Driven: One-Of-500 Dodge Shakedown Last Call Challengers


Summary

  • Limited edition Last Call Challenger Scat Pack Shakedown with throwback looks and aggressive Shaker Hood for true muscle car enthusiasts.
  • Relatively economical MSRP compared to other high-performance vehicles.
  • Fuel consumption not the best, potential for breaking traction tickets, and sound system could use improvement.


2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Scat Pack Shakedown Front And Driver Side View - Jody Only
2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Scat Pack Shakedown

Dodge sent the Challenger out with a series of limited-production special editions, including 500 narrow-body Challenger Scat Pack Shakedowns. All came in Destroyer Gray, with the 485 horsepower SRT 6.4-liter pushrod Hemi V-8. 

Model
Challenger Last Call Scat Pack Shakedown

Torque
475 LB-FT @ 4,100 RPM

Transmission
8-Speed TorqueFlite Automatic

Driveline
Front Engine, RWD

MSRP
$65,515

MSRP (As Tested)
$67,878

0-60 MPH
4.2 Seconds

Quarter-Mile
12.5 Seconds @ 112 MPH

Fuel Economy
18 MPG Combined

Horsepower
485 HP @ 6,100 RPM
Pros
  • Exclusivity
  • Throwback looks are money
  • Aggressive Shaker Hood
  • Savage Take-Offs
  • Track Telemetry
  • Relatively Economical MSRP
Cons
  • Fuel consumption not the best
  • Gas guzzler tax
  • Big turning radius
  • Potential for breaking traction tickets
  • Sound system needs more thump

In the world of car guys (or girls, like me), there are the ones that buy/build them to collect/show them and then there are the others (again, like me) that want to drive them. So, while many of the OG and modern muscle car enthusiasts would look at one of the only 500-unit, limited-edition 2023 Dodge Shakedown Last Call Scat Pack Challengers and want to tuck it away like a hidden treasure, I want to put the wheels on the road and drive it like I stole it.


No bad vibes to the car owners that think differently; but for me, I’d rather daily my good time to work and back, instead of admiring it in the garage. That being said, as I previously mentioned in my 1,000 horsepower Hennessey Exorcist Cadillac CTV-5 Blackwing review, my “everyday” is a customized mid-engine C8. So, when I test a vehicle, even a high-performance vehicle, I look for more than just performance. I look at it’s fun and function as an everyday errand-runner and that was the intent of this First Drive for the special-edition, streetable racer, the Last Call Chally.

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In order to provide an honest and unbiased analysis, the limited-edition 2023 Last Call Dodge Challenger Shakedown in this review was test-driven over the course of a week. For detailed insight into testing procedures and data collection, please review our
methodology policy.

Dodge Scat Pack Rolls Through The Streets of San Francisco

2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Shakedown Parked in San Francisco
Jody Only / TopSpeed


A week in the driver’s seat of the 2023 Dodge Challenger Shakedown Scat Pack gave me the opportunity to test one of Dodge’s final internal combustion models in a variety of conditions. My last spin in the Last Call covered light of day and dark of night, interstate as well as town travel, and to and through one of the most recognizable cities in the world: San Francisco. It was a bittersweet task.


The run was exhilarating, but comprehending the “Last Call” UnderHood Plaque was representative of the
END
of Mopar muscle as we know it – fully-realizing that
electrified muscle
ISN’T
Dodge’s future – it is Dodge’s NOW
and
their ONLY – that saddened my heart.


Last Call Dodge Challenger Shakedown Scat Pack First Impressions Are High

Throwback Looks: Dodge’s Modern Challenger Retains Much Of Its Vintage Flair

Cruising the lots of the Dodge dealership, I passed a handful of Challengers and Chargers front and center. There was a Sublime, a Go Mango, a Plum Crazy, and a White Knuckle. They were bright, in-your-face announcements of a bold Challenger row. Then there was the gray one. Not just any gray, not the popular Triple Nickel gray seen on a gazillion other modern muscle Dodge models.


The Shakedown was a different gray — Destroyer Gray.


Now, gray is not usually my thing; but it wasn’t just gray. This Challenger also wore black and red Shakedown stripes sprawling the length of the car, from the hood, over the roof, to the decklid. Most interesting was the curve of the stripes as they eased around the cold air-grabbing Mopar Shaker intake that swells out through the Shaker hood. My heart fluttered at the retro-look of the functional Mopar-trimmed hood pins that flanked the stripes. My First Impression: Screams throwback.

