A Review of the 2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker: The Coolest Special Appearance Package on the Market
The 2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker is an interesting vehicle. Dodge built 1,000 examples of this special edition package for the 2014 model year and while the unique “Shaker” hood was the center piece of the package, the Challenger Shaker is far more than just a Challenger R/T with a cool hood design. The Shaker is based on the Challenger R/T, but the Chrysler Group design team added a collection of features inside, outside and under the car to allow this 5.7L Hemi powered Challenger to outperform your “average” R/T.
The Challenger Shaker features unique appointments on the inside and a handful of performance features that make it faster while also improving handling, but the most noticeable feature is the Shaker hood which, when combined with the stunning Header Orange Paint, gets the attention of everyone.
The 2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker carries a base price of $38,490 with the inclusion of the $995 destination fee. My test car was fitted with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, sunroof, HIDs and the premium UConnect infotainment system with a Harmon Kardon 18 speaker setup. Also, as a special surprise, this 2014 Challenger Shaker edition was fitted with the Scat Pack Stage 1 kit that adds unique badging, a performance exhaust system, a cold air intake setup and an engine calibration that adds 18 horsepower and 18lb-ft of torque – while also adding $2,195 to the final price. When you add up all of these goodies (which is essentially everything that you can get on the Challenger Shaker shy of the other Scat Pack Stage kits), the price as tested up to $42,665.
The 2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker is, in my opinion, the best looking of the modern Challengers and the Shaker package is the coolest appearance upgrade package offered with any of the modern muscle cars. I am a proud Mopar muscle car owner and I grew up loving the look of the original Shaker Challengers from the early 1970s so as soon as the modern Shaker package was introduced – I was instantly in love.
For those not familiar with the Shaker hood setup, the large, prominent hood scoop reaching up from the surface of the hood is actually attached the engine and it pokes up through a hole in the hood. They call it the “Shaker” because when the engine revs and moves slightly in the engine bay (as all engines do), the Shaker scoop moves with it. More importantly, the Shaker scoop catches the fresh air coming across the hood and channels it into the cold air intake package that feeds the hungry 5.7L Hemi under the hood. In my opinion, there is no hood setup that is cooler than the Shaker and that is why Ford has used something similar on the likes of the 2003-2004 Mustang Mach 1 as well as older models. This hood alone allows the Challenger Shaker to stand out in a crowd, but some other details all around the exterior help to make this package even more unique.
In addition to the bright Header Orange paint that Dodge could have easily called “Excuse Me Officer Orange”, the Shaker package adds a set of “Scattered” black stripes that start on the hood, run across the roof and down across the trunk lid for a look that you cannot get on any other modern Challenger. The Shaker package also includes a body colored grille surround with a Challenger Classic script logo on the black grille mesh, a gloss black flip up fuel door and unique 20 inch satin silver aluminum 5-spoke rims with black paint pockets.
None of the additions after the Shaker hood are all that dramatic, but they all come together with the big, bold, natural lines of the 2014 Challenger to create one incredible looking muscle car. Literally everywhere I drove the Challenger Shaker, I had people stopping me to talk about it and compliment the look. I drive lots of hot new cars and I get lots of people approaching me to talk about said cars, but NONE of them received the positive attention like the 2014 Challenger Shaker. I absolutely love the proportions of the new Shaker hood design and I think that when this option arrives for the next generation Challenger in the Spring of 2015 – it is going to be incredibly popular.
I don’t mean to swoon, but I love everything about the look of the Challenger Shaker limited edition package…and so does everyone else, as these models sold out all 1,000 units in just a few days earlier this year. In short, the exterior design of this unique package isn’t just a home run – it is a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth in a close game.
On the inside, the 2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker comes with a collection of unique appointments that include “high performance heated, power leather seats with SHAKER logo in orange and orange contrasting stitching on the dark leather, a similar flat bottom steering wheel to what is used in the SRT Challenger, more custom stitching on the doors, dash and center armrest, a unique infotainment startup screen with the Shaker logo, black trim pieces throughout the cabin, a bright silver pedal kit and an individually number Shaker badge on the passenger’s side of the dash. Really, is it just an appearance upgrade package and the basic layout is similar to what is found in the Challenger R/T Classic, but it goes a long way in giving the cabin a unique look with this beautiful Shaker package.
In terms of spaciousness, that is one area where all of the modern Dodge Challengers shine compared to the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. Unlike the cross town rivals, the Challenger actually has a functional back seat with enough room to seat two normal sized adults. Even with the front seats adjusted to comfortably seat two six foot tall adults, there is enough room for two more adults in the back seat. There isn’t a ton of leg room, but there is more leg room and more head room than you get with either the Camaro or the Mustang. If you want a muscle car that will actually seat four adults comfortably, the Challenger is the only one that can do that and the Shaker models are no exception.
One other aspect of my Challenger Shaker test car that I really enjoyed was the Harmon Kardon 18 speaker sound system that replaces the emergency space tire with a speaker package that offers crisp, clear aftermarket sound system quality regardless of your favorite type of music. It is a pricey upgrade but those folks who want the boom of an aftermarket system without dealing with a seedy stereo shop – this is an option that you will definitely want to include.
