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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone here autocross their Challenger, or take it to a curvy track or mountain roads instead of the drag strip every now and then? I'm curious to hear what the experience has been like with different trim levels, from the SXT to the R/T, Scat Pack, and SRT models. For those of you who've owned one of the other main competitors (Mustang or Camaro), how does it compare?
 

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I do. I love to participate in local events. I had a 2010 R/T 5.7L that I autocrossed. It had the base (Not Super Track Pack) suspension, and it had some pretty noticeable body roll. It was hard on front tires unless I aired them up quite a bit, and it still had a tendency to push. To be fair, I used my summer street tires instead of sticky dedicated autoX tires, but I think more grip would have only made the suspension limitations more noticeable. I did change to Bilstein shocks with SRT springs, along with Mopar sway bars. I regret that I never got to take it to autoX with the upgrades, but the handling difference was noticeable even on the street.

I traded that car in for my 2016 R/T Scat Pack soon after. I have now gotten some experience with this car in the same kind of events, and it is actually really good from the factory. It is definitely more handling focused than my '10 was, which I love. I've actually not felt the need to make any handling upgrades yet, and doing so might change how my car is classed. I might one day, perhaps as factory parts start to wear out.

Unfortunately my experience in the competitor cars is limited. I have not had a chance to drive a 6th gen Camaro yet. I have driven my friend's 2015 Mustang GT (Non performance pack) pretty hard. The platform does feel a bit more nimble, but that car seems to not be set up for hard cornering. I prefer how my Challenger handles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do. I love to participate in local events. I had a 2010 R/T 5.7L that I autocrossed. It had the base (Not Super Track Pack) suspension, and it had some pretty noticeable body roll. It was hard on front tires unless I aired them up quite a bit, and it still had a tendency to push. To be fair, I used my summer street tires instead of sticky dedicated autoX tires, but I think more grip would have only made the suspension limitations more noticeable. I did change to Bilstein shocks with SRT springs, along with Mopar sway bars. I regret that I never got to take it to autoX with the upgrades, but the handling difference was noticeable even on the street.

I traded that car in for my 2016 R/T Scat Pack soon after. I have now gotten some experience with this car in the same kind of events, and it is actually really good from the factory. It is definitely more handling focused than my '10 was, which I love. I've actually not felt the need to make any handling upgrades yet, and doing so might change how my car is classed. I might one day, perhaps as factory parts start to wear out.

Unfortunately my experience in the competitor cars is limited. I have not had a chance to drive a 6th gen Camaro yet. I have driven my friend's 2015 Mustang GT (Non performance pack) pretty hard. The platform does feel a bit more nimble, but that car seems to not be set up for hard cornering. I prefer how my Challenger handles.
Sweet. I'm looking pretty hard at a pre-owned or used Scat Pack myself when I graduate college and commission into the Air Force next year. But I'm wondering if perhaps I should hold out for an SRT 392 for the extra handling performance. I've heard an SRT's sport mode is pretty good in the twisties.

Of course, if Dodge releases a 426 Hemi for the 2020 50th anniversary of Challenger, this plan is scrapped. No way could I pass something like that up.
 

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I haven’t had an opportunity to Autocross, although I would like to give it a try some day. However, I have been seeking up my car for twisty roads and the curves since day one. I prefer that type of driving over straight line myself. I got my car after a Afghanistan deployment the last time I was stationed in Germany. Lots of curvy roads here (stationed in Germany for my third and last time). I live just on the edge of the Black Forrest and the roads are hilly and curvy. And the car is a blast!

I have a 2013 SRT. With front and rear braces, lowered with the Mopar Stage 1 springs, Petty’s Garage bolt on sub-frame connectors and Petty’s Garage front adjustable sway bar with Speedlogix adjustable end links. I also have the same brand/company Parts for the rear sway bar and end links, but haven’t installed them yet. Was waiting for the Speedlogix rear tension arms to come in so that I could do all that work at the same time. I’m on a short deployment right now and the tension arms finally came in. So I am hoping to have those installed in a few weeks after I return. With all the parts on so far and my Nitto 555 G2s (245 front and 315 rears) this car in planted in the corners when keeping on the power and the speed up.

I absolutely love this car and love taking it on twisty roads. Super exciting and fun. I’ve never been in the competitor vehicles at least not since the late 90s, so I can say much as to how they are in comparison. But I don’t really care either. I am so happy with mine and it’ll always be that way. Hope all works out for you... I love my SRT and would say go that route, but I know you can get a Scat Pack, TA or one of the other styles and do upgrades that will be just as good. For the most part it’s only some amenities that make the SRT different and the suspension. So I don’t think you can go wrong either way you chose. When I got mine ne the SRT was the only one that had the 392 at the time and was at the top of the chain, now there are many trims that offer the 392 and the SRT is obviously not the big dog in the Challenger world anymore.

