Conversation Starter: The 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody

Rear 3/4 view of 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody
2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody.
I was in the parking lot of a motel in my wife's hometown of Ukiah.  It was the Sunday morning after a big family gathering and Mrs. TireKicker was in the room putting the finishing touches on her hair and makeup while I was loading the trunk of the 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody.  Suddenly, there was a voice.

"Ow's yer car?"---in a thick Irish brogue.

I looked to see a man, I suppose in his 50s, slender build, a bit shorter than I, walking toward me.

"Fine.  Fast.", I said.  It was early-ish and I hadn't had coffee yet.

He pointed to the five silver letters on the black panel between the taillights that read "DODGE".

"'Harry Chapin wrote a song about a Dodge, y'know.  "Learned about love in the back of a Dodge", he sang" (the song "Taxi", from 1972,  the late Chapin's first hit and perhaps his best-known after "Cat's in the Cradle", contains that lyric).

Further conversation revealed that my newfound friend was named John, that he was on his first visit to the States, just off the plane the day before after landing in San Francisco.  Given the brand's non-existent profile in Ireland, he may have thought a Dodge was a Dodge and that Harry and Sue in the song had learned about love in the back of something close to what he was examining, with great fascination, in this parking lot.

I gave him my business card, which has TireKicker's web address on it.  John, lad, if you're reading, the Dodge Harry was singing about probably looked something like this (click the link).

Still, the 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody manages to provoke cases of mistaken identity even among U.S. natives and especially car buffs.

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody
2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody.
"Hey, is that a Hellcat?" is the question most often heard in varying American accents.  That's understandable, as this year, Dodge has taken the Challenger R/T Scat Pack we reviewed in 2016 and added the Hellcat-style Widebody package as a $6,000 option.

It bumps the wheels up to 20-inch by 11-inch Devil's Rim alumniums on 305/35ZR20 all-season Pirelli performance tires, adds Widebody fender flares, and folds in active damping suspension, anti-lock four-wheel disc six-piston brakes which are 1.2 inches larger than those on standard body R/T Scat Packs, a performance shift indicator, and a Widebody competition suspension.  All of which is designed to shave a few tenths of a second off lap times at the track by allowing for faster speeds and stickier grip through the corners.

2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack "392" badging
2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack "392" badging.
The only exterior giveaway that this is not a Hellcat is the Scat Pack "392" badges on the front fenders.   That tells you that what's under the hood is a 6.2-liter/392 cubic inch Hemi.

There are some who profess disappointment when learning that this is not, in fact, the 707-horsepower Hellcat, the 797-horsepower Hellcat Redeye or the 808-horsepower Demon.  To those, I can only say 485 horsepower is nothing to sneeze at in this class of car.  Count me in the camp who thinks it's more than plenty.   Zero to 60 in 4.1 seconds?   Works for me.

Reading between the lines: I will not come bail you out when you manage to get popped for excessive speed and reckless driving in your first three and a half seconds at the wheel of a Hellcat/Redeye/Demon.

The 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody is the way to get the looks of a Hellcat in a car that jeopardizes your future as a licensed driver a bit less, for way less money.

$38,995 base for an R/T Scat Pack plus $6,000 for the Widebody Package gets us to a base price of $44,995 for the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody.    And that price brings with it a six-speed manual transmission, rear camera, rear park-assist system, remote start, electronic stability control, all-speed traction control, Keyless Go, theft deterrent system and a tire inflator kit.

Interior view of 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody
2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody interior.
Inside, the standard equipment includes a 180-mile per hour primary speedometer, SRT performance information and drive modes, an 8.4-inch Uconnect system with eight speakers, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, its own 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, two USB and one AUX outlet, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a tilt/telescoping steering column, dual-zone automatic temperature control, a power six-way driver's seat, power four-way driver lumbar adjustment, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.

Our tester also had extra-cost options:

  • Driver convenience group including blind spot and rear cross-path detection, high intensity discharge headlamps and power multi-function mirrors with manual fold-away ($1,095).
  • TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission with leather-wrapped shift knob, steering wheel paddle shifters and tip start ($1,595).
  • Scat Pack bumblebee stripe ($495).
  • 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P Zero summer tires ($595).
  • Upgraded UConnect system with nav and SiriusXM Traffic Plus and Travel Link ($795).

With $1,345 destination charge, the bottom line is $50,915.   Looks like a Hellcat, goes like hell.  Sounds like a deal to me.