Can a car actually make you feel 16 again? The answer is yes-if it is the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker edition. Holy cow, what a car to return you to your youth. Some of us remember in 1970 when the Challenger came out. It was aptly named to take on the Mustang and Camaro, and divided gear heads who argued about who had the fastest car. Enough memory lane talk; let’s turn the calendar to 2014.
Let’s start our look at this beast from the exterior. My review car is Header Orange, which is my favorite, but it does come in 5 different colors. The first thing you notice is the shaker sticking through the hood as a portal to get more air into the engine. 33-years ago, when Mopar first came out with the shaker, it was named that because you could see it shaking when the engine was on. The same is true today. From behind the wheel, under heavy acceleration, the shaker leans to the right and adds to the exhilarating feel of the Challenger.
Black stripes start at the shaker, go over the roof and down the trunk. Black front and rear spoilers complement the 20” polished aluminum wheels with black satin accents. Large chrome dual exhaust tips complete the look from behind, a blacked out grill makes the front view terrific. The word Shaker appears on both sides of the actual shaker, and both front fenders announce it is a Hemi.
Opening the hood reveals the 375-horse, 5.7-liter V8 Hemi, that looks much larger and sounds awesome even at idle. My tester has a 6-speed manual, which makes the car even more fun to drive. You can get a 5-speed automatic if you desire, but resist the temptation.
Here is what Shaker Package gets you, at a cost of $7000:
Shaker hood with functional air intake, unique Shaker Hood, roof and deck lid stripes, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with black pockets and satin finish, body-color grille surround with script Challenger badge, gloss black fuel door.
Functional Shaker air intake, super Track Pak content, including performance-tuned steering, a stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, Goodyear Eagle Supercar tires and three-mode Electronic Stability Control that can be completely deactivated for the ultimate track experience.
High-performance heated leather seats with Shaker logo, individually numbered Shaker instrument panel badge, performance flat-bottom steering wheel, Shaker logo on the Uconnect system touchscreens, bright pedal kit, custom door trim with sepia plow-through stitching, black trim bezels.
Although the Shaker Package adds $7000 to the base cost, it’s only $2500 more than the Challenger R/T Classic. In January, when Chrysler opened the order banks, the Dodge dealers scarfed up all 2000 Shaker Challengers in less than 4 days. That means if you want one of these, you’ll have to find one in a dealer’s inventory. Psst, can you say future classic?
For me, the interior of all Challengers is the most retro of all the entries from the Detroit Three. The Nappa leather seats are super comfortable, the flat-bottom steering wheel with controls is a nice touch, and everything is in reach and easy to operate. The 368-watt stereo sounds awesome and is a good value at $600, the power sunroof will set you back $1195, and HID headlights are $695.
The only other option on this one is the Chrysler Uconnect system, which I still say is one of the best and easiest to operate of any car I have ever tested. The Uconnect system gives you the Garmin navigation system, Bluetooth, MP3 and DVD, all run from a colorful 6.5” touchscreen, and that will run you $1095.
Standard equipment on the car includes power seats, automatic temperature controlled air, keyless entry, pushbutton start, and a lot more, including enough safety equipment to earn the car a 5-Star overall safety rating from NHTSA.
This is an exciting car to drive, it handles very well in hard cornering and from a dead standstill, and in spite of its heavy weight, the performance steering and suspension enhance the experience behind the wheel. Top speed is limited to 155-miles per hour, and this rear-wheel drive coupe feels like it will do that easily.
It is a testament to the Dodge Challenger that since reintroduced in 2008, it has not gone through a major change, which is unusual in a sport coupe. Bravo to Chrysler for bringing back the Shaker in a tasteful and well-done manner. Make it in a convertible and you might be able to ink me up on one!
What I liked most: Performance and exterior looks.
What I would change: I tried, I really did. I can’t find a thing I don’t like.
MSRP: Base price $30,495 as equipped $42,075.
Fuel Economy: Stated at 15 in town/23 highway/18 combined.
Odometer reading when tested: 1748 miles
Weight: 3834 Pounds.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.1 gallons
2014 Challenger Shaker in a few words: A Shaker AND a mover!
Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
Manufacturers website: http://www.dodge.com/en/challenger/model_details/#model=shaker
Dealers: We have great dealers for all Chrysler products in Austin, Cleveland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, & Los Angeles.
Click here for Car Pro Dealers: http://www.carprousa.com/car-pro-approved-dealers/
Photo Credit: Dodge