Like Vin Diesel’s character in the Fast and Furious movie franchise, Dominic Toretto, the 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 lives its life a quarter-mile at a time. Just look at its name, which clearly states how this factory drag-race special lives to tear up straight, 1320-foot strips of pavement.
The Scat Pack 1320 is the latest addition to the Challenger lineup, and it picks up the slack left behind by the now-defunct Challenger SRT Demon, serving as the brand’s factory-made drag-race-ready model. Unlike the Demon, this Scat Pack is equipped with Dodge’s naturally aspirated 485-hp 6.4-liter V-8 engine. So it doesn’t have the Demon’s available 840 horsepower on tap. In nearly every other respect, it closely apes that devilish SRT model.
Notably, the 1320’s eight-speed automatic transmission includes a transmission brake function, as did the Demon’s. Activated by tapping at the car’s steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, the TransBrake, as it’s referred to, locks the transmission’s output shaft, preventing the car from creeping forward as the driver rolls on the throttle in an attempt to secure a better reaction time off the line when the local strip’s Christmas-tree lights go green.
The beefed-up rear-axle shafts from the Demon ensure an extra measure of durability for repeated hard launches, particularly in light of the 1320’s line-lock function (which holds the front brakes to facilitate tire-warming/crowd-pleasing pre-race burnouts) and launch-control system. Dodge also fitted three-mode adaptive dampers with a dedicated Drag mode that’s designed to ensure more of the car’s weight is transferred rearward at launch, just like in the Demon.
Other Demon touches include proper drag radials (in this case, Nexen SUR4Gs) mounted on 9.5-inch-wide wheels and a single driver’s seat as standard (a front passenger seat is available for $1, ditto the rear bench seat). Sticking with the single seat saves around 114 pounds compared to the four-seat configuration and spares you any and all carpooling and kid drop-off duties.
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Put together, the 1320’s upgrades help it cross the quarter mile in a claimed 11.7 seconds at 115 mph. That makes it the quickest naturally aspirated, street-legal muscle car on the market, according to Dodge. The last Challenger R/T Scat Pack with an automatic transmission we tested needed 12.6 seconds to pass the quarter mile mark, at which point it was traveling 114 mph. The $45,980 R/T Scat Pack 1320 is just $3995 pricier than the regular R/T Scat Pack equipped with an automatic transmission. Depending on how often you frequent the drag strip, the extra coin required to purchase the Scat Pack 1320 will either come across as a bona-fide bargain or about as sane as racing for pinks. Regardless, you’ll be waiting a lot longer than a quarter-mile run for the opportunity: The 1320 goes on sale in early 2019.