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Hellcat Day 4: High-tech cockpit

by Patrick Rall on

After spending a few days playing around with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the time came to use it to actually get people from point A to point B. My parents were in town for the weekend so, with my wife, we headed out for dinner.

With almost any other two-door sports car sold in America – including both of the other muscle cars – four average sized adults would make for a cramped, uncomfortable ride. Fortunately, the Challenger is by far the roomiest muscle car (or two-door sports car) on sale today, so you can realistically seat four adults without the folks in the back being folded in half to fit.

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The biggest issue with most coupes is that when the driver’s seat is adjusted to fit someone in the back seat, the driver has to sit on top of the steering wheel. With the driver’s seat of the Hellcat Challenger adjusted to allow my dad to sit behind me comfortably, I did move the seat closer than I normally would, but I was still comfortable. Since the passenger’s side front seating area is more open than the driver’s side, seating two adults on the right side of the cockpit allows even more comfort for both people. No other muscle car offers comfortable seating for four adults, and the Hellcat Challenger will still dash to 60 in the mid 4-second range with four people inside.

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While cruising to dinner, we all enjoyed the plush SRT seats wrapped in the bright brown sepia Laguna leather. When cruising at low RPM, the Hellcat Hemi is surprisingly quiet, but my test vehicle was fitted with the premium speaker system that ensures that you can hear (and feel) your music at high RPM. I didn’t spend much time listening to the stereo, as the roar of the Hellcat Hemi is all that I wanted to hear, but the Harmon speaker system offers the kind of sound that will make audiophiles melt.

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The Harmon Kardon 18-speaker system is controlled via the big, bright 8.4 inch infotainment screen mounted high on the dash. Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment package is one of the most celebrated setups in today’s market, and the Hellcat Challenger has the most complete version. The touch screen has simple access to the radio, media files,  heated seat/steering wheel controls, the full climate control system, navigation, hands free phone system, SRT pages, and downloadable Apps.

This system is the most awarded because it is clearly the easiest to use, making everything easy to find and easy to adjust while driving, especially when combined with the huge spread of steering wheel controls, the voice control interface and the small collection of buttons and knobs located below the touchscreen.

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In addition to the premium infotainment package, the Hellcat Challenger has one of the most elaborate gauge clusters available in the US, with customizable readouts that include everything from a digital speedometer to advanced SRT timing pages and from navigation to all of the additional engine gauges that you could want. This driver’s information screen has more information than any on the market and it is easily controlled via the steering wheel buttons.

The short video below quickly scrolls through the options for the large infotainment screen and the driver’s information center, as well as a quick look at the buttons on the center console and the steering wheel.

Finally, while the comfortable, roomy seats, the industry-best infotainment system, the detailed driver’s information center and booming sound system are all impressive, my favorite part of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat interior is the drive mode screen. By pushing the SRT button on the center console, the infotainment screen switches to a spread of digital buttons that adjust the performance of the most powerful muscle car ever.

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The basic drive modes for the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat are Default, Custom, Sport and Track, with these modes including unique settings for the transmission, the paddle shifters, the traction/stability control and the adjustable suspension. The first option on the SRT screen is the horsepower setting, which can be set to 500 or 700+. In the Custom setup, the transmission, suspension, and traction control can each be set to Street, Sport or Track, with street offering the most comfort and the least performance, while Sport is an average of the two and Track puts all of the emphasis on performance. The video below shows the SRT screen as I flip through the various modes and setting pages of the adjustable drive modes.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the quickest and the most powerful muscle car ever, while also being one of the most powerful two-door sport cars sold in America in any segment, but where it is different than any of the other superfast coupes in the world is how well it will seat four adults.

This car offers more interior space than any competitive vehicle with luxurious leather seats that are both heated and cooled, while the most informative gauge setup from an American automaker available, a premium sound system, and the best infotainment package on sale in the country make the most powerful muscle car ever one of the most well-appointed sports car sold in the world.

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With the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, you are not just paying for big power. The $65,000 price tag also gets you an interior layout that looks like something from a European luxury brand while also being able to very comfortably seat four adults.

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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