Good luck with your decision and the rest of school. When you are commissioned what will you be doing in the Air Force? I’m an Army guy so I really don’t know how the AF stuff works.

Take care,
Tim



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Discussion Starter #5
I haven’t had an opportunity to Autocross, although I would like to give it a try some day. However, I have been seeking up my car for twisty roads and the curves since day one. I prefer that type of driving over straight line myself. I got my car after a Afghanistan deployment the last time I was stationed in Germany. Lots of curvy roads here (stationed in Germany for my third and last time). I live just on the edge of the Black Forrest and the roads are hilly and curvy. And the car is a blast!

I have a 2013 SRT. With front and rear braces, lowered with the Mopar Stage 1 springs, Petty’s Garage bolt on sub-frame connectors and Petty’s Garage front adjustable sway bar with Speedlogix adjustable end links. I also have the same brand/company Parts for the rear sway bar and end links, but haven’t installed them yet. Was waiting for the Speedlogix rear tension arms to come in so that I could do all that work at the same time. I’m on a short deployment right now and the tension arms finally came in. So I am hoping to have those installed in a few weeks after I return. With all the parts on so far and my Nitto 555 G2s (245 front and 315 rears) this car in planted in the corners when keeping on the power and the speed up.

I absolutely love this car and love taking it on twisty roads. Super exciting and fun. I’ve never been in the competitor vehicles at least not since the late 90s, so I can say much as to how they are in comparison. But I don’t really care either. I am so happy with mine and it’ll always be that way. Hope all works out for you... I love my SRT and would say go that route, but I know you can get a Scat Pack, TA or one of the other styles and do upgrades that will be just as good. For the most part it’s only some amenities that make the SRT different and the suspension. So I don’t think you can go wrong either way you chose. When I got mine ne the SRT was the only one that had the 392 at the time and was at the top of the chain, now there are many trims that offer the 392 and the SRT is obviously not the big dog in the Challenger world anymore.

Good luck with your decision and the rest of school. When you are commissioned what will you be doing in the Air Force? I’m an Army guy so I really don’t know how the AF stuff works.

Take care,
Tim



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That's a pretty sweet ride, seems like you've got a great setup. I was planning on doing a lot of the same mods. And as of now I've got a combat systems officer slot once I commission, but that could land me in any number of different positions. Navigator, weapons systems officer, or electronic warfare.
 

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That’s cool. Hopefully what you end up with is what you want. Keep us posted on the Challenger you get and the mods you do. Always hit us up for questions.

Later,
Tim


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Over the pas 3 years I've owned a 2016 Mustang Ecoboost, a 2017 Camaro 1LT V6, and now a 2017 Challenger R/T. If you plan to track the car, the Camaro is the best bet. The Alpha chassis is lighter and stiffer than the other two. The Mustang is a good balance of performance and usability, and the Challenger is a great cruiser.

I ran a few PDE's and Track Night in America events in my Camaro, and was able to keep up with "faster" cars, despite the power gap.
 

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Sweet. I'm looking pretty hard at a pre-owned or used Scat Pack myself when I graduate college and commission into the Air Force next year. But I'm wondering if perhaps I should hold out for an SRT 392 for the extra handling performance. I've heard an SRT's sport mode is pretty good in the twisties.

Of course, if Dodge releases a 426 Hemi for the 2020 50th anniversary of Challenger, this plan is scrapped. No way could I pass something like that up.
I run mine pretty hard both locally and at National SCCA events. Is it the BEST car for it....no. Is it the most FUN? YES!! I started off with an SXT with STP 3 years ago. Graduated to my SP 6 months after that. Ran it stock for about a year and now I've done a bunch of suspension mods to it and she handles really well. My opinion is if your serious about making it an autocross/track car save your money and don't get the SRT get a SP instead. It's lighter already and you can put that money towards additional aftermarket parts to make it handle better.

In comparison I've also had the opportunity to drive a 2014 Camaro, 2016 GT 350 and a 2010 GT500. Yes those others are lighter weight and more nimble but the Challenger can hold her own depending on the track/course and driver ability. And it's a blast to drive.