Exterior Dimensions

Length

197.9 Inches

Width, W/O Mirrors

75.7 Inches

Height

57.7 Inches

Liftover Height

33.2 Inches

Wheelbase

116.2 Inches

Track Width, Front

63.4 Inches

Track Width, Rear

63.8 Inches

Base Curb Weight

4,281 Pounds

Driving Impressions And Performance

2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Shakedown Scat Pack In Destroyer Gray
Jody Only / TopSpeed


My first impression of “total throwback” was completely based on looks. After my drive time, many of the throwback thoughts remained. Driving this 2023 Challenger was highly reminiscent of a beautiful, black-on-black, murdered-out 1969 Dodge Charger that I dailyied to work for a few years. That sixties-era Charger and I parted ways because of irreconcilable differences that would’ve all been forgotten, had the current amenities and convenience of today’s performance technology been incorporated into its function. The sheer ease of the 2023 Challenger underlined that fact.

Comparing ’69 Dodge Muscle to a 2023 Dodge Challenger: Similarities And Differences

The modern Dodge has more than a subtly similar aesthetic to its predecessor. The brute force, the immediate power, the rolling acceleration, were all comparable to my ‘69, and unearthed the same emotions and feelings as I gripped the wheel and sped through the gears. The contradictions between the generations of Dodge were quickly apparent when the Shakedown roared to life immediately when started, maintained a constant flow of fuel, and stopped on a dime with nine cents change. Simply, a total flex of all the bennies of a fuel-injected, big-brake modern and the polar opposite of my original Mopar muscle.

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Limited-Edition Last Call Dodge Challenger Shakedown Is Powered By A V-8 SRT Hemi

SRT Engine 2023 Dodge Challenger
Jody Only / TopSpeed


The heart of this 2023 Scat Pack Shakedown is a naturally-aspirated, 6.4-liter 392 cubic-inch V-8 SRT HEMI with MDS, paired to a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission equipped with paddle shifters. Compared to the four-digit horsepower ratings of others in the Mopar muscle fam, it creates a relatively modest 485 horses, and 475 pound-feet of torque.


In the Last Call Challenger models, horsepower ranges from 303 to a whopping 1,025: so, the Shakedown falls roughly in the middle of that and while the performance on the four-digit horse phenom, the SRT Demon 170, rips a 1.66 zero to 60 time that clocks it as the fastest production car available, the Shakedown doesn’t rate much under the second most powerful in the HP hierarchy — the SRT Hellcat Redeye – (only .06 seconds difference).

2023 Dodge Last Call Challenger Models Horsepower Ranked

Model

Horsepower

Torque

0 to 60

Top Speed

SRT Demon 170

1,025

945 LB-FT

1.66 Seconds

215 MPH

Black Ghost SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody

807

707 LB-FT

3.7 Seconds

200 MPH

Shakedown Special Edition

485

475 LB-FT

4.2 Seconds

172 MPH

Swinger Special Edition

485

475 LB-FT

4.3 Seconds

175 MPH

Blacktop Special Edition

303

268 LB-FT

6.0 Seconds

168 MPH

Acceleration And Handling

Destroyer Gray 2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Shakedown Scat Pack
Jody Only / TopSpeed


To my delight, just like my ’69 Dodge from the past, the 2023 Challenger chirped second and third and could and would break loose on take-off at every stop sign or red light that tried to impede my forward progress. On the downside, and again, like my previous ’69 Mopar model, the newest version gorged itself on gasoline through stop and go city driving, pulled heavy on accelerated turns, occasionally getting squirrely, and converted all my U-turns into three-pointers.


I had intended to test maneuverability on the infamous turns of San Francisco’s Lombard Street but scratched that idea when winding through the Starbucks drive-thru became a multipoint turn, worthy of a test for a first driver’s license. I appreciated the automatic on the steep grades of the San Francsico terrain, which carry some of the heaviest grades for roadways in the country at over 30 percent. Depending on the demand, gear changes were smooth, like velvet, or hard and fast, like… well, like stuff that’s hard and fast.

