Performance Cars

2016 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack: Bring the noise!​ (CNET On Cars, Episode 100)​

The Challenger Scat Pack mixes retro fun with modern fury at a working man's price. Cooley takes on a tsunami of your emails, and lists your Top 5 favorite car videos that we've ever done.​

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In this 100th episode:

  • The 2016 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack takes me back. I recall the silly fun that invaded muscle cars around the late 60s and early 70s. Wild colors, zany names and road runners and coyotes from Saturday morning TV adorned hoods and fenders. But then it was over, as the double hammer of emissions controls and an oil crisis hit. When performance really returned two decades later, it wore the serious, scowling faces of M3 and GT-R and the whole "Fear This" aesthetic. So I was pleased to find the still-tongue-in-cheek Scat Pack Challenger in our garage -- and it's not kidding about performance. A couple notes I didn't put in the video:
    • Its Launch Control is rather badly calibrated, giving you a controlled fishtail rather than a controlled launch. I varied the RPM trigger with the same results.
    • I, rather controversially, advocate the eight-speed automatic in this car. Aside from the reasons I show you in the video, it also drops your 0-60 time by at least 0.2 seconds, unless you're that good with a stick.
    • In the video I muse at the idea of autocrossing this rather tossable muscle machine, but forget that: The occluded outward visibility from its bunker-like cabin would make it a cone-eater by default.
  • Email lightning round! I work in a whopping 14 of your emails in this episode, largely by limiting my replies to 140 characters.
  • "Top 5 Cars You Love" could have been the title for this installment, as our Top 5 looks back at five years and 100 episodes to round up the most popular car videos we've ever done. It's an interesting list, with some odd bedfellows.

You know how to reach me, oncars@cnet.com.