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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/20 8:52 a.m.

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

Meet Our Expert:

Erich Heuschele
manager/DR, SRT vehicle dynamics
drivesrt.com

The best-performing Dodge Challenger for autocross is the SRT 392, specifically the 2015 and 2016 models. It has the Hellcat’s big, sticky, 275mm-wide Pirelli P Zero tires and monster brakes, adaptive shocks from Bilstein (which are …

Read the rest of the story

Duke
Duke MegaDork
12/10/20 9:07 a.m.

Erich Heschele is a name I haven't heard since my old neons.org days!  Glad he's still around.

 

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/10/20 9:37 a.m.

See them more and more as rentals, not always the best sign

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
12/10/20 9:45 a.m.

I know Dodge constantly gets picked on for antique platforms, adding power to everything for no reason, etc., but you have to love how helpful they are when asked how to track their cars. Most OEMs talk a lot about maintaining factory warranties and "did you see the new rocker panel applique that looks track ready!" while meanwhile Dodge is like "You know it might screw up the stability control to do this but don't you want to go fast you wuss!"

350z247
350z247 New Reader
12/10/20 2:14 p.m.

250 degrees?! I'm taking a cool down lap if any temperature hits 225 then upgrading something before the next time out.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/10/20 3:28 p.m.
350z247 said:

250 degrees?! I'm taking a cool down lap if any temperature hits 225 then upgrading something before the next time out.

There is nothing wrong with oil temp that high. Synthetics can handle 300. 

When I had my 135i the stock oil cooler thermostat didn't even partially open until the oil is 230-235° the goal was to keep it between 235-250 for efficiency. 

350z247
350z247 New Reader
12/10/20 4:24 p.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

They didn't specify if it was oil or coolant, but I assumed it was oil. I'd still rather stick at or under 225. If the gauge says 225 at the sump, it might be much higher somewere else in the engine. I know the oil can handle it, but it makes me uncomfortable.

For your example, I don't trust modern BMWs and their cooling. BMW has adopted an "as long as the engine makes it out of warranty, we don't care" mindset. I realize emissions standards are strict, but running coolant temps in the 220-230 range at over 20PSI is too much for an engine to last. I modified the oil cooler and thermostat in my wife's E70 X5M to have the oil and coolant sit closer to 200-210 degrees. I don't want to replce my rubber hoses every 30K miles.

Danny Shields (Forum Supporter)
Danny Shields (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/11/20 5:50 a.m.

I am impressed. That is a lot of great information, shared by someone who knows what he is talking about! Excellent article!

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
12/11/20 6:49 a.m.

I still want a Challenger in the worst way. Dodge did a good job of tapping into the emotion aspect, rather than raw performance. I've sat in tons of Camaros and quite a few Mustangs, but none of them just gave me the same feel as sitting in a Challenger.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/11/20 8:24 a.m.
NickD said:

I still want a Challenger in the worst way. Dodge did a good job of tapping into the emotion aspect, rather than raw performance. I've sat in tons of Camaros and quite a few Mustangs, but none of them just gave me the same feel as sitting in a Challenger.

I LOVE the way they look. But can't get past the weight. 

And that's disappointing about the tire size. A car with that much power and weight can only fit 275s without major surgery? You can stuff 265s under the unrolled fenders of a BRZ.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
12/11/20 8:39 a.m.

Not gonna lie, I still want a Challenger. BAD.

Is it large by huge and weighs a ton? Yes. But it's a great GT car, and with some light mods, they will dance. One day, I will own one.

jerel77494
jerel77494 New Reader
10/20/21 9:21 a.m.

One of the few articles that didn't mention insufficient cooling, suspension locating points that rip out, bearings that fail or any other major design issues that need to be overcome in order to track the car, just "Use these parts and ,by the way, they're available from the factory".

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/30/23 10:13 a.m.

Your photo almost perfectly captures what driving near a Challenger is like. If you had somehow put a crackle tune soundtrack behind it, it would've been perfect.

 

fidelity101
fidelity101 UberDork
8/30/23 10:41 a.m.
NickD said:

I still want a Challenger in the worst way. Dodge did a good job of tapping into the emotion aspect, rather than raw performance. I've sat in tons of Camaros and quite a few Mustangs, but none of them just gave me the same feel as sitting in a Challenger.

god me too and honestly I'm not going to be doing much else but look cool, be comfortable and do burnouts. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/30/23 1:32 p.m.
z31maniac said:
350z247 said:

250 degrees?! I'm taking a cool down lap if any temperature hits 225 then upgrading something before the next time out.

There is nothing wrong with oil temp that high. Synthetics can handle 300. 

When I had my 135i the stock oil cooler thermostat didn't even partially open until the oil is 230-235° the goal was to keep it between 235-250 for efficiency. 

The oil might be able to handle 300 in the pan, but a lot of bearing materials will bubble and flake when the oil gets this hot.  

300 in the pan might be 400+ in the bearing journal.

 

You guys have it easy... you can feel the power fading away when a rotary's oil gets over 180.  No wonder we all have oil coolers bigger than aircooled Porsches.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
8/30/23 1:44 p.m.

