Exterior view of the 2016 Dodge Challenger.
There are times when there is a test car that offers such a great driving experience that you just don’t want to return it. The 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, having one week in this car is just not going to be enough, writes our automotive editor Sally Miller Wyatt. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #2016DodgeChallenger #Dodge #Lifestyle #musclecar #MadeintheUSA
Every now and then I receive a test car that offers such a great driving experience that I just don’t want to give the car back. Such is the case for the 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack. I realized that having one week in this car is just not going to be enough for me. I need more time—many years, perhaps?
I know, I signed an agreement when I received the car and the car keys that I wouldn’t take it out of the country, but I’m dreaming of a long, extended road trip. Alas, I will have to give it back at some point.
The Dodge Challenger was re-introduced in 2009 and it is fast becoming a hot seller. It’s a muscle car through and through, and the 2016 models are modeled after the very popular 1971 versions. I had many chances to drive those originals back in the early ’70s, and believe me when I tell you it was just as fun then as it is today.
Muscle car enthusiasts should note: The Dodge Challenger can be highly customizable. First, there are 10 trim levels. They include the SXT, the SXT Plus, R/T, R/T Shaker, R/T Plus, R/T Plus Shaker, R/T Scat Pack, the 392 Scat Pack Shaker, SRT 392 and the SRT Hellcat.
Then, there are 12 different wheel options, 14 color and trim and color selections – including Plum Crazy exterior paint and a throwback Hound’s tooth cloth for the seats – seven different stripe options, and three steering wheel choices.
Then, there is the choice of engines. At the top is the 707 horsepower SRT Hellcat; a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8; a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, a 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker; and a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. These choices are paired with either a six-speed manual or TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.
Our R/T Scat Pack test car had the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8. Oh what a throaty roar it offered with the push-button start! What tremendous power at acceleration with just the lightest touch of the gas pedal! Feeling hesitant when caught in tight traffic situations? Fear not – everyone will be but a diminishing speck in your rear view mirror in milliseconds. And mind you, this is just the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, not the Hellcat version. One can only wonder what that is like.
The R/T Scat Pack’s engine can deliver a 0 to 60 mph burst in four seconds. It can also go from 60 mph to 0 in 117 feet, thanks to the Brembo four-piston caliper front brakes. The car is also equipped with 20 x 9-inch polished black aluminum wheels with high performance tires, and an active electronically controlled exhaust that produces that deep, throaty roar. The Scat Pack package also includes a unique Bumble Bee rear stripe, Gloss Black grille surround, a Satin Black fuel-filler door, and HID headlamps. On the interior, you’ll find specially embroidered high-performance seats, embroidered floor mats, a Scat Pack logo on the instrument cluster and high-performance steering wheel.
But, of course this is “Mom’s Taxi,” and we must focus on safety and family-friendly attributes. On board are 70 available safety and security features, including such accident avoidance features as Forward Collision Warning, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path Detection and adaptive cruise control. Blind-Spot Monitoring is one of my favorite safety features, because it lets you know when people are lurking in your blind spot, or if you’re about to make an unsafe lane change. And, with slightly smaller, sportier sized windows, this becomes even more of an advantage.
Rain-sensing wipers and automatic high beam control help the driver by automatically working these common functions in bad weather, allowing you to focus on the road in bad weather conditions. The Dodge Challenger also has 9-1-1 call/Assist Call, which connects passengers with emergency service providers through a built-in cellular connection.
The Dodge Challenger also has a large, 8.4-inch touchscreen media center with UConnect, making it very easy to see who is lurking behind you as you start to back up.
The trunk is right-sized, and can hold the family’s groceries.
The 2016 Dodge Challenger is a two-door coupe, which can make getting into and out of the rear seat a challenge for anyone but the most flexible. It won’t be easy to strap kidlets into their car seats back there, but that’s the price some may be more than willing to pay just to spend their driving hours in this magnificent machine.