By on September 12, 2019

2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody

6.4-liter pushrod V8 (485 hp @ 6100 rpm, 475 lb/ft. @ 4100 rpm)

Six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive

14 city / 23 highway / 17 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

17.7 (observed mileage, MPG)

16.7 city / 10.4 highway / 13.9 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $40,390 US / $53,440 CAD

As Tested: $52,065 US/ $65,800 CAD

Prices include $1,395 destination charge in the United States and $1,995 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.


I hardly watch television anymore. I’ve a couple of shows that I keep up with via on-demand or DVR, but generally my time is spent working or with my kids. Occasionally, however, I’ll end up at the in-laws, where invariably they’ll have the old Sony tuned to some half-hearted reality show. One of their faves is Dancing With The Stars, where washed-up tertiary celebs dress in tight clothes and strut for an hour.

Often, one of those stars is a washed-up football player who’s blown through his rookie contract and trying to increase his marketability before the league pension and/or CTE settlement dough starts rolling in. Getting those hulking beasts to move with grace is quite a sight.

You can see where I’m going with this. Yeah, the platform on which this 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody is old enough to vote. But Mopar engineers, in creating this package, have taught this bruising lineman to shake a leg in style.

The possessed elephant in the room are the big brothers in the Hellcat realm — including the Red Eye and the Demon. In that company, the 485hp Scat Pack seems nearly sensible. It’s hard to believe that a pony car with twelve-inch wide tires and nearly five hundred horsepower is the restrained choice, but here we are.

The most noticeable change to the familiar Challenger style is indeed the wide body flares, allowing those 305mm tires to fit. It’s an aggressive look, making the standard narrow body Challenger look almost demure in comparison. Destroyer Grey makes a valiant effort to let the Chally fly under the radar, but they’ll hear you coming for blocks. I’d pick a paint that stands out — B5 Blue (an outrageous $69 option) or Plum Crazy (even more insane at $70) are both great choices.

The interior on my tester was as garish as the exterior was reserved. The bright red Nappa and Alcantara seating surfaces are available when you combine the $1,695 Plus package (which also includes ambient lighting and a heated steering wheel) and the $1,095 Driver Convenience group — which also offers blind spot and rear cross-path detection, HID headlamps, and power side mirrors. It’s not subtle, but the material is grippy and keeps one’s butt from sliding when hustling around corners. It also doesn’t dry very quickly if you get caught in a rainstorm a fair distance from the parking lot and sit down with drenched outerwear — the material was still slightly damp the next morning, though a day in the sun dried it without any nasty smells.

Those seats are plush, with bolstering that isn’t too intrusive for easy egress. The rear seats, per the kids, are similarly comfy once you get back there — the Challenger has proven so far to be the best four-seat coupe for my five-foot-eight daughter, with head and leg room to spare.

The sound. Oh, the sound. It’s easy to get carried away, blipping the throttle at stop lights to get a bit more rumble. The 392 cubic inch Hemi is a loud, willing participant in any stupidity you want to throw at it — just don’t expect to slink away undetected should your stupidity attract unwanted attention.

The pedal placement isn’t ideal for heel and toe action — the dead pedal, similarly, is tiny, offering little space for the left foot beneath the inexplicable foot-operated parking brake. C’mon, Dodge — the tooling has been long paid off on this car. Take fifty bucks out of the next Demon Hellcat Literally-Evil Deathwagon Supreme LeBaron Max Wedge 2,000-hp nuclear/turbine/electric hybrid development budget and integrate an electronic parking brake with a hill hold feature, rather than keep building a car with four pedals for people with, at best, two feet.

Fortunately, for everyday driving heel-toe action isn’t needed — the impressive torque lets you pull away from a corner in nearly any gear with minimal clutch slip. The shift action is much tighter than you’d expect — the lever looks rather long, and the throws do need a firm hand — but it’s not sloppy in the least.

The steering is a bit overboosted, seemingly in an effort to compensate for the wide front tires. Still, you feel exactly what those fat Pirelli P Zeros are up to, and the light action allows you to quickly unwind the wheel should the right toe get a bit too excited.

Yes, even with modern traction and stability controls, the rear end of the Challenger Scat Pack will step out. It’s a beautifully controlled motion, and incredibly fun. My testing was limited to public roads with trees and deer everywhere, so I didn’t get the opportunity to properly liquify the Pirellis — to the immense disappointment to whomever supplies tires to FCA’s Detroit press fleet. It’s remarkable how effortless this big coupe is to wheel briskly.


