The Challenger just isn’t precisely the latest automotive on sale immediately; this model dates again a decade. But Dodge has managed to maintain its muscle coupe feeling recent by rolling out new variations usually. From extra horsepower to special-edition fashions, and from prolonged coloration palettes to go-fast choices, there’s seemingly a brand new Challenger yearly.

For all of the modifications, although, the fundamental nature of the Dodge Challenger stays the identical. It is received massive, brash character with the driving enjoyable to again it up. And in no model is that more true than this R/T Scat Pack Widebody — a automotive with almost as many syllables in its identify as horsepower beneath the hood.

Trickle-down muscle car-nomics

Decoding the myriad modifications to the 2019 Dodge Challenger is so simple as determining the tax code, however in a primary sense, this R/T Scat Pack mannequin advantages from parts developed for higher-performing variations. The Widebody therapy, as an example: the fender flares, which widen the automotive by three.5 inches, have been designed for the quarter mile-roasting Demon earlier than trickling right down to the Hellcat and, now, Challengers with this take a look at automotive’s 6.Four-liter Hemi V8. So too do the “air catcher” headlights, which have been launched on the Hellcat. Hollowed-out, they enable extra cooling air into the engine bay.

The most important replace to this specific mannequin is that the Widebody therapy offers the Challenger way more grip. The R/T Scat Pack has had the 6.Four-liter engine, with 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque, for a while. However the fender flares permit for becoming 305-section-width tires at every nook, whereas earlier than the widest tires provided have been 275s (click on right here for a refresher of what all these tire codes imply). Meaning extra grip and, thus, extra efficiency.

By the numbers, that makes for enhancements in each going and stopping: the R/T Scat Pack’s quarter-mile time falls by a claimed zero.2 seconds to 12.1, whereas — together with the addition of six-piston Brembo entrance brakes — 60-mph-to-zero braking shortens by three ft.

The widened bodywork is as a lot for efficiency as it’s for seems.

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Thankfully, all that additional rubber has completed little to tame this automotive’s rambunctious angle. With only a side-step of the clutch or blip of the throttle, it’s going to haze the Pirelli P-Zeros, roar like one thing straight out of the 1960s and tear away from different visitors. The 6.Four-liter engine sounds phenomenal and delivers completely gigantic quantities of energy. But it is not so overwhelming or overpowering that I am unable to exploit or take pleasure in it on a public highway. The license-endangering Challenger Hellcat this isn’t.

Including to the enjoyment are the lengthy, heavy and mechanical shifts from the Tremec six-speed guide gearbox. No, it is not the kind of slick transmission you may shift with two fingers. As an alternative, every shift requires a little bit of muscle and a little bit of heft, and there is a satisfying mechanical really feel because the transmission slots into gear. Gears one by 4 are intently spaced for unimaginable tempo; 5 and 6 are such tall overdrives (for gasoline financial system) that you will be shocked how usually it is advisable to downshift on the freeway.

If solely the throttle tip-in weren’t so jumpy and the pedals higher positioned for heel-toe motion, this transmission could be good. The elective eight-speed computerized in all probability fits the laid-back, big-power nature of the Challenger a bit of higher — but it surely simply is not as a lot enjoyable.

The naturally aspirated 6.Four-liter V8 engine could also be thirsty, but it surely makes glorious noises and a great deal of energy.

Nate Reed/Roadshow

It does corners, too

It goes with out saying that the 12-inch-wide tires permit this Challenger to generate a number of cornering grip. Much more spectacular is the automotive’s composure pointing into bends, due to the upgraded anti-roll bars, stiffer springs and three-mode adaptive dampers of this Widebody model. The Dodge is significantly poised and correct when directed alongside twisting roads. The brand new Widebody bundle additionally pays dividends right here: Dodge says that on a 2.1-mile highway course, the brand new mannequin would flip in lap instances two seconds faster than final 12 months’s Scat Pack.

That is to not diminish this automotive’s portliness. Claimed at Four,308 kilos, this Challenger is 565 kilos heftier than a stick-shift Ford Mustang GT, and 9 inches longer than one, too. That simply makes it all of the extra spectacular that the Challenger, whereas removed from dainty or nimble, handles turning and stopping in addition to it does. As to that latter half, six-piston Brembo entrance brakes clamp down arduous, with a pleasantly agency pedal really feel that makes reigning within the rampaging V8 a cinch.

Fashionable inside tech

To maintain you entertained once you’re not exercising the automotive’s efficiency, the Dodge Challenger options the acquainted Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system. With fast responses, massive buttons which might be simply legible at a look and a easy menu construction, it stays one among our favourite in-car methods. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each supported. A reconfigurable coloration instrument cluster places loads of data proper within the driver’s sightline, too.

The active-safety roster is hit-or-miss. Blind-spot monitoring is included as a part of the Driver Confidence bundle that additionally contains HID headlights. Adaptive cruise and forward-collision warning are solely provided on automatic-equipped Challengers, nevertheless, so it is not featured on my take a look at automotive.

Being a efficiency mannequin, the Challenger’s touchscreen additionally has go-fast choices. Digital line lock, which holds the entrance brakes so you are able to do burnouts, in addition to launch management with an adjustable rev restrict, are newly elective this 12 months. Numerous gauges within the instrument cluster and infotainment display screen permit for monitoring particulars like engine output and fluid temperatures, whereas numerous timers allow measuring acceleration, braking and G-force figures.

The Challenger additionally wins massive for being, properly, massive on the within. The cabin is roomy in each rows of seats. Not like a Camaro or Mustang, there are three seatbelts in again and sufficient area that grownup passengers might match comfortably for greater than a quick jaunt down the block. Too, the Dodge’s 16.2-cubic-foot trunk capability shames the Ford and Chevy. You would possibly surprise if that issues a lot in a efficiency coupe, but it surely may very well be what makes the Challenger a livable daily-driver automotive for some customers.

The Challenger’s cabin is notably roomier than its two key rivals, the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro.

Nate Reed/Roadshow

However, this engine just isn’t the one to choose if you’d like daily-driver gasoline effectivity. Although rated for 14 miles per gallon metropolis and 23 mpg freeway, the Challenger returned a lot worse financial system in my care as a result of I could not resist romping on the loud pedal. In fact, thrifty drivers will notice that V6-equipped Challengers boast EPA figures as excessive as 19/30 mpg… they only do not speed up as shortly or sound as invigorating.

How I would spec it

Identical to this. OK, the $55,550 as-tested value is a bit of arduous to abdomen, however that is the perfect Challenger configuration if you wish to truly take pleasure in your muscle automotive out on the road. The 2019 R/T Scat Pack begins from $38,995, however you will want so as to add a $1,395 vacation spot cost and, on stick-shift fashions, a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax. Then the Widebody possibility itself is one other $6,000, and that is earlier than the handful of different small choices (a sunroof is $1,195, as an example) that ballooned the automotive’s value. Nonetheless, all-in my take a look at automotive value lower than the entry value of the SRT Hellcat. Contemplating the horsepower and enjoyable on supply, that is an incredible deal.

In fact, what’s so endearing concerning the Dodge Challenger is that there is one for everybody. It begins at simply $27,295 (earlier than vacation spot), affords anyplace from 305 to 797 horsepower and is available in all method of vibrant colours. Automobile fans with a penchant for noisy, tire-screeching efficiency automobiles that put a giant grin on their face will love the Scat Pack Widebody. However whichever model you select, just about anybody will be capable to comprehend the enchantment of the Challenger’s daring retro seems and immensely enjoyable nature.

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