I was around during the golden age of the American muscle car, but I was too young to drive. By the time I was old enough to get a license during the oil embargo, recession plagued late ’70s, practicality had replaced power when it came to automobiles.

With few exceptions at that time, “performance” was a word seldom seen in automotive marketing campaigns. Keep in mind, back then the national speed limit topped out at 55 mph and the highways were filled with “Smokies” ready to light up anyone taking Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55” song literally.

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for “the good old days” and those beautiful machines of the late ’60s and early ’70s, which regularly fetch six figures on the auction circuit.

This week I had the opportunity to evaluate the 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack.
When it comes to muscle cars, it is absolutely perfect. Carefully blending the styling of the iconic 1971 Challenger and the best of modern technology, the 485 horsepower Challenger R/T Scat Pack is absolutely perfect.

With an ear-to-ear grin on my face, every time I’ve started the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine and listened as it roared to life, I felt like I was being transported back in time to that golden age when cars not only looked cool, they had the performance to back them up.

The 392 HEMI engine with Scat Pack Shaker mated to a six-speed manual transmission (eight-speed automatic optional) is one honey of a powertrain. Delivering 475 lbs.-ft. torque to the rear 20-inch wheels, the Dodge engineering team all deserve medals for ensuring the Challenger R/T Scat Pack is one of the best muscle cars ever made.

That said, I wish I could give a big bear hug to the design team for staying true to the Challenger’s heritage by incorporating all the iconic cues of the vehicle I fell in love with back in my younger days.

It’s like having the best of both worlds. It has a classic look yet is modern, with all of the latest amenities, technology and safety features that weren’t available four decades ago.

Mark my words, this car will become a highly sought-after classic. Yes, it is a car you will want to drive all the time, but trust me on this one, don’t ever trade it in. Twenty years from now, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack will easily be commanding six figures on the auction circuit because it will be one of those iconic vehicles collectors will want to own.
Along with the Challenger Hellcat, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack are two of the performance models in the Challenger lineup.

With a base price starting around $37,000, I highly recommend a test drive in the Challenger R/T.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years, and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association. Contact Neal at neal.white@waxahachietx.com or follow him on Twitter at @wni_nwhite.

THE NUTS AND BOLTS

MODEL:
2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack
(Specifications below for Challenger R/T Scat Pack model only)
5-seat coupe
Rear-wheel drive
PRICE RANGE:
$38,000-$45,000
ENGINE:
6.4L HEMI V8 (485 horsepower/475 torque)
TRANSMISSION:
6-speed TREMEC manual
8-speed automatic
EPA: 14 mpg city, 23 mpg highway
FUEL: Premium unleaded
STABILITY CONTROL:
Electronic stability control and brake assist with brake knockback mitigation
BRAKES: Brembo six-piston fixed/ABS
LENGTH: 198 inches
WHEELBASE: 116.17 in.
WIDTH: 75.7 inches
HEIGHT: 55.9 inches
WEIGHT: 4240-4251 lbs.
TRACK: 63.4/63.1
(front/rear)
FUEL TANK: 18.5 gallons
TIRES: 20-inch
CARGO: 16.2 cubic feet.
0-60 mph: 4 seconds