I looked at this platform for a VERY long time. What finally killed it for me wasn't the weight, the ancient platform, the sight lines, my inherent distrust of Chrysler, anything like that.

 

It's the people. I can't abide by the crowd it attracts. Seems like I got two choices. Either the jorts and new balances, or the sideshow dudes. I don't want to be either, and I don't want to talk to either. 

I think that's what makes things like the Caprice PPV so attractive. It's a 0 sum balance. It attracts no one. 

I do like the noise a hellcat makes, though. 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/30/23 2:15 p.m.
Mndsm said:

I looked at this platform for a VERY long time. What finally killed it for me wasn't the weight, the ancient platform, the sight lines, my inherent distrust of Chrysler, anything like that.

It's the people. I can't abide by the crowd it attracts. Seems like I got two choices. Either the jorts and new balances, or the sideshow dudes. I don't want to be either, and I don't want to talk to either. 

All of this, right down to the distrust of Chrysler. I think the Challenger still looks great all these years later. And if I'm honest with myself, a big, comfortable fast cruiser is more my style these days than a small sports car. But I just can't deal with the people who buy them. Every E36 M3head on the road seems to drive one. Every time there's an illegal drag race busted up, it's Challengers and Chargers. Especially here in the Detroit area, every 25 year old who can somehow finagle a 10-year loan is driving one, poorly.

I guess it's shallow of me to avoid a car because of who it's associated with, but so be it. (says the guy with a Mustang! laugh)

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
8/30/23 2:20 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

Anecdotal evidence- 100% of the stolen car chase cars on Live PD end up being LX platform cars. 

 

Not 100% true, obviously, but a comical number of the car chases, wrecks, etc- end up being chargers/challengers. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito UltimaDork
8/30/23 5:34 p.m.

Not sure if this is a zombie canoe bump, but 3 years later, I still think about these things a lot. 

Despite the size, despite the owners/crowd, and despite the fact that it's on chassis architecture that debuted during the GW Bush Administration, I still want one of these someday. I've sampled a few of these, and they are always a ton of fun. My favorite of the bunch is the 2015+ Scat Pack, and the Scat Pack Widebody moreso. Is it the right tool for the track? Probably not; there are cars that are far better at that than these are. Even its direct competition (Camaro and Mustang) are likely better choices. It's more of a comfortable, powerful, proper GT car, or at least the American interpretation of one.

Also, I could honestly give a crap who drives one or who likes them, because for me, driving something this big that handles like it does while being able to break the tires loose on command (even at highway speeds) and go into complete goblin mode makes this the car I used to daydream about in Math class as a teenage gearhead. I learned a long time ago to just like what you like, and not let others ruin things for me. As long as a car puts a smile on YOUR face, it's really all that matters. And this is one of the many that does it for me, despite all the viral videos of street takeover morons that drift their Challengers into Infiniti G37's that seemingly appear on the internet every week. 

And for the love of all things holy, take the damn splitter guards off! laugh

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
8/31/23 8:50 a.m.

 had a 2014 RT, loved it. trade it in for something with 4 doors, twice the gas mileage(and 87) and a cheaper monthly payment.

That said I still want another one.

I don't wear jorts nor do I engage in side shows or flee from police.

Vegiemite
Vegiemite
8/31/23 9:48 a.m.

Off topic - Is that lead image real? Looks like Ai generated imagery.
 

Curious if it came from Dodge if it was presented as actual live action.

Maybe it is, I've seen the airborne current model Corvette but the shading and lack of detail in the car looks like AI. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
8/31/23 9:59 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

I know Dodge constantly gets picked on for antique platforms, adding power to everything for no reason, ...

I realize that I'm a bit of a contrarian, but these are both strong positives in my opinion.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/31/23 10:08 a.m.
Tony Sestito said:

Also, I could honestly give a crap who drives one or who likes them, because for me, driving something this big that handles like it does while being able to break the tires loose on command (even at highway speeds) and go into complete goblin mode makes this the car I used to daydream about in Math class as a teenage gearhead.

these are great days we're living, bro.  we're jolly green giants walking the land with guns!

OK, so replace "guns" with "400+ whp and a berkeleying warranty!" and this quote from Full Metal Jacket is right on.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/31/23 10:47 a.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:
Tony Sestito said:

Also, I could honestly give a crap who drives one or who likes them, because for me, driving something this big that handles like it does while being able to break the tires loose on command (even at highway speeds) and go into complete goblin mode makes this the car I used to daydream about in Math class as a teenage gearhead.

these are great days we're living, bro.  we're jolly green giants walking the land with guns!

OK, so replace "guns" with "400+ whp and a berkeleying warranty!" and this quote from Full Metal Jacket is right on.

It only feels that way because you lived through the 30 year malaise.  

350z247
350z247 Reader
8/31/23 12:00 p.m.

In reply to A 401 CJ :

I'm pretty sure that applies to anyone. From the late 90s to the early 2020s, the ICE really had a miraculous 25 years from the introduction of the LS1 and E39 M5 to the 992 GT3 and GT350R and dozens of incredible cars in between. All the current turbo and electric cars are boring to me, but the NA masterpieces across my lifetime have been fantastic.

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