Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture: New Package Arrives for the Dodge Challenger

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
shake it like a polaroid picture new package arrives for the dodge challenger

Law enforcement officials across the nation will be eager to learn about Dodge’s new Shakedown package for the Challenger and … oh, what’s that, Steph? Not that kind of shakedown? Alright then.

In an effort to inject a bit of interest in a car that was introduced a year before Barack Obama took the Oath of Office for the first time – beyond, y’know, psychotic 707- and 840-horsepower editions – Dodge has tossed a stereo and a bit of wallpaper at its retro two-door.

The all-new Shakedown Package is available on Shaker-equipped Challengers of the R/T, R/T Plus, and 392 Hemi Scat Pack variety. The package adds an Alpine audio system, white-faced gauges, and asymmetrical black racing exterior stripes. That wallpaper is said to have been inspired by the 1971 Dodge Shakedown Challenger concept first shown at the 2016 SEMA show in Vegas. This package will hoover $995 from your bank account.

Audiophiles take note: With the upgraded Alpine deck (deck? I’m dating myself), the R/T Shaker receives six speakers and a 275-watt amplifier, while customers of R/T Shaker Plus and 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker machines are treated to nine speakers and a 500-watt amp.

Hot-rod Challenger R/T and R/T Plus coupes are powered by the venerable 5.7-liter Hemi V8, making 375 horsepower and hooked to a six-speed manual. Hairy-chested 392 Hemi Challengers have a 6.4-liter under the hood making 485 horses. It, too, has a stickshift. The 392 Hemi is an engine which, oddly, demands 0W-40 synthetic oil. There’s your Jeopardy trivia for today.

Technically, all three are available with FCA’s eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic, but any customer choosing that option in this car should have their driver’s license revoked immediately. Someone who’s lost the use of their left leg is exempt from this rule, but that’s about it.

This, of course, is not the first special edition package that’s been hurled at the Challenger. Far from it, in fact. A myriad of paint options have appeared over the years, ranging from the fabulous B5 Blue to aggro-named Destroyer Gray. In fact, the entire Dodge palette is a fantastic tour of an alternate-reality Skittles menu: SubLime, TorRed, Go Mango, and Plum Crazy just to name a few. This extrovert thinks it is wonderful.

To be fair, the Challenger has gotten its fair share of upgrades since 2009, the most practical of which being a revised interior that upgraded the two-door’s cabin from Playskool materials to a very agreeable design. This author dailies a Pentastar-powered Charger and, now that the youngster is more than old enough to heave himself in and out of the backseat on a school run, only the prospect of once again having a car payment is preventing me from visiting Blaikie’s Dodge and signing the note on a slightly used model.

Last year, Dodge moved a total of 64,537 Challengers. That’s within shouting distance of its best year, 2015, when 66,365 of them roared off dealer lots. Murica!

(Matthew, 2003 called and wants half of its headline back – Ed.)

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Mikey Mikey on Mar 10, 2018

    These days I own two Mustangs ..Previously I've owned two Camaro's a Firebird and another Mustang . Hopefully before they move me into Sunny Acres I will have a Challenger in my garage : )

  • Parousia Parousia on Mar 10, 2018

    Dear FCA, I want a Challenger. I am taken in by the allure of a comfortable, high powered coupe that my wife and kids can fit into. I have played footsie with your BUILD-AND-PRICE tool so many times it owes me more than dinner. But here's why it's not going to work. $7000 to upgrade to a V8. And that's for the little brother 5.7 that gets its lunch money taken by the GT and the SS. To go to the big brother 6.4, you make me shell out $12,000 over the Pentastar. Love shouldn't hurt like that. Ditch the V6 and make the 5.7 the standard engine. You know you want to. Offer the 6.4 as a $1000 upgrade and let's do this. Sincerely, My Midlife Crisis

    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Mar 10, 2018

      lol... Have you tried looking at AutoTrader or CarGurus to see what the actual transaction prices are? I see "little brother" listed for around $35,000 in Charger R/T format at dealers around me. I think that is pretty reasonable. Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?

  • Probert There's something wrong with that chart. The 9 month numbers for Tesla, in the chart, are closer to Tesla's Q3 numbers. They delivered 343,830 cars in q3 and YoY it is a 40% increase. They sold 363,830 but deliveries were slowed at the end of the quarter - no cars in inventory. For the past 9 months the total sold is 929,910 . So very good performance considering a major shutdown for about a month in China (Covid, factory revamp). Not sure if the chart is also inaccurate for other makers.
  • ToolGuy "...overall length grew only fractionally, from 187.6” in 1994 to 198.7” in 1995."Something very wrong with that sentence. I believe you just overstated the length by 11 inches.
  • ToolGuy There is no level of markup on the Jeep Wrangler which would not be justified or would make it any less desirable [perfectly inelastic demand, i.e., 'I want one']. Source: My 21-year-old daughter.
  • ToolGuy Strong performance from Fiat.
  • Inside Looking Out GM is like America, it does the right thing only after trying everything else.  As General Motors goes, so goes America.
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