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I'd suggest doing the one or two day course at Bob Bondurant in the SRT. You will get quite an experience for what the car can do starting and stopping as well as plenty of autocross and track time. My opinion is that the SRT is a lot of car for about 10% more than an SP and that it is a little lost between the SP and Hellcat and dealers aren't moving them well and are willing to deal on them. My local dealer has a 2018 SRT392 for $41K right now which is $10K less than I bought mine for two years ago and about what they were selling a SP for a the time. Plus, the third suspension setting actually results in a much better daily driving experience. The SP is a lot stiffer. The braking difference is definitely noticeable too. The SRT392 stops as good as it goes.

Autocrossing is a lot of fun, but you will need to do your homework on the rules if you want to be competitive. Acceleration, braking and cornering are all important. Short term, driver experience will matter a lot more than set up. So if you just plan on doing it for fun, what you drive is almost immaterial, IMO. But if you want to do it every weekend, you will probably find out that you need an old Miata lol.
 

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The braking difference is definitely noticeable too. The SRT392 stops as good as it goes.
I'd be willing to bet with the pads I have on now I could stop just as good if not better than an SRT. Plus the 6 piston will limit your wheel and tires selection because you won't be able to get an 18" wheel to clear. All depends what your looking for and want to do.

And yes Miatas are better suited to autocross but everyone has one of those. And who wants to be like everyone else?

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Pads?

I'd be willing to bet with the pads I have on now I could stop just as good if not better than an SRT. Plus the 6 piston will limit your wheel and tires selection because you won't be able to get an 18" wheel to clear. All depends what your looking for and want to do.

And yes Miatas are better suited to autocross but everyone has one of those. And who wants to be like everyone else?

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What pads? I am commuting in a Tundra and it is new pad time. It can use all the help it can get lol.

Regarding autocross, different strokes for different folks. I recommend running anything until you establish that you want to keep doing it, as I said that driver experience is the biggest gain early on. But after that, how you compete is up to you. Some people are happy competing against themselves. Others need to be the biggest dog. Not judging. But I bet the most intense competitors are driving a Miata or similar. If you want to compete in a 62 Plymouth wagon...go for it!
 

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What pads? I am commuting in a Tundra and it is new pad time. It can use all the help it can get lol.

Regarding autocross, different strokes for different folks. I recommend running anything until you establish that you want to keep doing it, as I said that driver experience is the biggest gain early on. But after that, how you compete is up to you. Some people are happy competing against themselves. Others need to be the biggest dog. Not judging. But I bet the most intense competitors are driving a Miata or similar. If you want to compete in a 62 Plymouth wagon...go for it!
I've got Carbotech XP10s and 8s. Wouldn't recommend them for daily driving...they're noisy and dusty and will eat your rotors faster because of the aggressive compound.

And I agree it's all up to the person and what they consider fun and want to accomplish. Just have to keep expectations in reality.

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if your going to compete and expect to win, dont do it in a Challenger.....>:)

the new Camaro ZL1 1LE stock will eat you for breakfast, even after you spend stupid amounts of money

 

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Discussion Starter #14
if your going to compete and expect to win, dont do it in a Challenger.....>:)

the new Camaro ZL1 1LE stock will eat you for breakfast, even after you spend stupid amounts of money

Lol, I don't expect to win anything, I was just trying to find out how much potential the Challenger has in the twists both modded and unmodded. I may decide to compete just for fun at some point. Screw a Miata, this is intended to be my everyday car when I buy it.
 

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if your going to compete and expect to win, dont do it in a Challenger.....>:)

the new Camaro ZL1 1LE stock will eat you for breakfast, even after you spend stupid amounts of money




The Camaro will never be as cool & everyone (where I come from anyway) loves the under dog (or {hell}CAT). There will always be much more satisfaction doing well on a road coarse in a Challenger than in a car that was actually designed for the task.


Even if you don't win in a car that is not expected to win you will still look better doing it and I think have a lot more respect for giving it a go!
 

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agreed, and we are getting closer and closer, finished 3rd in points last year and won an invite to SEMA and the invitational
Luke

ps, I want to win, I'm extremely competitive but I'm also going to race what I want, and a Camaro is not it, will eventually move to vintage class.....just because I love my early Dart...
 

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I agree with all this. I'm competitive too and want to win. But I also realize I'm bringing a brick to a gun fight. It is however very satisfying when people walk up and say they didn't realize a Challenger could handle that well, or ask for a ride along to see how well it rides and especially when you do beat those other muscle cars and they get butt hurt because we're 600# heavier...lol.

One of our guys just recently switched to running a Challenger from a Miata that he won multiple national championships with and he's said this is the most fun he's had auto crossing by driving the Challenger. If it ain't fun what's the point because we sure ain't gonna get rich from it.

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I know your schedule is full Luke but you should come up to one of our events at Bristol. We typically have big car friendly courses up there.

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