Drive Modes And Track Tech


The list of tech packages in the Shakedown seems endless. But the standout for me was the ease of the SRT Configurable Drive Modes and SRT Performance Pages. I could quickly toggle through all setups and customizations, including a push button line lock and launch. Each of the Drive Modes gave the Challenger a distinctive attitude. All drive modes, including AUTO, can put you back in your seat from both a rolling or dead-stop launch.


I spent the majority of time in SPORT mode, which felt like it had super-responsive steering in comparison to AUTO. There was absolutely no lack of power even in AUTO. Engine growl and some road noise were noticeable, but didn’t bother me. Another person’s taste may differ; however, I love me some lope.

Suspension

Always a test of a routine runaround is the way it takes my neighborhood’s undulations. In some cars, I can hit them full-speed and not spill anything over the top of my can of Liquid Death. In other cars, I have to come to a full-stop, cautiously climb at an angle and then ever so slowly ease off the brakes as I lower off the hump. This Shakedown slid into a happy-mid range. Suspension held nicely, no bounce with minimal slowing.


Overall, the suspension performed nicely. On the highway it is sure-footed and stuck to the ground, just the way a modern muscle car should be. It tracked well at high speeds. Although the power was deliverable on demand, on the highway it didn’t feel that rowdy, unless I put my foot in it, and it got noticeably better gas mileage.

Suspension Components

  • Front Short and Long Arm with Coil Springs
  • Rear Multi-Link w Coil Springs
  • Front and Rear HD Anti-Roll Bars
  • 3.90:1 Mechanical Limited Slip Differential
  • Bilstein PremiumShocks
  • Rack And Pinion Steering
  • 37.8 Foot Turning Radius

Fuel Consumption

Fueling Internal Combustion Engine In A 2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Shakedown Scat Pack
Jody Only / TopSpeed


The 2023 Dodge Challenger is subject to the IRS collected Gas Guzzler Tax. For any vehicle, the amount of the fuel-sucking fee is dependent on the rated miles per gallon. The worse the fuel economy is, the higher the tax imposed.


Fuel Specs

*EPA Estimated

EPA Class

Mid-Size Car

Consumption City

15 MPG*

Consumption Hwy

24 EPG*

Consumption Combined

18 MPG

Tank Capacity

18.5 Gallons

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Interior Design and Comfort


The interior offered a much more luxurious look and feel than I recall from Dodge’s from days gone by. The premium black Scat Pack emblazoned Nappa / Alcantara seats, leather-wrapped shifter, suede headliner, and real carbon fiber accents felt rich, but not too grandiose. Red stitching on the seats, console, and steering wheel, said sporty and coordinated with the Demonic Red seat belts.

Interior Dimensions

Front

Rear

Headroom

36.3 Inches

37.1 Inches

Hip Room

55.3 Inches

47.8 Inches

Leg Room

42 Inches

33.1 Inches

Shoulder Room

58.5 Inches

53.9 Inches


The Shakedown-specific instrument panel and interior badging are reminders to the driver of how special the particular Dodge model and trim is. The cluster was easy to read, and well-lit through ambient light changes with a digital speedo that showed north of 100 MPH.

Comfort and Convenience In the Last Call Challenger

  • Scat Pack Package Equipment
  • Ventilated and Heated Front Seats
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Power Tilt/Telescope Column
  • Door Trim Panel with Ambient Lighting
  • Power Multi-Functional Fold-Away Mirrors


2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Shakedown Scat Pack
Jody Only / TopSpeed


As for comfort, I may have forgotten the roominess of a Dodge muscle car because I was quite surprised at the spaciousness of the cabin.


The overstuffed seats were more like sinking into grandpa’s overstuffed recliner, rather than a bucket in a coupe.


Legroom was sufficient in the front seat and visibility was good. I didn’t immediately notice the “Challenger blindspot” that is commonly discussed on the internet; however, Blind Spot Monitoring is a feature on the car. The rear seat is supposed to handle three passengers. I didn’t attempt it. However, I doubt it would seat them comfortably.

