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Tesla-oopsies Hellcat wants rematch

by Patrick Rall on

A few weeks back, a video surfaced showing the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat racing against a Tesla Model S P85D; and to obvious driver error, the Tesla annihilated the Mopar muscle car. With a quarter mile time in the mid 11s, the Model S P85D deserves respect for being the quickest electric production car in the world (and quite fast by any standard), but the run by the Hellcat Challenger was embarrassing— to the Hellcat Challenger,  to the driver, and to the Mopar community, not because the Challenger lost to the world’s quickest stock EV, but because the car that should run 11.20s got destroyed by a car running mid 11s.

1086 hellcat challenger

Fueling the fire of embarrassment was nearly every publication in the US posting articles pointing out the beating, and while most people can watch that video and see that this is a Tesla crushing a terrible driver, many of the clueless insisted that this was what was to be expected in any race between the Hellcat Challenger and the Model S P85D.

Tthe driver of that green Hellcat Challenger was evidently well aware of how much he embarrassed himself and the Mopar community, as he has spent lots of time since that fateful run against the $100K luxury EV at the drag strip. During those many practice runs, the Hellcat Challenger owner has gotten a better grasp for launching his 707 horsepower Mopar muscle car and with the addition of a set of better rear tires, he has gotten his Challenger into the high 10 second range.

1086 challenger board

This 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is stock aside from the tires, which have been replaced with Nitto 555R tires that are a bit wider and a bit stickier. After the owner got into the 11s with the stock tires, he swapped to the Nittos and that allowed him to get into the 10s. On the run shown below, this Hellcat Challenger runs a 10.86 at 127 miles per hour with a good-but-not-incredible 1.64 60 foot time. There is  room for improvement in that short time, but 1.64 is still good enough to get the car down the track in the 10 second range with no modifications other than street legal tires.

The owner is now seeking a rematch with the all-wheel drive Tesla. Considering that the previous race between the two amounted to a record setting run for the Model S, it would be hard for the big electric sedan to get anywhere near the 10.8 mark. Hopefully the Tesla driver will man up and come back for another run, at which point we will likely see a new video.

In the meantime, check out the video of the Hellcat Challenger that once embarrassed the Mopar community now running quarter mile times that make us all proud.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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