Road Test Review – 2015 Dodge Charger R/T 392 Scat Pack with Ken Glassman



2015 Dodge Charger RT 392 Scat Pack 32015 Dodge Charger R/T 392 Scat Pack

By Ken Glassman

As soon as the bright blue Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack was delivered to my driveway, my heart began to race. Paperwork was quickly signed, and returning phone calls went to the bottom of my “to-do” list. I immediately jumped in the super-sport sedan, and gazed out onto that long hood with its mean looking dual air scoops.  Usually, I’ll spend 20 minutes acclimating myself to the switches, seats, mirrors, and setting preferences, and radio stations – but not this time. When you’ve got 485 Scat Pack horsepower from the 6.4-liter Hemi engine mated to a new ZF eight-speed automatic, who the hell cares about the radio?

Just lighting up that motor and listening to that song created by that big honkin’ motor is all you need to “get your motor runnin’, and heading out on the highway”, as Steppenwolf urged. That song may be an oldie, but that engine music, for those of a certain age, is a Golden Oldie. Takes me back to my high school days when Dodge and Plymouth MOPAR’S were king of the performance hill. I didn’t own one, but even riding in my friends Super Bee was almost as much fun as stomping on the gas pedal myself.

Pulling out of my driveway (which I renamed, Turn 1) and lighting up the rear tires produced an experience that just can’t be explained. Everything under the hood just roars violently, and the active exhaust roar is wonderful. (You get more sound when you’re hard on the gas, and less when you reach cruising speed). No other car without a Dodge badge sounds like this. You can feel the 475 ft. lbs. of torque, pin your shoulders into the seatback, and getting to the next corner, (Turn 2) happened in a heartbeat. Zero to 60 comes up in just over 4 seconds, if you use the Launch Control feature, and if you’re at the drag strip, you’ll finish a quarter mile run in a bit over 12 seconds ! All that with a stock car out of the factory. Incredible.

All the power is transmitted to the rear wheels via Dodge’s TorqueFlite 8-Speed Automatic 8HP70 Transmission, which is a gem that shifts quickly with paddle shifters, or with the shift lever itself. But honestly, for the vast majority of the week I spent with the Charger, I just left it in automatic, and sometimes with the Sport button pushed in. There’s so much power and torque, and the close-ratio 8-speed, pretty much leaves the driver with enough oomph to accomplish any aggressive driving maneuver or challenging road, without needing to shift for yourself. Besides, in 1st and second gear, you’ll hit the rev limiter almost before your brain can react to push the paddle for an upshift.

But what separates this modern rocket from its cousins of yesteryear is how it handles turns, which was never a strong suit of muscle cars from back in the day. So I headed out to the closest highway on-ramp to see what this puppy can do. It didn’t disappoint. And while the numbers say that this 4-door beast can pull a .91 on the g-meter, I wasn’t out to test its limits, (or lose my driver’s license). But I can say that running through the on ramp with the huge 245/45R-20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercars sticking like glue, and with limited body lean, makes you feel like Jeff Gordon at a road course. And trust me, it put a huge smile on my face. So much so, I had to do it again at the first off ramp. And then back on again, and back off again in rapid succession. The steering is nicely weighted and felt responsive and quick. Later, when running on tighter twisties, side to side transitions were quick and easy, and despite its 4300 lbs., the Charger felt like a car weighing hundreds of pounds less. And when it’s time to use the “whoa” pedal, the big 6-piston performance Brembo brakes, don’t disappoint, either. The pedal has excellent feel, and will haul down the Charger from speed with ease, and without any drama.

But what is the most incredible aspect of this car, is that with all the brute power and performance it offers, the Charger is a wonderful every day, capable of offering comfort for every day commuting chores, even on pothole riddled and broken pavement surfaces, like the ones Chicagoans face every day. Once speed is reached on a highway, the engine and exhaust quiet down nicely, there is little wind noise, and you’d think you’re driving a Chrysler 300 luxury car. When you’re cruising on the highway or secondary roads, the Fuel Saver feature will cut off 4 cylinders (you wouldn’t know it except if you look at the gauge light) and the gas mileage is outstanding. Dodge claims 25 mpg Highway, but at a steady 75 miles per hour, I got 29 miles! Of course, around town, that number goes down to 15mpg, but who cares?

Dodge interiors, and all the Chrysler products for that matter, have been upgraded the last few years, and are top shelf. The dash is stylish and handsome in the Charger, and thankfully devoid of fussy gimmicks. The gauges and controls are laid out nicely, and easy to operate. Materials are excellent, and the heated and cooled leather sport seats have excellent bolstering, with the Alcantara suede inserts keeping the driver in place when cornering hard. Scat Pack logos are stitched into the seatbacks, as a nice little touch.

You get a lot of information through the large info screen between the two round gauges that sit in front of the driver, and easy toggling with the steering wheel mounted buttons, means you don’t have to fumble to find anything. And the large touch screen in the Center stack puts all the icons in a row to access all the functions of the screen and infotainment system.

Aside from being quiet when you’re cruising on the highway, the cabin is roomy, and comfortable. Rear seat passengers have plenty of shoulder and leg room, aided by the front seats having room to place your feet under. The rear seats are heated and all day comfortable. Those seats fold down to enlarge the already generous trunk space.

Standard luxury and performance features are included in the base price of $39,995. $1,495 added the memory leather heated/cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats. Also the package adds heated outside mirrors with auto adjust for backing up.

$995 upgrades the sound system to a 552 watt, 10 speaker, Beats set-up. But I admit, it lost out to the engine sounds for my aural attention.   The Technology Package added HID headlights, Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection, Adaptive Cruise control with Stop, and Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure and Blind Spot Warning systems, in addition to Power tilt and telescope steering wheel, rain sensing wipers, auto dimming rear view mirror and more, for a reasonable price of $1,995.   And $695 buys the Uconnect 8.4” Nav screen with 3D GPS.

The final price on this test car came to $46,795. That may seem expensive, but I challenge you to find another car that can combine this level of track-ready power and performance, with the comfort and luxury the Charger has.

Of course, for about another $25,000 you can go all-in and upgrade to the 707hp Hellcat model, but the numbers from zero to 60, or quarter-mile times, aren’t that much quicker. Of course, bragging rights are priceless, and you’ll know that you’re buying a certain future classic that will bring BIG money 30 years from now, when everybody will be driving electric, or hydrogen fuel cell cars, or at least some form of tiny hybrid motor system. What’s certain, is that there won’t be any big honking V-8’s.

2015 Dodge Charger RT 392 Scat Pack

By Ken Glassman

Read Ken's other drive reviews at the link!

About The Author

Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman has been a motor journalist for over 30 years, reviewing automobile, as well as motorcycle ride reviews and accessory reviews.His car articles have appeared in Robb Report Magazine, Autoguide.com, Car-Revs-Daily.com and other media. His work has also appeared in Road Bike Magazine, Motorcycle Tour and Cruiser, SpeedTV.com, MotorcycleUSA.com and others.As motorcycle columnist for The Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, the paper became the only major circulation newspaper in the country to have a separate weekly section devoted to motorcycles. Later he wrote a weekly column for Cyclefocus Magazine.