While the 2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker is based on the Challenger R/T, the 5.7L engine and the 6-speed manual transmission are just about the only features that are the same across the two trimlines. The Shaker comes with all of the components of the Super Track Pak package, including a performance tuned steering setup, a stiff sport suspension package, larger brakes, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires and a unique three mode stability control system with a full-off mode that allows you to really push this big beast to its limits without the computer stepping in to put a stop to the fun.
The result of these additions is a Challenger that provides more acute steering control, improved handling without much compromise in ride quality, significantly improved braking distances and all of the burnouts and drifting that you could ask for thanks to the full-off mode for the stability control. Just having the Shaker package doesn’t make the Challenger any faster than the typical R/T in a straight line, but the Super Track Pak allows the Shaker to outshine the R/T in every other area. Best of all, those performance minded handling features improve the car in every way without making it too rough or too stiff to drive every day. While some factory performance packages can make the car much stiffer and kill the ride quality, that is not at all the case with the Shaker setup so you will love to drive this car whether you are blasting down a desolate country road or cruising across the country on a long road trip.
The “normal” 2014 Challenger Shaker comes with the same 5.7L Hemi as the Challenger R/T, with 375 horsepower and 410lb-ft of torque when fitted up to the 6-speed manual transmission. However, my Shaker test car came with the Scat Pack Stage 1 kit that adds a Mopar exhaust system, a Mopar intake setup and a unique engine calibration that helps make the most of these features. The result is an added 18 horsepower and 18lb-ft of torque for a total output of 393 horsepower and 428lb-ft of torque. I didn’t do any timed racing with the Shaker, but I have driven a bunch of modern Challenger R/Ts and I could definitely feel the difference with the Scat Pack Stage 1 kit. Better yet, the Mopar exhaust system has a deep, hearty roar that is much louder than stock under hard throttle – but it is still subtle enough to drive every day and best of all, there is very little “drone” on the highway. Also, unlike some other performance modifications that involve tinkering with the engine computer, the Mopar Scat Pack Stage 1 kit doesn’t impact your warranty so you get the extra power and the added engine grumble without killing your warranty. In other words, I would call the Scat Pack Stage 1 kit a ‘must have’ item for anyone with a Challenger R/T – Shaker or not.
Of course, when you put all of these features together – the 5.7L Hemi, the 6-speed manual transmission, the Super Track Pak and the Scat Pack Stage 1 kit – you have a 2014 Dodge Challenger that is a total blast to drive. With a good launch and some prompt shifting, 0-60 times will dip into the mid to high 4 second range and quarter mile times reportedly get well into the 13s. On the open road, the Shaker comfortably and effortlessly climbs well beyond any posted speed limit in this country with very little throttle input and with a quick downshift and a stomp of the gas pedal – this car will rocket away from almost any stock vehicle that you will come across on a regular basis. While still being a big, roomy muscle car with a curb weight well over 4,000lbs, the Challenger Shaker will handle tight turns well and longer sweeping highway turns can be executed at very high speeds with confidence.
The Dodge Challenger R/T is great fun to drive, but the Shaker package combined with the Scat Pack Stage 1 kit takes that fun to a higher level. If you want a true muscle car without the big price of the SRT models – the Shaker package and Scat Pack Stage 1 kit combine to create a muscle car that would be worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the great American performance cars of the 1970s.
The Final Word
The 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker might not be the fastest or most powerful muscle car on the market today – it’s not even the fastest/most powerful Challenger – but there is no denying that the limited edition 2014 Shaker package is as vintage-cool as it gets. The only real downside to the Challenger R/T Shaker is that the company only made 1,000 examples and when the order bank was opened earlier this year, they sold out in less than three business days. I am pretty sure that those 1,000 Shaker Challengers were ordered by dealerships; not actually purchase by customers. This means that there is a chance that you could find one on a dealership lot with enough hunting and if you can find one it would be a wise choice to snatch it up as not only is the Shaker one wicked, old school style muscle car…but it is also a limited edition model that is sure to be a collectable down the road.
As is the case with all of the Hemi powered Dodge Challengers, the Shaker package packs some serious horsepower for extreme driving fun and with the addition of the Super Track Pak – this Challenger will allow you to blast down the quarter mile or through your local twisty roads with confidence. That is true of all of the Challenger R/T models and especially of those equipped with the Super Track Pak, but the Shaker setup adds an extra element of style to your high performance driving fun.
The good news is that the Shaker hood setup will be available with both the Challenger R/T and the new Challenger Scat Pack for the 2015 model year with availability slated for sometime next spring so if you cannot find a 2014 Challenger Shaker – you can order a 2015 Challenger Shaker next year. Best of all, the 2015 Shaker package also comes with the 392 Hemi that delivers 485 horsepower and 475lb-ft of torque so in addition to the stunning exterior design of the Shaker package – 2015 owners will also have a shot to get a bunch more power.
Finally, any modern Dodge Challenger R/T owner who wants a little more power and a little more audible personality should check out the Scat Pack Stage kits, as I was very impressed with the power increases and the roar of Stage 1…I can only imagine the advantages of Stages 2 and 3. Best of all, you maintain your factory warranty.