What are the limits in making the Challenger a raw handling car? - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums

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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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What are the limits in making the Challenger a raw handling car?

I really dig the Scat Packs and what they have to offer but, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle in planing out tire and suspension upgrades to curtail the weight problems. I do a lot of driving up around the NC/TN mountains and up there, weight and numb steering inputs are killer. Because of the nature of the environment, I've been looking at the WRX STI, Audi S3/S4, and even some super lights like the BRZ/GT86. If I could make the Challenger carve up a mountain pass and have good road feedback, I'd be really happy because I like it to most out of everything I've seen. I'm not looking to make a Challenger handle like a Porsche Cayman, but I'm worried it's too numb to fix.

It seems easy in theory to slap on some 295/335 summer tires with coilovers and strut tower bracing, but I have a nagging thought in the back of my brain that a Challenger is going to have the same handling as my grandma's Buick Lacrosse. In most of the reviews I've read they sum up the driving experience as good......for the size. No reviewers seem to like how it drives compared to the new Mustang, 1le, m3 etc.. We could talk interior qualities and other nuances all day, but in terms of a raw driving feel, I'm not sure what to expect.

One of my big questions to you guys is how much to these reviews carry over into the real world vs armchair message board bickering?
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 07:47 PM
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Hog wash...The scat pack is perfectly civil in the twisties...yes it is big...no it is not a sports car...and it never will be..no matter what you do to it..


As it sits on 245's its plenty good enough for the street.




Meh you need the sooobaroo....

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 07:50 PM
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I autocross mine and with nothing but stickier tires last year she constantly turned heads and I heard how that car shouldn't be able to do that. This year I added strut braces, sub frame connectors and sway bars. Taking her out Saturday for the first run of the season. Now mind you your right she's not a sports car but for driving street roads she'll carve up the road just as good as any......As long as your not being foolish. Where in Tn/Nc are you?

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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I autocross mine and with nothing but stickier tires last year she constantly turned heads and I heard how that car shouldn't be able to do that. This year I added strut braces, sub frame connectors and sway bars. Taking her out Saturday for the first run of the season. Now mind you your right she's not a sports car but for driving street roads she'll carve up the road just as good as any......As long as your not being foolish. Where in Tn/Nc are you?

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That's reassuring to hear! I live in Raleigh NC, but I went to school in the Appalachian mountains and I go back every now and then because the scenery and driving is so good. Near Waynesville and Canton are some great roads that don't get as much traffic as the Tail of the Dragon(which I have yet to do oddly enough)

I think as far as a Challenger not being a true sports car, that sounds fine to me. If I want that I can always get an old Miata. A GT car with feel is more what I'm looking for.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:05 AM
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The platform has a great stock suspension layout thats the real plus to these cars.Big deal is getting enough tire on the road. If you look at say a Viper tire package compared to the weight of the vehicle.

As far as the weight well if you follow Continental tire series racing the Mustang GT350 won its series,set many lap records in race and poles positions, 400-600 pounds heavier than the Porsche 911 cars. With a smaller rear tire. 400 lbs on a race car is alot. On a street car I wouldnt even think about it.

My opinion weight is just a Car and Driver byline nothing more.

https://sportscarchallenge.imsa.com/historical-results


https://sportscarchallenge.imsa.com/...ialresults.pdf

check the laptime for the Multimatic car. and yes they did loose this race.

I think for the roads you mentioned they size and girth of the car can be annoying on smaller back roads along with the wheelbase.

And for the record I own smaller Honda cars that run about 2750 lbs with me in it with modified suspension package,200 tread wear tires etc and I still think the Challenger is a great car.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 04:05 AM
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IMO the Challenger(2013 SRT) works just fine. I drove mine on all sorts of back roads in Germany as well as the Nurburgring for a year before being stationed back in NC. Just this last November I went with the family back over to the Asheville area and did some more of the Blue Ridge(mind you not very high speeds), but primarily back roads and we hit the Diamondback. All I've been able to do for the suspension is add front and rear braces and lower with Mopar stage 1 springs. I also added a front splitter and rear diffuser. Although I feel this will only prove helpful at higher speeds. Which as of yesterday I will be able to do again this summer as I am going back to Germany again.

Anyhow, hitting the Diamondback was a lot of fun. I was able to hit as high as 35-40 in a few turns. At least the ones that weren't complete switchbacks. I did have sticky Nitto NT05s on this last trip to the mountains. I may have pushed it more, but I did have the family with me. However, even a slower speeds slinging around this corners was a blast and it never felt sluggish or out of control. I believe you can have a lot of fun in these cars, regardless of the weight. Good luck with your decision. Click image for larger version

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camden Massey View Post
That's reassuring to hear! I live in Raleigh NC, but I went to school in the Appalachian mountains and I go back every now and then because the scenery and driving is so good. Near Waynesville and Canton are some great roads that don't get as much traffic as the Tail of the Dragon(which I have yet to do oddly enough)

I think as far as a Challenger not being a true sports car, that sounds fine to me. If I want that I can always get an old Miata. A GT car with feel is more what I'm looking for.
We've done the dragon and Cherohala skyway several times. Even though it has some traffic on it still a nice drive and fun road.

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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 05:55 AM
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I traded a '16 Mustang GT Performance Pack on a '16 Scat Pack Shaker. Neither is a daily driver, but a fun toy. I love to go have fun on the back roads. I'm not a race car driver by any means. I can drive my Challenger on the same roads at the same speeds as the Mustang. It's heavier and feels heavier, but handling on the street is not much different. The power difference is substantial and in my opinion makes it a lot more fun. 1 advantage the Mustang had was brakes - the PP brakes are insane. Had I never driven a PP Mustang I'd be very impressed with the Scat Pack brakes, but they are weaker by comparison.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Camden Massey View Post

It seems easy in theory to slap on some 295/335 summer tires with coilovers and strut tower bracing, but I have a nagging thought in the back of my brain that a Challenger is going to have the same handling as my grandma's Buick Lacrosse.
If you're concerned about steering wheel, the wider the tire=less steering feel (generally speaking). 245s or 275s should be a sweet spot for handling and steering feel. The Scat Pack stock suspension is more than enough to take on the driving you want to do. TIRES are going to offer the most improvement here. Get the stickiest, sharpest turn-in tires you can find. lightweight wheels will also greatly help the "feel" of the handling by reducing unsprung weight. Any other modification is going to subject to the law of diminishing returns.

I take my Scat Pack to open track events with a front strut bar, Carbotech XP8s, and 275/40 Contis on Hellcat Brass Monkeys. It works well and is fun. But the LX cars have their limitations, you just have to go in with your eyes wide open. A Challenger on the Dragon will not have as much rewarding feedback as a BMW M Car or something similar sized. It's just physics. It will sound a hell of a lot better, though, and have immediate torque everywhere.

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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by hawkgfr View Post
Hog wash...The scat pack is perfectly civil in the twisties...yes it is big...no it is not a sports car...and it never will be..no matter what you do to it..


As it sits on 245's its plenty good enough for the street.




Meh you need the sooobaroo....
i dont agree, trying to turn the Challenger is like trying to turn the Titanic
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