The brakes stop RIGHT NOW, with a firm, responsive pedal — I never did get deep into ABS, of course, but I’ve got to believe that this would be the best choice from Mopar for track day shenanigans, as the supercharged models at the top of the range seem more likely to heat soak under repeated lapping.

Yes, Dodge built a big coupe that can dance. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, incredibly long name and all, has proved itself worthy of being included in the discussion with other Detroit pony cars for road course heroics.

[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn]

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77 Comments on “2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody Review – Shred Tires Responsibly...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Love the exhaust note – this may be the sexiest-sounding non-Italian car you can buy.

    But, Lord, is this car huge.

    (Still want it, though.)

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Nearly 500 naturally aspirated bhp, a proper manual trans, Bordello red couches, and unignorable exhaust. What else, possibly, for $50k…could a red-blooded ‘Murican desire?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    A bright spot in a dreary automotive landscape. Damn good looking car with the goods to back it up.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I want to dislike this car, really it is nonsensical. My Vette’ did 26.7 MPG on yesterdays fill, so one can argue it is a sensible yet muscular commuter. I would think the scat pack above in my hands would return a consistent 16-17 for me. The back seat is useless for my 6′ 3” teenager so really it is a two seater in my house. But, nothing sounds better. Mopar has won the factory exhaust award, no zero reason exists to spend money on an upgrade, as it would most likely be a downgrade.

    This is the most sensible brash offering ever.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The fact that this can be bought under $40K in the real world is one of the bright spots of the automotive landscape.

    Considering what other trash comes with a $40K sticker these days, it’s especially impressive.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Whatever you think of the substance, it would be embarrassing to be seen in one of these. It’s become the official car of every roid rager who doesn’t want a brodozer.

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      The damn thing is so awesome that I simply don’t care about the stereotype.

      I want to hate this thing: I want my tools to be precise, understated, sophisticated and tasteful. But I love it and want it.

      My inner child is about to write the $45K check to FCA in crayon.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        Do it! I’ve had my Scat pack (Narrow body, thank you) for just over a year and I’ve never driven anything that amuses me like it does. You will see guys and a lot of women of all ages gawk at it, and a lot of the old guys over 70 or so just want one so bad…but for whatever reason, they can’t get one. I have yet to have a negative word said about it by anyone, even my sister who drives a Prius says it’s beautiful. I don’t understand the appeal of Destroyer Gray or F8 Green at all, and I always want my interior black black black.
        https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/937x527q90/923/yuzrPd.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Um yeah….no. Gonna call BS on that Dal.

      Why would you or anyone else be embarrassed by this machine? Looks good, can be calm and well behaved in traffic if you want it to and an absolute snarling beast when you mat it. Best of both worlds if you ask me.

      Perhaps you have some inner unmet needs and you secretly want this pavement crusher, who knows? Either way what car on the planet gives the finger more to the snobbish motoring public, perhaps such as yourself perhaps not, than this one? That is what makes this car so great.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Perhaps part of the problem is that very few Challenger drivers are actually “calm and well behaved in traffic,” at least around here. They appeal to the drivers who like to menace everyone. The Challenger is, far and away, my #1 warning sign of danger if I’m outside of a car, with brodozer-style pickups coming in a distant #2.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      What’s embarrassing is being so emotionally fragile as to be so terrified of a car. You can’t tell me anything about the demographics of who owns these (and the other LX’s). Im in several local and online enthusiast groups. The ‘roid ragers’ you’re so triggered by skew heavily towards ex military and military family…in fact there’s a lot of overlap with patriot bikers. You’ll find all walks but virtually no manbun, gluten free vegan academia elites. And if we’re generalizing, whenever our local chapter participates in things like benefits for wounded veterans, toy drives, fundraisers, etc we often collaborate with other car enthusiasts: muscle car clubs, MCs, hot rod clubs, low rider clubs, VW clubs, even the tuner crowd represents. Never not once have I seen any hybrid or EV greenies show up.

      Not

      Even

      One.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        About two pedestrians or cyclists a week were killed or significantly injured by cars in my city last year. Treating them as dangerous is healthy, not fragile. And if you spend any time outside a car, you’ll quickly see that some cars are driven much differently than others.

