Monday, May 21, 2018

IN THE DRIVEWAY: 2018 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

It's sad but true. The Dodge Charger may very well be the last of its kind. Not too long ago, four-door, V8 powered rear-wheel drive sedans were being produced by every American car maker. Today, Dodge is the sole provider of what is probably the last four-door muscle car in it's Charger (and it's cousin the Chrysler 300). 

But if you're the only one attending the party, you might as well do it right - and Dodge does just that with the Charger.

The Charger is available in 11 different trim levels, from the mild V6 powered SXT to the monstrous supercharged V8 powered Hellcat.  Pretty much if you're in the market for a sporty full-size sedan, there is a Charger for you.

There are four V6 equipped Chargers using a 3.6-liter V6 engine (292 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque) matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. These are all-around nice cars, but nothing you will be bragging to your neighbors about.

For those wanting power, torque and a rumble, admission to the V8 club is a must. The Charger R/T musters out 370 hp, 395 lb-ft of torque from it's 5.7 liter HEMI engine. At the same time, Dodge upgrades the brakes, suspension and wheels on the R/T - so it becomes a true all-around performer. Buyers can opt for the Blacktop package on the R/T (as well as on the V6 models) which includes a rear spoiler, and special grille, and 20-inch wheels all in black, giving the Charger a guilty look. 

But if you want more power (and who doesn't?) Dodge gives you plenty of additional models to choose from. The R/T Scat Pack is basically you're standard R/T but with it's 5.7 liter HEMI V8 swapped for huge 6.4 liter (485 hp, 475 lb-ft) HEMI V8.

Sitting at the top of the power chain is the SRT Hellcat that makes a ridiculously powerful 707 hp and 650 lb-ft from it's supercharged V8.  

This week I have the privilege of being in a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack. Dressed in Octane Red exterior with black wheels, black spoiler and a huge hood scoop - this car looks like trouble just waiting to happen.

The fun starts the moment you press the dash-mounted Start button. The 6.4 liter HEMI V8 snarls to life, reminding you of what you’re about to get yourself into. Put the palm-style shifter into drive and step on the gas and endless amounts of torque is felt. And while all 485 horses can be felt - they can also be heard - the further you step on the pedal, the louder it gets. In fact, flooring it allows the Charger to bypass the mufflers - giving you the ultimate hot-rod sound.  Dodge states the Charger Scat Pack can hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.  

While the Charger Scat Pack is all about going fast, it does make for a good daily driver with plenty of amenities, including heated and vented front seats, heated rear seats and even a heated steering wheel. Five sit comfortably and luggage room is more than adequate. About the only impractical part about this hot-rod Charger is its 15 mpg fuel economy in town if your easy on the pedal (yeah, right).

2018 sees only minor changes to the Charger, mainly in the trim level name.

As we witness the V8 powered sedan approaching extinction, Dodge continues to offer the Charger with incredible performance.  I guess as they say, if you're gonna go out, might as well go out with a bang.