Cargo Room: Shakedown Accommodates A Broom

Cargo Space Trunk Volume on 2023 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Shakedown Lass Call
Jody Only / TopSpeed


The Dodge Challenger trunk accommodates a broom. To me, that speaks volumes. Although I was looking at this Challenger as a grocery-getter, I didn’t expect that. I have rarely dailied a car that I could fit a broom in. Well, this would change that. Translation: This won’t just handle your Walmart pickup; the cargo space of the Challenger could take on a Costco trip.

Cargo Capacity

Passenger Capacity

Two Front, Three Rear

Passenger Volume

93.9 Cubic-Feet

Trunk Volume

16.2 Cubic-Feet

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Technology And Ease Of Use


An 8.4-inch touchscreen is the hub of the Challenger’s infotainment system. As always, the Uconnect system is user-friendly. The clarity of the ParkView rear backup-cam, nav, and Apple CarPlay are as expected. As a Fantasy Football fan, I personally enjoyed getting updates on the day’s and season’s NFL stats and found the nearest gas stations and fuel prices, which were both choices in the available pre-loaded apps.


Sound options on the Shakedown include an 18-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system; however, this example featured an Alpine version that I would say would’ve benefited from more bass. A five-year sub to SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic Plus was included.

Wheels And Tires

2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Shakedown Scat Pack Wheel And Red Brembo Brake Close Up
Jody Only / TopSpeed


Tire Size

P275/40ZR20

Tire Type

All-Season Performance Pirelli’s

Wheel Material

Aluminum

Wheel Size

20 X 9.5 Low Gloss Black Forged

Brakes

Brembo Four Wheel Disc

Calipers

Six Piston Front, Four Piston Rear

2023 Dodge Challenger Last Call Scat Pack Shakedown Vs. The Competition

Comparing a Dodge Challenger to its current-day competitors, the Ford Mustang GT or Chevy Camaro SS instantly comes to mind. Having been all about a muscle car, since way before I could drive, I have had my day or two in the Mustang and the Camaro, model years from both the golden-era and modern versions. It is a challenge (errr…no pun intended) to say they all have reasons to own them. So the decision of which is better may simply fall to brand loyalty. Brand put-downs are like, well you know, everyone has one, and we’ve probably all heard them:


  • Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Fords
  • Chevy — Like a Rock, It Just Sits There
  • Dodge — Drips Oil / Drops Grease Everywhere


But to me, this brand-razzing is just good ol’ elbow in the ribs banter, because I am an equal-opportunity muscle car lover. I can get stars in my eyes over the good points of any one of them. So here, I will have to give the specs and let the manufacturer’s purists determine for themselves.

Mustang vs. Camaro Horsepower Ratings

  • 455 HP Camaro with 6.2L LT1 V8
  • 450 HP 2023 Ford Mustang GT 5.0L Coyote V8


For this particular model, I would say, the Challenger shows out with the most retro aesthetic; its coke-bottle styling and overall body-lines. And the stripes on the Shakedown just shout THROWBACK. Anyone remember the side stripes on those pre-Y2K Pee-Chee folders? So, I give flashback flair to this edition of Dodge’s Last Call. But if the question remains, would I throw down cash for this throwback?

Our Recommendation

To buy or not to buy? One hundred percent, unequivocally, without a doubt — yes, yes, and hell yes, I would buy it. No, it’s not the 1000 horse Demon, but what is? And there has got to be a whole other segment of cars to ponder IF that’s your boat-floater and your budget. The Last Call may not be a daily driver for everyone, but it may be for you, especially if you ever think about:


  • Your reaction time, how many G’s you are pulling, your zero to 60 or what any of your other track stats are. Track Telemetry – Check!
  • Rolling burnouts, laying a patch out the gate, or putting on a smoke show so long and so big that someone calls the Fire Dept. Line Lock – Check!
  • Revving your engine to pre-set RMPs, letting go, and rocketing off the line (even if it’s the crosswalk line) like you were shot out of a cannon. Launch Control and Launch Assist – Check and check!
  • A fun car to commute in or run errands. Burnouts and brooms – Check!


Bottom line, if you’re looking for a car, not just any car, but a muscle car, and not just any muscle car, but a modern muscle car that has the full sentiment of the original muscle-era, this is a top consideration. Add to the list of pros that it is a limited-run, special-edition, Last Call-plated, one of only 500, classic collectibles in the making or the simple fun you could have with a stop at the track on the way to the gro-sto, and it’s a no-brainer.



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