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2015 Dodge Challenger Mopar Scat Pack 3 First Drive Review

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/30/2015 Frank Markus

One of the hidden gems in the parking lot at Fiat-Chrysler’s annual “what’s new” event at the Chelsea Proving Grounds was a 2015 Challenger that was born a mid-muscular R/T Shaker with an entry-level Hemi. The Mopar folks then outfitted it with their own aftermarket Scat Pack kits 1, 2, and 3. These comprehensive packages are intended to allow shade-tree enthusiasts to buy the horsepower they can afford then upgrade it as time and budgets allow. The packages are meant to (mostly) be incremental — that is, you don’t buy package 2 by itself; you add it to a car with package 1 already installed. Here’s how the horses add up:

Mopar Scat Pack 1 Kit© Provided by MotorTrend Mopar Scat Pack 1 Kit

Scat Pack 1 opens up the breathing with a cold-air induction, low-restriction air filter, slightly roartier-sounding cat-back exhaust system, a performance oil filter, and a reflashed engine-control unit to ensure the spark advance and fuel systems make the most of the increased airflow. Every engine is unique, so the Mopar folks will tell you this kit can increase output by up to 20 hp and 22 lb-ft (above the stock rating, which in the case of our automatic car is 375 hp and 400 lb-ft). Mopar will be selling a limited run of 50 factory-built Dodge Charger Mopar 15 examples equipped with this gear, and in that installation they rate it at plus 18 hp and lb-ft at a charge of $3,550 (including additional appearance and suspension upgrades). The DIY engine-performance kit, which — like all Scat Pack kits — includes all required installation hardware, gaskets, and so forth, sells for $2,495 ($300 less for vehicles with the Shaker hood, which already get the cold-air intake). Dealer installation time is estimated at 4.5 hours.

2015 Dodge Charger R/T with the Mopar Performance Kit© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Dodge Charger R/T with the Mopar Performance Kit
Mopar Scat Pack 2 Kit© Provided by MotorTrend Mopar Scat Pack 2 Kit

Scat Pack 2 is the time-consuming one, as it involves some mild open-heart surgery, with the cylinder heads coming off to get a hotter camshaft, pushrods, and performance valve springs, with tie bars to reinforce the rocker towers. The benefit can be as much as 56 hp and 30 lb-ft above the stock engine. (Don’t try adding the Scat Pack 1 numbers to these.) The one big hitch is realizing that power requires an ECU reflash that is NOT provided by Mopar (the recommended vendor is Arrow Racing) and that is NOT emissions compliant, so think twice before installing this if you plan on driving the car on public roads and if it faces an annual smog test. The kit only costs $1,895, but you’ll spend a lot more time on the install — the dealer flat-rate estimate is more than 12 hours.

Mopar Scat Pack 3 Kit© Provided by MotorTrend Mopar Scat Pack 3 Kit

Scat Pack 3 takes the breathing to the next level with Mopar CNC-milled and ported cylinder heads, high-flow exhaust manifolds, and high-flow catalysts. With the optimized Arrow Racing-supplied ECU reflash, this kit takes the total horsepower and torque increase up to 75 hp and 44 lb-ft, albeit with the same off-road-only emissions certification. In a Challenger, that means about 450 hp and 454 lb-ft, trumping the original 6.1-liter Challenger SRT’s 425/420 and falling just short of 485/475 produced by today’s 6.4-liter factory R/T Scat Pack or 392 Hemi offerings. This kit retails for $4,495 plus 10 hours of dealer flat-rate time. For those who know they want to jump right to Scat Pack 3, Mopar is working up a “Believer Kit” that deletes the Scat Pack 2’s redundant cylinder head parts. Pricing has not been set yet, but I have estimated it at $7,350 (kits 1 and 3 plus camshaft and pushrods) and install time is unlikely to exceed 14 hours total.

2015 Dodge Challenger RT Shaker Mopar Scat Pack 3 Kit© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Dodge Challenger RT Shaker Mopar Scat Pack 3 Kit

Proper installation of these kits preserves the original warranty, and each kit comes with a speedy-bee badge emblazoned with the appropriate kit number to differentiate it from the factory Scat Pack models with no number. My drive in a Challenger equipped with the top-dawg kit involved a highway oval loop and a handling circuit. The exhaust sounded rich and mellow, never too jarring at highway speeds of 70-80 mph, and on the handling circuit the extra horses kept the stability control system a lot busier than it is when it’s only reining in 372 ponies. Get the corner-exit throttle timing right, however, and this Mopar beast connects the corners a whole lot more enthusiastically than a cooking-grade Hemi can. Another bonus is that the car’s performance limits are a bit easier to probe on the R/T’s 245/45R20 Goodyears than they are on the 392’s 275/40R20 Pirellis.

2015 Dodge Challenger RT© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Dodge Challenger RT

If my numbers are close, the handyman hobbyist could take a $30,990 base R/T Shaker and build this car for $1,650 less than the cost of a factory R/T Scat Pack. That hardly seems worth the trouble, but get a killer deal on a second-hand one, spend a few nights establishing a reputation at the dragstrips, then quietly bolt this hardware on, and you might easily defray that cost differential further with some hustled wager winnings. 

2015 Dodge Challenger RT Shaker Mopar Scat Pack 3 Kit Front View© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Dodge Challenger RT Shaker Mopar Scat Pack 3 Kit Front View
2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker with Mopar Scat Pack 3
BASE PRICE$38,340*
VEHICLE LAYOUTFront-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 2-door coupe
ENGINE5.7L/447-450-hp/444-454-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8
TRANSMISSIONS6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT4,200 lb (mfr)
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT197.9 x 75.7 x 57.5 in
0-60 MPH4.8 sec (MT est)
ON SALE IN U.S.Currently
*Not including Arrow Racing ECU costs or installation time, estimated at 8-15 hours
2015 Dodge Challenger RT© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Dodge Challenger RT


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