Dodge Charger packs a punch with Scat Pack trim

The 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pat features a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, which punches out 485 horsepower and 475 lbs.-ft. of torque, Dodge Performance Pages, Brembo brakes and 20-by-9-inch aluminum wheels. Photo by FCA
Caption
The 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pat features a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, which punches out 485 horsepower and 475 lbs.-ft. of torque, Dodge Performance Pages, Brembo brakes and 20-by-9-inch aluminum wheels. Photo by FCA

Scatting away

Dodge knows how to inject excitement into their cars. And the key is three letters – C-A-T. Adding the power-packed Hellcat badge to their muscle cars make them that much more powerful. Likewise, a small step down there is another CAT word – Scat Pack. By adding the Scat Pack to the Charger R/T, Dodge knows how to bring the power.

Don’t think that just because the Scat Pack is a slight step down (in power) from the Hellcat that it’s not completely performance-based. I spent a week driving the 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack and it had all the power you could ever want in a large sedan.

Without the power-packed Scat Pack, the Charger is already a great family sedan. It has attractive looks and a large interior cabin. Add in the power, and it becomes something special.

The Charger doesn’t have the aggressive look of the Challenger; rather, the grille is more downplayed. The large hood has a classic muscle car look, as does the indented side panels. A rear spoiler and eye-catching lights make the Charger quite attractive from the back side. The overall appeal of the Charger is the family-sedan look combined with the young-at-heart performance that comes with the Scat Pack.

The R/T Scat Pack has the largest of all the engines offered in a Charger. A 6.4-liter V8 engine makes 485 horsepower and 475 lbs.-ft. of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is mated with this growling engine. Off the line, the Charger Scat Pack is a burner. With rear-wheel drive, you reminisce to the drag racing days of the past, with squealing tires and getting a little loose. That’s part of the visceral appeal of the Charger when bumped up with the Scat Pack. It’s so obvious in its power and performance. Between the sound of the engine and the straight line handling, there’s nothing subtle about the Charger’s performance.

Inside, the Charger is more subdued. Even with the Scat Pack accessories, including special badging and seats, this car still feels like a family sedan. Other than the invading roar of the engine and the 180-mph speedometer, the rest of the Charger is quite pedestrian. A soft dashboard is curvaceous and attractive. The 8.4-inch touchscreen is centered in the middle. It is part of my favorite infotainment system – Chrysler’s UConnect system. It’s intuitive, colorful and well organized.

The leather seats are comfortable. In the back seat there’s easily enough shoulder, leg and head room for three adult passengers. I find the Chrysler 300 to be slightly more comfortable all around than the similar Dodge Charger. The Charger’s trunk has 16.5 cubic feet of cargo room.

There are three R/T trims, including R/T, Road and Track and R/T Scat Pack. The base price of the Scat Pack is $39,995. My tester with a special tri-coat red pearl exterior had a final price of $41,585. There’s lots of standard equipment on the R/T including 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and Brembo brakes. The Scat Pack has racing-style aluminum pedals, a three-mode selectable steering mode and a rearview camera.

The Charger R/T is a muscle car. Don’t be fooled by the family-sedan appearance. It’s evidenced by the fuel economy which is a guzzling 15 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway. In a week’s worth of lead-footed driving, I averaged a mere 18 mpg.

FCA makes some of the best full-size family sedans. Between the 300 and the Charger/Challenger, these are great cars to drive. When Dodge starts powering them with bigger engines, the fun is incomparable. The era of the muscle car has not died and the pleasure of hearing the roar of the engine, and blazing off-the-line speed is alive and well in the 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist.


2016 DODGE CHARGER R/T SCAT PACK

  • Price/As-tested price………………………………………… $39,995/$41,585
  • Mileage…………………………………… 15 mpg/city; 25 mpg/hwy
  • Engine……………………………………… 6.4-liter V8
  • Horsepower/Torque…………………………… 485 hp; 475 lbs.-ft.
  • Transmission…………………………… 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Drive wheels……………. Rear-wheel drive
  • Final assembly point……………. Brampton, Ontario