New Dodge Challenger Package Reminds Us Why Muscle Cars Rule

Ask Dodge any question today and the answer is horsepower. Is it necessary to have a family hauler approaching 500 horsepower in any automaker’s product lineup, or in your driveway for that matter? Nope. But yes. Yes it is. Ask any Mopar fan and they will likely agree. And Mopar enthusiasts can fall in love with their beloved Challenger all over again as Dodge has just released the new Shakedown Package.

Loud & Proud

Dodge is a refreshing reminder of what cars used to be – and still can be. They are the only automaker carrying on the muscle car mantra, proudly holding the torch of an era we long thought had passed. They make big engines. And they make big cars. It’s a beautiful thing. So much in the automotive business today is focused on infotainment or connectivity or better efficiency. Or it’s focused on autonomous driving, which we’re led to believe is the answer to all our ills. I’m not saying these things are unimportant – they are – but every once in awhile, it’s nice to see a car with attitude that won’t take you know what from anybody.

The cars that do this best are the Dodge Challenger and Charger. Detroit Muscle with a capital D and M.

The Shakedown Package is now available for certain Dodge Challenger models. Photo: FCA US LLC.

Shakedown Package

To amplify that attitude further, the Challenger R/T Shaker, R/T Plus Shaker, and 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker now have the option for the Shakedown Package. Uniting old-school muscle and modern styling, the Shakedown Package adds unique asymmetrical black racing stripes that flow up and over the rear decklid and roof, then around the Shaker hood scoop. The package was inspired by the 1971 Dodge Shakedown Challenger that debuted at the 2016 SEMA show.

“Dodge/SRT has a rich history of using iconic heritage and high-impact colors and unique graphics to make our vehicles look custom, straight from the factory,” explained Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge/SRT, Chrysler and Fiat – FCA North America.

The upgraded Alpine audio system is a really sweet addition to the Shakedown Package, and nobody has to tell us twice to crank the volume. The R/T Shaker receives six premium speakers and a 275-watt amplifier, while the R/T Shaker Plus and 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker receive nine – count ’em nine – premium speakers and a 506-watt amplifier.

The best part is the price. The Shakedown Package is available for all exterior colors for an MSRP of $995. Not unreasonable at all.

2018 Dodge Challenger T/A in Plum Crazy. Photo: FCA US LLC.

Colorful Creations

Also new for 2018 are the iconic B5 Blue and Plum Crazy paint colors for both Challenger and Charger. Dodge says initially Challenger T/A, T/A Plus, and the T/A 392 will get first dibs, but other Challenger models will have the colors as options later on.

In the late 60s and early 70s, B5 Blue and Plum Crazy were the hottest colors for these cars, and it brings up a warm sense of nostalgia to see them return. These are the ideal car show colors having rolled out of the factory almost 50 years ago. Known as High Impact Paint, the roster included such hues as Panther Pink, Hemi Orange, Top Banana, Sassy Grass, Go Mango, and of course, B5 Blue and Plum Crazy. What a time indeed.

2018 Dodge Charger in B5 Blue. Photo: FCA US LLC.

Answering The Call

Dodge says the Shakedown Package and legacy colors are about answering the call of today’s muscle car and performance enthusiast. It’s about that “Mopar-or-no-car” mindset, and it’s honestly just really refreshing to see.

“Whether a customer remembers B5 and Plum Crazy from when they were new in the ‘60s and ‘70s or they’re a new customer today, these paint colors and unique Shaker stripes stand out in the crowd and speak to our customers’ passion for their cars and their love of the Dodge and SRT brands,” Beahm said.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

Photos & Source: FCA US LLC.

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