It’s official: the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has a 707 horsepower Hemi engine, eight-speed automatic, and Dodge Performance Pages to measure just how fast it goes (straight and around turns). It has somewhat different front styling from the standard Chargers, to fit the massive supercharged 6.2 liter V8, and to use the cooling and aerodynamics work from the Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Tim Kuniskis, head of the Dodge brand, said, “This is a car that has no business case… that no customer has asked us to build… but sometimes you need to disregard the data…. to built a car that defines itself.”
He called it the quickest, fastest, most powerful four-door sedan in the world, with a 204 mph top speed, and an NHRA-certified 11.0 second quarter mile time with street tires, “bone stock.” Mr. Kuniskis called it “redefined practicality.”
The 0-60 time is 3.7 seconds.
The Challenger Hellcat boasts a 199 mph top speed and 11.2 second quarter miles with street tires. The main difference, according to SRT’s Russ Ruedisueli, is aerodynamics. Thus, despite being larger than the Challenger, the Charger actually faster.
Mark Trostle said the face had to have presence, and to be “as outrageous” as the 707 horsepower in the car. There are SRT badges hidden in the fascia, and a larger lower area for airflow; there was a lot of work in the wind tunnel to provide for the top speed of 204 mph without sacrificing cornering by losing downforce.
The lower splitter shapes have been integrated into the fascia, and there are lower air feeds. The hood both helps control downforce and increase cooling with both intake and exhaust vents.
Mr. Trostle said, “Something we’re really proud of is the Hellcat badge” on the fender, which will make its way to the Challenger; he pointed to the Plymouth Road Runner as inspiration for this. There is also a new seemless-glow racetrack tail-lamp.
Inside, buyers have a choice of black or sepia colored Nappa leather, with optional red belts (as on Challenger). The Hellcat has its own gauge cluster graphics.
The fuel lines had to be increased to half inch diameters, according to SRT’s Russ Ruedisueli. There are two charge air coolers, one on each side of the engine, with their own coolant systems. One design goal was running a 20 minute track cycle on a day with 100°F temperatures without problems.
As with the standard Charger, there is no manual transmission; and as with Challenger Hellcat, it is rear wheel drive only, not AWD.
Production is not to be limited, despite past rumors (not posted by Allpar). The company expects to sell more than the 1,200 “limit” in the rumors. The goal is to get as many people talking about Dodge as possible, according to Mr. Kuniskis, so limiting production would be self-defeating.
Most of the Challenger Hellcat’s features are shared, including the oversized brakes, heavy-duty suspension, wheels, tires, and dual key fobs (500 and 707 horsepower). Pricing has not been released (it should be out “in a few months,” with sale scheduled for the first quarter of 2015; the Challenger starts at around $60,000, in line with competitive cars from GM and Ford. Ordering for Challenger Hellcat has not yet begun.)
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Dodge has released pricing for the full Charger lineup, starting with the V6/eight-speed Dodge Charger SE at $28,990 (all prices include $995 destination for the “49 states”). Charger was thoroughly renovated for the 2015 model year, with a new look, suspension and electronics revisions, a standard eight-speed automatic for ever engine, and other upgrades. The top Charger, the SRT Hellcat, has [...]