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Shaking next summer

by David Zatz on

The Mopar ’14 and Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker share much in common — 5.7 liter Hemi engines, five-speed automatic transmissions, and, most visibly, Shaker hoods. Perhaps mis-named, (though they’ve been that way for over 40 years), the hood itself does not shake; it’s merely a hood with a hole in it. A hood scoop attached to the engine sticks out through the hole, and that’s what shakes. At least, it shakes if you have, say, a 1970 Dodge Challenger 440. You have to do a lot to make a modern Hemi shake and roll in its stiff engine mounts.

The original Shakers were designed as functional hood scoops, and the current ones serve the same role, grabbing colder outside air; the air path differs in the newer ones, since there’s no carburetor for it to sit on, so that modern Shakers feed a special high-flow air filter instead. Chrysler has not released the performance boost from the modifications yet, but it’s not likely to be earth-shattering; just one part of a general upgrade path, to be accompanied, one hopes, by a more efficient exhaust system and perhaps the various Scat Pack upgrades, which include revised computer programming to take advantage of the extra airflow.

When the story first hit the Allpar forums, the first question was, “Will this really come to life? If so, when?” The answer to the first question is, “Yes,” but the answer to the second will disappoint many: sources claim it will not start production until May 2014, and will end around thirty days later.

That means that the Shakers will be made near the end of the current Challenger’s life. Sometime in 2014, presumably after June, the company will switch over to the 2015s, which will feature interior upgrades, eight-speed automatics (at long last), and probably all the electronic goodies a revised electronics architecture will support. At the moment, Chrysler’s cheapest sedans (Dodge Darts) actually have more advanced telematics than its top-of-the-line sedans.

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