An Allpar reader caught this Dodge Challenger, fully instrumented and “sounding like a vacuum cleaner,” running along Michigan roads. It appears as though it might be a testbed for the upcoming 6.2 liter supercharged “HellCat” Hemi, which various sources are claiming to be powered at anywhere from 550 hp to 700 hp. Since the ZF eight-speed automatic to be used with the engine is good for just 660 lb-ft, that will probably be the limit for torque, unless, like the current 392 Hemi Challenger SRT8, the car also has an optional six-speed manual transmission. In that case, Chrysler could conceivably go beyond the automatic’s torque limit to provide an extra incentive to “go manual.”
At this point, Allpar believes that the engine will end up rated around 580-600 horsepower, given the need for a 200,000 mile design life, durability and reliability concerns throughout the powertrain and chassis, the ability to control the power (especially since tire width will likely be limited by the wheel openings), and the power of the existing 6.4 liter Hemi engine (470 hp, 470 lb-ft of torque).
The next generation Dodge Challenger is set to debut next year on the new LA body; it will be the second major upgrade for the new Challenger, and is believed to be bringing eight-speed automatics for all engines, all the current electronics for UConnect and related systems, the customizable gauge cluster, and the usual seat-and-body-panel upgrades. 300/300C and Charger are set to be upgraded at other points in 2014; the new cars are all to be 2015 models. Rumor still has the HellCat 6.2 going into both Charger and Challenger; it could potentially be added to other cars, but given the limited production of the engine, that is likely an “if we need to” project.