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Is Nissan GTR Beating Hellcat Charger a Big Deal?

by Patrick Rall on

A video shows a Nissan GTR beating a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in a pair of quarter mile drag races. Many of the outlets which have covered this video have proclaimed this video as a huge shot to the ego of the Hellcat Charger, poking fun at the 707hp sedan losing to the 545hp supercar.

Regardless of the output of the engine, the fact that a supercar beat a large family sedan isn’t anywhere near as big of a deal as the critics would like to have us believe.

hellcat gtr 2

Many of the Hellcat haters posted the video below on their blog and pointed out that the Hellcat Charger has 707 horsepower while the Nissan GTR has just 545 horsepower. From there, they make a huge deal of the GTR beating the Charger in the quarter mile, as if there are no other factors involved in a drag race other than power and that, in losing to the Nissan, the big Dodge sedan has been mortally embarrassed. However, when you look at more specifications than just horsepower, the results of this drag race shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

hellcat gtr 1

The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has a supercharged 6.2L Hellcat Hemi with 707 horsepower and 650lb-ft of torque, with an 8-speed automatic transmission sending all of that power to the rear wheels of the 4,575lb sedan. This gives the Charger – which is the fastest, the quickest and the most powerful 4-door sedan in the world – a power to weight ratio of 6.47lbs per horsepower. The Hellcat Charger starts around $65,000 and tops out around $70,000.


The modern Nissan GTR has a twin turbocharged 3.8L V6 that sends 545 horsepower and 463lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a dual clutch automatic transmission, with a curb weight around 3,800lbs. This gives the GTR a power to weight ratio of 6.97lbs per horsepower. The GTR starts at $102,000 and it tops out around $150,000.

While the Hellcat Charger has a slight advantage in its power to weight ratio, but traction plays a big role in a drag race, and the all-wheel drive Nissan has a massive advantage there. The Charger has traction issues well into second gear, whereas the GTR is able to put the power to the ground far more efficiently right off of the line.

hellcat gtr 4

On these runs, as well, the Hellcat car ran much slower times than we have seen other cars running, and the ETs turned in by the Nissan supercar are still much slower than many of the Hellcat Challengers – some of which we have featured here on Allpar running in the mid-10s with nothing but sticky tires. There are a great many Hellcat cars at tracks around the USA that would make very short work of a GTR running 11.20s, but in this video, the Nissan owner got ahold of a Hellcat car that is running far slower than the ones we have featured.

So, to the import crowd celebrating because the $102,000 Nissan GTR supercar narrowly beat the $65,000 Dodge Charger Hellcat sedan, congratulations – Japan’s greatest supercar can beat America’s most powerful family sedan in the proper circumstances. In the meantime, Nissan continues to try to build a Maxima “sport sedan” that will keep up with the basic Charger R/T.


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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