2019 Dodge Challenger RT Scat Pack Widebody

by • July 18, 2019 • ReviewComments (0)162

The Dodge Challenger is not exactly the newest muscle car on sale today, this version dates back over a decade. Yet Dodge has managed to keep its muscle coupe feeling fresh by rolling out new versions regularly. From more horsepower to special-edition models, and from extended color palettes to go-fast options, there’s seemingly a new Challenger every year. For all the changes, though, the basic nature of the Dodge Challenger remains the same. It has a big, loud personality with the driving fun to back it up.

With the debut of the R/T Scat Pack Widebody, not only does the Hellcat Widebody’s aggressive look become accessible to buyers for about 40 percent less coin than it required last year, it also brings the most track-focused components in the Challenger parts bin to the model that’s best suited for track work.

The Scat Pack Widebody is almost indistinguishable from last year’s Hellcat Widebody from a visual standpoint, a beefed-up stance that adds 3.5 inches of overall width to the car in the process. That means more grip and, thus, more performance. It also backs up the aesthetic with a thorough retooling of the Scat Pack’s suspension and steering systems while adding significantly more grip and stopping power to the equation.

Although Dodge won’t admit it outright, the result is the most road course-friendly production Challenger built to date.

The 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack starts at $38,995. Adding the Widebody package, which includes six-piston Brembo brakes up front, a specially-tuned three-mode adaptive suspension, wider wheels and tires, and the bulging bodywork, adds another $6,000 to the equation. Stacked with options, our well-equipped tester rang up $55,550 with destination. Considering the horsepower and fun on offer, that’s a great deal.

Under the hood, you have FCA’s naturally aspirated 6.4-liter Hemi V8, making 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Paired with the 305mm Pirelli P Zero rubber that comes as part of the Widebody package, it’s good for a zero-to-60-mph time of roughly four seconds. We are also huge fans of the “air catcher” headlights, which were introduced on the Hellcat. These are hollowed-out headlights, that permit more cooling air into the engine bay.

The Widebody package isn’t just fender flares and a set of wider wheels and tires, though. Scat Pack models get a specially tuned version of the three-mode adaptive suspension system that uses stiffer front springs, retuned shock absorbers, and larger sway bars at both the front and rear. The Widebody package also brings big six-piston Brembo front brakes into the mix, and paired up with the Widebody rubber, 60-to-zero braking has dropped from 111 feet to 108. Lateral grip jumps from .93g to .97g, a number that would have been considered supercar territory just a decade ago.

Adding to the enjoyment is the Tremec six-speed gearbox. Gears one through four are closely spaced for incredible pace; five and six are such tall overdrives (for fuel economy) that you’ll be surprised how often you need to downshift on the highway.

2019 Scat Pack models also score a number of features that were formerly reserved for the SRT models as standard, like launch control, line lock, and the SRT Performance Pages, the latter of which provides real-time telemetry data like lateral G load, reaction times, braking distance, and other performance statistics.

The Challenger is also big on the inside. The cabin is roomy in both rows of seats. Unlike a Camaro or Mustang, there are three seatbelts in back and enough space that adult passengers could fit comfortably for more than a brief spell. The Dodge‘s 16.2-cubic-foot trunk capacity shames the Ford and Chevy. You might wonder if that matters much in a performance coupe, but it could be what makes the Challenger a livable daily-driver car for some shoppers.

The Scat Pack’s cabin is well-suited for driving but not overly luxurious, and the seats strike a good balance between comfort and keeping occupants stationary during high-speed maneuvering. They’re not as aggressively bolstered as, say, Recaro buckets, but they allow for a number of features that the Recaro seats do not, like power adjustability, ventilation, and lumbar support.

FCA’s Uconnect system handles the infotainment proceedings. Uconnect offers a robust feature set, the 8.4-inch touchscreen display looks sharp, and the system moves smoothly. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported. A reconfigurable color instrument cluster puts plenty of information right in the driver’s sightline, too.

Blind-spot monitoring is included as part of the Driver Confidence package that also includes HID headlights. Adaptive cruise and forward-collision warning are only offered on automatic-equipped Challengers.

However on the other hand, this engine is not the one to pick if you want daily-driver fuel efficiency. Though rated for 14 miles per gallon city and 23 mpg highway, the Challenger returned much worse economy in my care because I couldn’t resist pressing the loud pedal.

Fortunately, all that extra rubber has done little to tame this car’s rambunctious attitude. With just a side-step of the clutch or blip of the throttle, it’ll haze the Pirelli P-Zeros, roar like something straight out of the 1960s and tear away from other traffic. The 6.4-liter engine sounds phenomenal and delivers absolutely gigantic amounts of power. Yet it’s not so overwhelming or overpowering that I can’t exploit or enjoy it on a public road. What this all amounts to is an experience that isn’t all that different from the Hellcat out on the street — except for the lack of noise it generates. You get all the burbling roar when you plant your right foot on the accelerator, but there’s none of the mechanical shriek from the absent supercharger. The license-endangering Challenger Hellcat this is not.

For those that admire the Challenger’s retro style and Hemi roar but have pined for a sharper instrument, look no further. While it’s still more GT than sports car, the Scat Pack Widebody proves that this big coupe can hold its own when given the right tools to work with. And, perhaps more importantly, the Scat Pack Widebody gives up very little in terms of everyday drivability to get there.

Dodge is giving you all the go-fast bits you could ever really need here. If you have the money to spend and want to get the most muscle car possible, we can think of no better vehicle than the 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody.

Pin It

Related Posts

Leave a Reply