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2015-2017 Dodge Charger Hellcat: 204 mph, 707 hp (with video)

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The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has a 707 horsepower Hemi engine with 650 lb-ft of torque, eight-speed automatic, and Dodge Performance Pages so you can see how fast it goes, turns, and stops. The unique front styling is to fit (and cool) the massive supercharged 6.2 liter V8; yet, the car has a drag coefficent (cD) of around 0.33, according to one source. The end result is not only an over-200mph top speed, but highway mileage of 22 mpg.

2016 saw a hefty price increase on Charger Hellcat. 1,334 Charger Hellcats were made for the 2015 model year, compared with 7,168 Challengers; for the 2016 model year, the ratio was about 3:1 going into March, according to oh2o.

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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 later clarified that he meant it jokingly; the business case included the massive publicity generated by the Hellcat, which launched Dodge to be the most-searched-for brand at Google.]

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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."

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On drag radials, the car does the quarter mile in 10.7 seconds, officially and without modifications.

The 0-60 time is 3.7 seconds on street tires, 2.9 on drag radials. The 0-100 time is 7.2 seconds.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The brakes are have six-piston Brembo calipers on front, four-pistons on front, with larger wheels and Pirelli P-Zero three-season tires standard (a four season tire is optional).

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Like standard Chargers, an eight speed automatic is standard; it can shift in 160 milliseconds, with rev-matching, and has three control modes along with paddle shifters for manual control. Other features include 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers, 20 x 9.5-inch wide forged aluminum wheels with Pirelli P Zero performance tires, and an adaptive damping three-mode suspension.

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There is also a valet mode which has a four-digit code; it limits the horsepower back, limits launching to second gear and maximum revolution to 4,000 rpms, while enforcing traction and speed control and cutting out the paddle shifters and drive mode selectors. The drive modes are:

  • Custom
  • Sport - Increased performance
  • Track - For smooth, dry surfaces
  • Default
  • Eco - Maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, pedal map and second-gear starts

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The Drive Modes are controlled via the Uconnect system, selected by pushing the "hard" SRT button, selecting Drive Modes from the "SRT & Apps" menu, or selecting "Drive Modes" from within the Performance Pages.

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.

The Charger Hellcat is around 100-120 lb more than the Challenger Hellcat. It is not intended for sale in Europe. The weight distribution is 54-46. Gas mileage is esimated at 13 city, 22 highway.

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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.)

2017 Dodge Charger Hellcat updates

Challenger and Charger both get new Destroyer Gray and Octane Red paints, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support. There are new 20 x 9.5 inch "lightweight 5Deep aluminum" wheels with five spokes, finished in low-gloss black; they save four pounds per wheel. There is also new interior and exterior badging, and an LED-lit steering wheel (red on Hellcat, white on 392).

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See: 2015 Dodge Charger2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

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