Sunday, December 10, 2023
News 2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Review: I Miss It Already

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Review: I Miss It Already


2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Pros

– The 392 Hemi V8 is gangbusters good.

– The Tremec 6-speed manual gearbox keeps me up at night.

– The Challenger’s looks are still best of the final round of Pony cars.

 


2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Cons

– The Challenger has always been far too much car, too bulky and infotainment system still seems like it’s a work in progress.

– It marks the end of an era.

 


Change, as they say, is inevitable. Time marches on, and nothing lasts forever – not relationships, not milk, and certainly not cars. But while cars may outlive a lot of things, they too evolve. The automobile industry is no stranger to change, and right now, we’re in the midst of one of the most transformative eras in its history. And the Dodge Challenger stands as the poster child for this inevitable wind of change.

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ve probably been following this evolution closely, through platforms like Motor Illustrated. And it’s evident that the internal combustion engine, the heart of many classic cars, is reaching its final curtain call. But before they bow out, automakers like Stellantis have been taking us on a beautiful journey down memory lane.

 


Thank you Daimler-Chrysler

 

It was 20 years ago, that Chrysler introduced the LX platform cars – the 300 and the Magnum in 2005. These rear-wheel drive V8 and V6 powered cars were not just vehicles; they were statements. As time went on, the LX platform evolved, with cars like the Charger and Challenger gracing the roads in the following years. The Challenger holds a special place, representing everything that Chrysler and its associated brands stood for in automotive excess.

 


Last Call

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

In a truly poignant and forever memorable move to commemorate the end of this iconic era, Dodge has introduced a series of “Last Call” vehicles. A final hurrah, if you will. And among these is the one that stands out above all others: the 2023 392 Scat Pack Swinger. A blend of 20th-century car charm and 21st-century innovation, this car is a snapshot of the golden years of automotive design and performance. It’s a blend of the old and the new, a car that resonates with those who grew up in the era of muscle cars but appreciate today’s technological advancements.

 

But here’s the catch – it’s rare. So rare, in fact, that if you’ve missed out on buying one, you probably won’t ever see one on the roads. With only 1,000 of these Challenger Swingers in existence, they’re more likely to become collector’s items, locked away and preserved for posterity.

 


So bad it’s good

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

This Challenger isn’t just a car. For many, it’s a piece of history, an embodiment of an era of cars that’s slowly fading away. It’s bittersweet, a mix of excitement for the new and nostalgia for the old. Driving this car is more than just getting from point A to B. It’s about the experience, the feel, the connection with the machine. When it comes to the Challenger, it’s a unique blend of old-school vibes and power.

 

Starting with the striking design, the Challenger still captures peoples’ eye despite being on the on the road for 15 years. Its aggressive styling might be familiar to many by now, but it never ceases to leave an impression. However, the real shocker comes once you’re inside. Transitioning from a modern vehicle like the all-new 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid to the Challenger feels like stepping into a different world. It’s reminiscent of a time when driving was more tactile, raw, and intimate. The car’s ergonomics, while seemingly dated, offer a unique driving position that takes a moment to adjust to, but soon, it feels just right. Even the height at which you sit becomes essential, especially when trying to peek over the iconic shaker hood.

 


392 4EVER

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Under the hood, the Challenger doesn’t disappoint. While there are more powerful versions, like the supercharged 6.2L Hellcat engine, there’s something innately special about the 392. It offers an impressive 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, ensuring thrills every time it roars to life. Don’t be fooled by the numbers as this Challenger isn’t about beating other cars in a race. It’s heavy, almost bus-like in weight, which means it’s not your go-to drag racing vehicle. Instead, it’s all about the journey. Cruising down the road, with the growl of the V8 engine, is an event in itself. It’s the kind of sound that stirs the soul, a rumble that echoes deep within and resonates with every heartbeat.

 

The six-speed manual transmission enhances the overall experience. Shifting requires effort, feeling both substantial and satisfying. The resistance when getting the shifter into its slot, combined with the heavy clutch, makes driving the Challenger a full-body experience. And when you get it right, it’s blissful. The adaptive dampers and massive tires ensure a ride that’s firm yet forgiving. It’s sporty, but not punishing.

 


She will be missed

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

In today’s rapidly evolving automotive landscape, where manual transmissions are becoming rarer and electric vehicles are on the rise, the Challenger stands as a posterchild to the golden era of muscle cars. It represents a raw, unfiltered rich-in-emotion driving happening that’s becoming increasingly hard to find. The emotions it evokes, the sheer involvement it demands, and the memories it creates place it among iconic cars like the BMW 1M, Camaro SS 1LE, and even the Civic Type R.

 

If you’re in the market for a car that’s a perfect blend of the past and the future, one that brings with it memories and promises, the 2023 Dodge Challenger is it. A fitting tribute to a bygone era, it’s a reminder that while times change, the essence of what makes cars special remains timeless.

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Swinger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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