Home Lifestyle First Drive: New Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody

First Drive: New Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody

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When I received the (deep breath) 2020 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody from the automaker’s fleet service, I hoped it wasn’t some subtle comment on my physique. Otherwise, I took temporary ownership of this direct descendant of history’s great muscle cars and looked forward to a week of misbehaving.

In keeping with its ancestors, this Challenger is a thirsty brute with its 485 horsepower V8 SRT Hemi MDS engine. In this particular test, that power plant was chained up to a TorqueFlite 8-Speed Automatic Transmission with sport shifters. It worked well enough, but I yearned for the six-speed manual option. That’s a romantic union — two dinosaur features of powerful automobiles waiting for the final meteor to hit. For now, a true V8 and a proper stick on the floor still exist together — and we should all hope they stay that way and remain on the run forever.

Lovers of classic American muscle cars should always salute the 21st century Dodge Challenger series for the simple fact it is not ashamed of or avoidant of its history. Of all the ongoing or resurrected classic 20th century muscle cars, only the Dodge Challenger retains much of its classic lines.

Whether we’re talking about the Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro or even the Dodge Charger, the automotive designers and engineers behind those cars left most of the visual ties to their ancestors behind in favor of 21st century lines and aesthetics. By no means does that add up to unattractive cars. If you take, say, the 2020 Mustang, it’s undeniably a handsome and eye-catching machine — but there’s little left of the beautiful beast Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt.

Any trim sample of the 2020 Challenger family is an undeniable visual progeny of past Dodge creations. The technology is modernized, the engine more efficient, the ride smoother, but the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody is easy to spot as traditional muscle car royalty.

Beyond the proper V8 and its broad shouldered defiance against the proliferation of gutless green cars, the most attractive aspect of the R/T Scat Pack Widebody might be the vehicle’s price. This is a big, brawny, V8, rear wheel drive muscle car — and it’s obtainable for less than $50,000. If you kit it out with maximum trim options, this Challenger will top out around $58,000. Still if you can live with the base model, you can drive off at $39,000.

The driving experience offers the expected trade off of muscle car motivation. Its speed is immediate and aggressive. It’s not devastating power, with a quarter-mile top speed of about 115 mph. If you want the kind of get-up and go that knocks your head into the back seat, the Hellcat version of the Challenger is your ticket with its quarter-mile run at more than 131 mph.

Still, the size of the 2020 Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody makes it a bulkier, heavier ride. So, it understeers. Its rear wheel drive will give you great peel out marks, but it’ll also fishtail. That’s muscle car reality. You pay your money, and you get big, sloppy power that makes a great noise and turns clumsily – all while waving back to its 1960s ancestors with pride.

Source: maxim.com