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2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Shaker: Brutal Power Surges

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Experienced by Leon L. Brittain

While on assignment in the City of Angels and golden sunshine Automotive Rhythms had the welcomed pleasure of pushing through the busy streets behind the wheel of one of today’s most respected muscle cars, the 2015 Dodge Challenger. Yet, this was no ordinary run-of-the-mill Challenger. We were on the scenes for a Universal Studios world premiere and had no choice but to elevate our game with a 485-horsepower, Blue Pearl, Scat Pack Shaker model which left a trail of smoke wherever it sought refuge.

Like many of my peers, I’ve been a fan of muscle cars since childhood. The great fortune of romancing roads in a Camaro ZL1, Mustang GT, Corvette Stingray, and the infamous 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat, manifested a fitting opportunity to experience, yet again, the category’s most dominant player. Of course you will never convince a Mustang fanatic out of their disposition, but the staff here at Automotive Rhythms is objective and most ride with team Dodge. The wide, prodigious, and dominant front fascia of the Challenger is simply menacing. There is nothing soft or tender regarding any of the vehicle’s character traits. Just ask Vietnam War hero Kowalski in 1971’s cult car classic Vanishing Point.

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Performance wise I’m hard pressed to compare anything to the thrill of the Scat Pack Shaker Package ($5,000) as it stimulates your visual and auditory sensory levels with an exhaust tone that intimidates while commanding reverence. The Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Shaker is like a street lion roaming the neighborhood with a chip on its shoulder, or mane. It’s incessantly roaring and seemingly always thirsty for continuous thrills. During one of our dashes, scratch that. You can’t “dash” in a vehicle like this. While bullying through town we detoured into an open lot for a bit of fun. Our publisher, Kimatni D. Rawlins, was lured into the vortex of excitement and advanced the Challenger from 0 to 60 mph, back to 0 with hard deceleration, and immediately hit 80+ all within a matter of heart-pounding seconds thanks in part to the stopping power provided by 4-piston Brembo high performance brakes; the steady balance of the Bilstein high performance suspension; of course the acceleration delivered through the 6.4-liter V8 SRT HEMI engine; and the intelligence of our unit’s TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters ($1,400).

2015_Dodge_Challenger_SCAT_Pack_SHAKER_Blue_Pearl_03Before the evening’s Red Carpet movie premiere that would take place at LA Live in Downtown we kept observing how active and health conscious the city was. Without hesitation, Kimatni and I paid a visit to one of the area’s highly respected workouts. Nestled in the picturesque hills of Santa Monica near Pacific Palisades lurks a flight of weathered, wooden stairs like no other with 160 to 170 steps (vertical change of about 109 feet). They will either be your gateway to the heavens of triumph or the depths of defeat. Our Challenger complimented the fitness vibe with its sculpted, muscular body, and received numerous accolades from Aston Martin and Porsche owners. I remember vividly a chiseled, older gentlemen (he must have been in his early 60s) praising our 20” Aluminum spins and Mopar Shaker Hood before dipping off in his 911. We completed 10 round trips of stairs then headed to Inglewood to refuel at our favorite restaurant dubbed Stuff I Eat. Even the Chef and owner scurried outside to witness the magnetic energy of the Challenger in person.

After lunch I paid more attention to the comforting and technological amenities of the Challenger. The vehicle’s cabin boasts one of the industry’s most intuitive multimedia and navigation systems in the form of Uconnect. The 7” reconfigurable, touchscreen display features large icons for easy inputting and selections and a multitude of apps such as Yelp. Typically I use Google Maps on my iPhone to get around but Uconnect is just as fast and more precise. A decent 506-watt, 9-speaker audio system with a subwoofer ($595) kept us entertained while cradled comfortably in Shaker sporty, ventilated leather seats within a cabin that speaks pure performance. The driver is further comforted with a 6-way power seat with 4-way adjustable lumbar. Unfortunately, the passenger must take an old-school, manual approach to adjust seating positions, and the second row is best suited for the little guy in your circle.

After a quick wardrobe change it was time for the street scene with Crenshaw and Broadway for the weekly car meet-up, an experience you have to witness to believe and feel. When we rolled up there was a great amount of attention on Big Blue as the signature Scat Pack Bee gave hint that this was no ordinary Challenger. We were quickly accepted and welcomed in. The Lowrider community was out in droves along with the muscle car set. This was certainly not the setting for tuner and German powered crowds, so our “mover-SHAKER-heart breaker” fit in perfectly as we enjoyed 3-wheel motion, bumper dragging, and dizzying burnouts performed by old and new school muscle cars. Needless to say, when it was time to head out all eyes were on us for smokey demonstrations of Big Blue’s power. Ha, we kept things civil and jetted out with only a memento of the vehicle’s awesome exhaust. It was our way of saying thanks for the invite.

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The Scat Pack Shaker offers a suitable 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, however, these numbers will plummet quickly if you consistently keep the hammer down. Speaking of which, there is a calm side hidden under the hood which allows this ride to double as a daily transporter. With a base MSRP of $37,495, our model was enhanced with additional amenities for a total of $46,180. Not bad when you consider the performance this price tag provides along with the street credit and instant celebrity-like status you will receive!

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