        • 0 avatar
          MoparRocker74

          Idiots who can’t drive have existed since cars have. Painting powerful cars as the dangerous ones is misguided at best. The absolute WORST drivers aren’t in the high performance cars (which require you mr full attention), it’s the brain dead textoids in the crossovers, hybrids and sedans. Or the weekly dumbass sleeping in his tesla on autopilot. But you’re gonna believe what you want to.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It’s not about “powerful cars,” it’s about Challengers.

            Most high performance cars aren’t a threat.

            I’ve never been menaced by the driver of a Corvette or a C63.

            I can think of several occasions when Challenger drivers have nearly mowed me down in a crosswalk, usually accelerating toward me.

            Tesla bros (always with the Performance versions) are an issue too, as are the brodozers.

            And the ones who are trying to menace are far worse than the oblivious ones. After doing this for so long I’m two steps ahead of Bob-on-his-phone and can predict exactly what he’s going to do.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            dal, I walk a LOT, and I haven’t noticed much rhyme or reason to what you’re talking about – rude a**hole drivers who could care less about pedestrians come from every walk of life and drive every kind of car. I’ve encountered plenty of Challengers in my walking travels, and I haven’t had one go Banzai on me yet. On the other hand, some idiot in a CR-V breezed through a clearly marked crosswalk where I had the right-of-way doing about 50 in a 30 yesterday. I’m not gonna hold it against CR-Vs, you know?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Yeah, the angry drivers can come from anywhere, but there are patterns, and the three I named really stand out, to the degree that when I see them coming I give them a wide berth.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Never not once have I seen any hybrid or EV greenies show up.”

        Good on you for supporting a good cause you believe in. Maybe those EV/hybrid drivers are doing the same. You know…picking up trash by the side of the road, volunteering at a women’s shelter, or just donating money to a good cause they believe in.

        Maybe people get to do good in the way they choose here in the good ol’ USA, versus the way you choose to.

        By the way, if you want to attract more EV/hybrid drivers at your events, maybe you should check your “people who drive these cars suck” attitude – which you DEFINITELY have – at the door. You attract more flies with honey. Just sayin.’

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Ah, the irony. Talking about how you can’t stereotype drivers of the Challenger and other vehicles of its ilk while deriding EV/greenies.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        Do you remember the guy who posted he wouldn’t buy a Charger or Challenger because the names were too aggressive? Wow.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      That’s why so many people tell me they wish they had one?

  • avatar
    TMA1

    The Challenger is proof that there’s nothing at all wrong with an old platform. New just means it costs you more money.

    The Camaro and Mustang have gone through multiple revisions and total redesigns since this car came out, and the Challenger is still the one I would prefer to drive on public roads.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Actually, as much as I like this car, I’d prefer a Mustang (sexier styling, more manageable size, etc). You make a good point, though.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        If you aren’t needing the bigger trunk and backseat then the Mustang makes a good case for itself.

        However, the Ford does give up a bit in the transmission department. The Dodge’s Tremec is much better regarded compared to Ford’s “Chinese” Getrag. With automatics it is closer but I think FCA’s use of the ZF8 still gives an edge over the 10A.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          I bought the Mustang, wish I had gone with the Challenger. The Challenger feels smaller than it is, while the Mustang was the opposite (for me, at least).

          Transmission wise, the Challenger has a far superior manual, and while I haven’t driven the Mustang’s new automatic, the old one was nothing special.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          At least they never adopted a revised turbo encaulator for these. That would have been bad.

          I hear the Tremec units are beefy enough to handle a lot of torque, not so much with the Getrag units.

          Other than a few years on the minivans Mopar has made a decent transmission.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            The Tremec is the TR-6060, which is the same used in the Viper, ZR1, Hellcat, previous GT500, etc.

