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FauxPar #3: Hellcat power increases for 2016

by Patrick Rall

There has been a rumor going around the internet that the 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the 2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat will get a massive power increase for the new model year.

There has been no official word from the Chrysler Group about an increase in Hellcat Hemi output and considering that there is still no competition for the Hellcat cars, hopeful 2016 buyers shouldn't expect a big power gain - if there is any power increase at all.

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We aren't sure where this rumor originated, but over the past few months, the 2016 Hellcat Challenger and Charger will be getting a big power gain has been a popular discussion online. Some of these rumors revert back to the incorrect news from 2014 that there was a Hellcat Hemi experimental model "accidently sold" with 825 horsepower.

In addition, many tuning shops have been able to squeeze significant amounts of extra power out of the Hellcat Hemi, so it is widely known that there is definitely some power left on the table with the 707 horsepower Hemi. (These shops don't have to meet fuel economy, emissions, or 200,000-mile-longevity standards, and for that matter, can ignore SRT's internal rule that the engine should be able to withstand a hot day at the races without overheating.)

Finally, it seems possible that the Hellcat Hemi is underrated at 707 horsepower, based on the power to the rear wheels, so many people have speculated that for 2016, the Hellcat Hemi would be "re-assessed" and as a result, the official power levels will be higher for the new model year.

Engine Auto part Motor vehicle Automotive engine part Vehicle

In these discussions, there are plenty of aspects that make sense, as there is potential in tuning the Hellcat Hemi in the stock form, and, in the long run, the actual output is probably higher than 707 horsepower. However, prospective 2016 Hellcat Challenger and Charger buyers shouldn't get their hopes up for a bunch more power for one simple reason:

Chrysler really doesn't need to increase the power output for the 2016 model year, since no other automaker has really stepped up to challenge the most powerful American production cars ever.
If nothing else, I expect that SRT will eventually increase the official output in the next few model years of the Hellcat Hemi Challenger and Charger, but not for 2016. At some point, Ford and/or General Motors will come up with a car that can rival the Hellcat Challenger, and at that point, the Chrysler engineers could ease more power from the supercharged Hemi, or they could simply re-rate the engine at higher horsepower levels - but none of that is going to happen without a real competitor.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Speedometer Gauge

As for the 2016 model year, with those cars being so close to entering production, it is hard to imagine that the Chrysler Group is going to increase the Hellcat Hemi output without any fanfare. The Hellcat cars are among the most powerful in the world, so increasing the power levels on America's most powerful production engine would certainly be big news. The company has already talked about how the production numbers will go up and the prices will follow that trend, but there has been no mention of power increases…and that simply isn't the kind of thing that they would keep bottled up after mentioning a price hike.

So while I would fully expect that we will see a Hellcat Hemi down the road with more than 707 official horsepower, I don't expect to see more power for 2016 because the Hellcat-powered models are still at the head of their respective segments. Chrysler can make more power, but right now, it is best to keep that card in their hand until Ford or GM makes a real play to challenge the Mopar monsters.

Info pages: Hellcat ChargerHellcat ChallengerReview pages: Hellcat ChargerHellcat Challenger

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