

The 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack has a 6.4L Super Bee badge on each front fender. (click to enlarge)

“Scat Pack” is a name that dates to the glory years of the muscle car. Last year Dodge celebrated the 45th anniversary of the supercharged bumblebee with performance kits for the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8s, all bearing the famed logo and the “Scat Pack” moniker.

This year the Scat Pack adds a new engine for the Challenger, a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with a 485 horsepower with 475 lb.-ft. torque. That’s 392 cubic inches of muscle, even more than 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 we tested, the former top dog before the new Scat Pack arrived. The 5.7-liter Hemi Scat Pack Stage III upgrade made just 430 horsepower.

While the standard gearbox is a six-speed manual, the eight-speed automatic that’s spreading across the Chrysler Group’s line has reached to the Challenger. Yes, even the 485-horse Scat Pack. It’s a $1,400 piece of hardware on the Scat Pack but it includes a fully-manual mode with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack seats

The standard front seats in the 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack have big bolsters for sport driving. (click to enlarge)

The front and rear of the 2015 has been updated—literally—from 1970 to 1971. While the Challenger has been wearing a face that recalled the ’70 Challenger, the new look moves the inspiration up a year.  The new/old”spilt” grille is actually two bright silver rectangles flanks by quad headlights with LED halo lights. The Challenger has what Dodge calls a “more pronounced and functional power bulge hood” for 2015, and the rear has new distinctive LED tail lamps—two “racetracks” on the rear panel rather that the Charger’s single loop.

Suiting the, um, heritage design, the Challenger will have “retro and high-impact exterior colors including Sublime Green, B5 Blue and TorRed. There are nine wheel options, up to new 20-by-9-inch lightweight forged aluminum wheels with a Hyper Black II finish. And just so everyone else knows what packing, the 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack’s front fenders wear a “6.4L” Super Bee badge.

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack interior

The 2015 Dodge Challenger’s interior was reworked with a new dash and center console. (click to enlarge)

The interior has gone through a ’70 to ’71 makeover, too. The instrument cluster and the Chrysler Group’s outstanding touch-screen multi-information display are grouped in a single panel with the m.i.d. canted slightly towards the driver. The standard size is five inches with an 8.4-inch screen optional. The center console is high with a raised sill and something that the ’71—or ’70 for that matter—didn’t have, a pair of cupholders, offset for clearance.

Dodge claims 14 different color and trim combinations for the interior, including a “throwback” Houndstooth cloth, plus leather Tungsten, Pearl or Ruby Red with Black performance seats. Our test vehicle’s red interior might seem a little too much, but we liked the red suede inserts on the seats, and all it went well the TorRed exterior. We’ll keep it.

The 2015 Dodge Challenger picks up electric power steering, which allows three driver-selectable steering modes, Normal, Comfort and Sport. There’s also and a Sport mode Sport mode reduces shift times by 37 percent (250 milliseconds vs. 400 milliseconds) while reconfiguring the automatic transmission’s shift map. Sport mode will also provide full control of the transmission’s shifting, with no automatic upshift at redline, or anywhere else for that matter.

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack engine

The 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack engine has a bikini engine cover, two parts with the intake manifold exposed. (click to enlarge)

A Super Track Pack is available on all Challenger models, including those powered by the V-6 or the 5.7-liter Hemi models, as well as the Scat Pack and 392 Shaker Scat Pack, the latter with the same 485 horse V-8 as the Shaker’s cold-air intake snorkel poking through the hood Hemi.

The Super Track Pack upgrades the suspension by lowering it by 0.5 inches and adds Bilstein shock absorbers, high-performance brakes and specially tuned suspension. The Super Track Pak also includes a shortcut button to the new Dodge Performance Pages which provide everything from extra gauges– to timers for everything from 0-60 mph and 0-100 mph, plus 1/8th mile, quarter-mile and lap times. Launch control allows the driver to set the rpm for the perfect drag race start. Push the button on the center console and you’re good to go. Literally.

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack wheel

The 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack has 20-inch wheels. (click to enlarge)

An “active exhaust” system is standard on the 6.4-liter V-8 models. This setup is bound to cost fuel economy because it sounds so good when it’s engaged—the exhaust is allowed to flow through less muffled—and anyone enthusiast enough to buy the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack is enthusiast enough to keep the exhaust open. And that requires keeping the revs up. The exhaust doesn’t pop and crackle on the overrun like the Jaguar F-Type V8 S, but the bellow is just as endearing.

The engine is a feast of sounds, actually, including a mechanical whine that makes you want top the hood to look for a supercharger.