            Way overbuilt in stock form for a “mere” 475 lb-ft, and plenty are out there behind big hp modified cars. Great transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        duncanator

        Same here. For a couple of months now, I’ve been wanting to see how these Widebody Challengers are, but within the past two weeks, I’ve been interested in the 2019 Mustang Bullitt. I’m not sure I want to give the comfort and ease of commuting in my 15 A3, but I sure loved the Mustang when I drove it last weekend.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      The LX platform has plenty of haters whining that it’s ‘old’…other platforms have run just as long. And I’ve yet to hear the whiners put together a coherent set of criteria why it’s not competitive or what needs a radical overhaul. My ‘09 R/T has largely been great. My only complaints are minor gripes: I want less in the way of stupid electronic gimmicks like push button start and built in navigation. I already had to fight the button gremlins and no in-car nav supersedes what’s already on my phone. Useless and inferior junk that costs money and waters down the muscle experience. Obviously, continuing improvements in overall build quality need to be prioritized. And I really hate that stupid 5×115 bolt pattern. It’s just a blonde one off the 5×4.5 pattern that’s ubiquitous and has infinity billion choices of aftermarket wheels. Supposedly you can booger 5×4.5 wheels on with hub centric rings but I just don’t feel good about it. Whatever brakes used on the Demon should be standard across the lineup: powerful enough to control 840 hp but compact enough to allow 18” wheels. Nothing smaller than a school bus can benefit from 20”+ wheels. If fad chasers want to pony up for DUBs that’s fine. Requiring them on the high-po cars keeps me on my R/T.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    “Yes, even with modern traction and stability controls, the rear end of the Challenger Scat Pack will step out.”

    Um, doesn’t every car have a Traction Control Off button?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I think he means with the traction control on it will step out, my SS is the same way I can throw the rear end side ways without ever turning off the nannies.

      • 0 avatar
        thejohnnycanuck

        Back in my working days I had a route home that went through farm roads at the end of which I had to stop and make a right turn onto a busy highway. For the longest time I thought there was something wrong with my ’02 Mustang GT because even though I was mashing the loud pedal the car would just bog down as I attempted to get up to speed which was very disconcerting with traffic coming at me doing 100kph+. Finally it dawned on me to turn off the traction control and voila, problem solved!

        And yes I did feel like an idiot for taking so long to figure that out.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          That explains why I’ve seen more than a couple Mustangs that make tons of noise with no appreciable acceleration gains.

          As far as my SS and apparently this Challenger is concerned, if you want to spin the rears all traction control is going to do is keep you from getting in over your head. I can easily take a turn and push the rear end of the car out several degrees(or even 120-160+ degrees if necessary) and I’ve never even tried to see what the car can do with traction control off. I’ve once slid all 4 wheels of my car around a curb on a left turn all with traction control on. All of this while being very controllable and predictable. Not on a public street of course, if that needs to be said.

          In my opinion traction control on the SS is lenient enough that I shouldn’t ever need any more freedom on the open road, all while knowing it’s still keeping the car in check.

          Come to think of it your comment may explain every C&C Mustang incident haha.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      It will kick the rear out with TC fully on, no problem. It just gets easier with it off.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    This car has a $69 paint option and another one that’s a $70 option? Both numbers seem low to the point of why bother with the charge at all and a difference of $1 between the two also seems petty.

    Still, FCA needs to give an award to the team involved with the Challenger. This car is old. And, out of the gate, it was criticized for being to big and heavy for it’s class. And what have they done? They turned the weaknesses into strengths (the back seat and trunk are best in class by far) and, through a combination of styling, performance versions, ridiculously powerful versions, AWD and other tricks, they have kept this car interesting and relevant. FCA needs to find these people and give them a bigger role. Maybe they could figure out how to give Dodge more than 2 cars. How save Chrysler. How to get Jeep the 3-row vehicle it needs.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Plum Crazy is pretty closely associated with the Challenger, and is one of the “High Impact” colors that Chrysler came out with in 1970. So $70 is a little nod to the history of the color, while not being excessively greedy like so many manufacturers who limit us to greyscale colors.

      B5 Blue was first introduced in 1969. Hence, $69.

      These colors have been pretty popular, so they have leaked down to some older cars that shouldn’t have them. So if you ever catch a ’68 Charger wearing B5 Blue or Plum Crazy Purple, you know it’s not the original color.

      • 0 avatar
        legacygt

        Thanks for the reply. Had no idea the pricing for the colors was linked to history in that way. This is actually pretty cool in context. Without context, it’s a little nonsensical.

  • avatar
    incautious

    No fan of EPB thank you very much

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Does anyone know if the cylinder deactivation feature is included in an R/T w/manual trans?

    While I really liked the Charger R/T I rented last year, I HATED when the cylinder deactivation feature kicked in on the freeway. The exhaust note changed to a discordant tone, and a bit of driveline vibe was introduced. I like to save fuel while cruising as much as anyone, but the combination of weird exhaust and vibration left me with a headache after just 20 miles.

