Sometimes Christmas comes early and it was the case for me this year. I finally got my hands on a 2017 Dodge Challenger, a model I had long wanted to drive. First, because it looks absolutely wicked and second, as though I needed any other reason, because sometimes you get lucky and one with the HEMI V8 is available to take for a spin. And I got lucky twice because not only did I get the Dodge Challenger R/T 392 Scat Pack with the 485-horsepower 6.4L HEMI engine, but it also had the retro Scat Pack look.
To top it all off, this version was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. This was as close as I could get to driving the real deal in 2017, at least until someone allows me to drive an original one. The power sent to the back wheels is as raw as you would expect it and there was nothing more pleasurable than revving the engine. Despite the trend to turbocharge all the things, I hope naturally aspirated muscle blocks never die.
Granted it wasn’t perfect. The humongous C-pillar blocked what little visibility I had and a few key features you’d expect from a $50k car were missing such as the heated front seats. Not that I needed them in the scorching September heat, but ventilated would have been equally nice in 30°C+ weather, a feature available in other versions of the model.
That being said, the Challenger Scat Pack remains one of my favourites from 2017. It’s one of those moments that prove the saying “never meet your hero” absolutely wrong.