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Hellcat production to soar

by David Zatz on

Dodge has already started producing more 707-horsepower supercharged Hemi V8 engines than they had intended to, according to Dodge leader Tim Kuniskis, speaking with Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette.

Hellcat-Engine-Web

Unlike the soon-to-be-competing Shelby Mustang Super Snake, which boasts 750 horsepower but is not factory-made (and presumably is also not factory warrantied) and costs far more, the Hellcat is assembled and installed by FCA itself, and is part of a complete system including heavy-duty cooling that allows continued racing at full power.

Mr. Kuniskis told Mr. Vellequette that they had sold 88,000 Dodge Chargers and Challengers, including 4,000 Hellcats. The Hellcat is not available for ordering as the factory catches up on existing demand. The 392-powered Scat Pack Challenger is also sold out, according to Dodge’s CEO.

Hellcat V8 with Dodge Challenger

In the past, Allpar was told that the main challenge for Hellcat production was the turbocharger supplier’s inability to produce enough of the key part, specifically engineered for the engine. However, Mr. Kuniskis pointed out that each engine is also tested on a dynanometer to verify the horsepower and torque figures, for 42 minutes, which also helps break in the engines. This practice slows production as well.

He declined to say what production numbers the company was targeting for 2016, though he did say that Charger Hellcat production was slowed due to existing Challenger Hellcat orders. It appears likely that 2016 will be a “catch up” year for the two cars, with the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk ready to take up any spare Hellcat production when the other cars’ production catches up with supply; the rumored Grand Cherokee is likely to have lower power numbers than the Challenger and Charger as engineers work on both packaging (fitting the engine systems into the hood) and refinement for the upscale SUV.


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