    I tried putting the car in sport mode, which does indeed turn off cylinder deactivation, but it also locks out the 8th gear, which I found unsatisfactory as well.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The manual transmission versions do not have cylinder deactivation.

    • 0 avatar
      ptschett

      The manual has a different exhaust system (more free flowing, better sounding) and no MDS (Multiple Displacement System for those not Chrysler TLA-compliant.) Something to do with the vibration / harmonics of the driveline IIRC where the engine and transmission can coordinate for MDS activation in the automatic but obviously not with the manual.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I’m not aware of any manual transmission car that’s ever been equipped with cylinder deactivation but someone can correct me on that.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          …I’m not aware of any manual transmission car that’s ever been equipped with cylinder deactivation but someone can correct me on that…

          My C7 is a manual and it has cylinder deactivation. It also works very well. You do hear a change in the exhaust note but under 95% of typical conditions, it is virtually seamless. Never understood the hate on the system – I only use it on the highway – but a high tank of 32 MPG for a 460 HP car is amazing.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Thank you!! Yet one more reason to buy a manual!

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I can also confirm the manuals don’t come with cylinder deactivation. The 392 does get a gas guzzler charge with the manual though.

    • 0 avatar
      kkop

      I love our 2012 6MT R/T. Actually looking at replacing with newer model, preferably the widebody. Interior looks a lot better now. BTW, love that red interior. Too bad they did away with the pistol-grip shifter though – it looks so good.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      All you had to do is push the “SPORT” button, and it would deactivate the 4 cylinder “feature”. I do it every time I get into my Challenger, except when I’m driving in snow..

      And being in sport mode does not lock out 7th and 8th gear, you just weren’t going fast enough.

  • avatar
    ptschett

    Did this actually not have hill hold?!? My manual 2010 R/T had it, as does my (automatic) 2015 R/T for some reason. I guess it is an easy setting to change on the 8.4 display…

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Such a cool car even after all these years. The available colors are great too, quite refreshing.

  • avatar
    Big Wheel

    Like others above, I don’t want to like this car (or the Charger). But I do.

    I’ll take one in Plum Crazy please.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    A regular old Pentastar with a manual would be sufficient for me. Having driven a 300S thus equipped, I’m convinced that would be the one I’d appreciate most. The 3.6 is plenty for this guy.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      At least drive a 5.7 if not a 6.4, you just may regret not getting a V8. I had a 5.7 Charger followed by a 5.7 Challenger, and the first time I drove a 6.4, I knew it would be what I bought next time.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m happy that this exists.

    I would also never buy it.

  • avatar
    Chi-One

    ’16 Plum Crazy R/T 6MT. Best legal mood enhancer there is. Next one will be a Scat Pack Shaker in Plum Crazy.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    I hate that this car is about the size of a battleship, but I still want it a little. :)

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      That makes it easier to justify.

      17 cubic ft trunk, usable backseat. If Momma had her Tahoe/Yukon class vehicle already I’d have been looking hard at a regular R/T.

      It’s an anachronism, get one while you still can.

      When they someday announce the cancellation of this platform guys will be punching each other on dealer lots to buy the last ones.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        If the regular Challenger is still offered in 2 years, when my lease is up, I might have to procure one. I’d stick with the 3.6 though, reasonably fuel efficient and powerful and nice noise.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        If the regular Challenger is still offered in 2 years, when my lease is up, I might have to procure one. I’d stick with the 3.6 though, reasonably fuel efficient and powerful and nice noise.

  • avatar
    peeryog

    I just realized the Challenger badge on the front of the car looks like they had a pile left over from the seventies. I don’t remember the last time a badge was printed on flat plastic.

  • avatar
    brn

    I wish the Charger came in a similar configuration. Much better looking car.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Yeah the Scat Pack Charger or Challenger is on my next car list. Do I like paying a lot for gasoline? The answer is apparently YES!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    If I were interested in this type of car it would be first the Challenger and then the Mustang and I would likely go for the V6. I am glad to see this package and glad to see Mopar still offering the Hemi but I just am not into this type of vehicle anymore. I like the fact that this car has kept its heritage and that it has the most rear seat and trunk space. I am not going to stereotype this car nor am I going to stereotype hybrids especially since I might own an e-assist in the near future. I do like to see more diversity in the automobile and truck choices.


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