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Chrysler Dodge Releases the Challenger SRT Hellcat

Chrysler Dodge Releases the Challenger SRT Hellcat

Chrysler Dodge Releases the Challenger SRT Hellcat
August 02
20:34 2014

Retro designs have become very common now and, I would say, this is for the better. European models such as the Fiat 500, Mini Cooper, Alfa Romeo 4c, and even the VW Beetle have been melting the dull, undifferentiating façade of modern cars and adding some flair to the lineups whose designs have become so common and predictable that it is difficult for the untrained eye to see the difference of the fascias of Peugeot 208 and Peugeot 508, for example. They both have descending headlights which hug the sides of the cars and point towards the lion badge in the middle; they both have low, side-swept fog lights; and they both have lowered grilles which give them aggressive look and will continue to do so, even if there is a tiny three-cylinder engine under the hood. Looking in your rear view mirror, you can’t be sure if you are being followed by a small city car that struggles with hills when the air conditioning is on, or by a luxurious 508 GT with more than 200 hp. And this is even more evident with some of the cars that come from Asia.

Dodge-Challenger-Hellcat-2015  hellcat1

Well, the return to the retro styling is bringing the end of such uniformity. If a retro car has a tiny engine, it won’t pretend to look dangerous, but rather – cute. On the other hand, if a retro car has a raging beast under the hood, you will know this at the first sight. So, looking at the retro-model-inspired 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat – there’s a raging beast under the hood. The same goes for other cars that are the results of the retro comeback such as the various modern Mustangs and Camaros.

However, even the base model of the Dodge Challenger SRT (not the Hellcat, mind you) is a real peril for the competitors. It has a 6.4l Hemi V8 engine which gives you 485 hp to play with along with the twisting force of 475 lb-ft of torque. Well, the Hellcat version of the Challenger SRT ups the game even further. A lot further. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat now packs a supercharged 6.2l V8 engine with dual intercoolers and a whopping 707 hp (yes, it is more powerful than the Ford Mustang GT500 which is in turn more powerful than the Viper V-10 and a lot more powerful than the Camaro ZL1) and even more whopping 650 lb-ft of torque. This kind of power is transferred to the road via an 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode, or, for the guys who feel they can confidently control such unearthly power, a 6-speed manual.

If you are wondering how they have managed to squeeze so much more power from a smaller engine compared to the unit in the original SRT, you should know that 90% of the Hellcat’s engine is completely new. So the car with this smaller engine, depending on the setup, is estimated to reach 60 mph in just 3.4-3.8 seconds, 100 mph in 8.5-8.9 and the top speed of 165 mph. If you like those quarter-mile runs, you should complete them in just over 11 seconds. Obviously, the size isn’t everything. If any owner of this car cares, the fuel economy is said to be between 12 and 23 mpg in the city and on the highway, respectively.

There are two key fobs to choose from. The first one is the black one and this is the one your wife or a valet will use. It limits the power, blocks the engine from revving higher than 4,000rpms and lets the ESC almost completely drain the fun out of this car. Add to this the fact that paddle shifters, launch mode and drive-mode functions (which adapt the amount of power at your disposal and other settings including transmission, suspension and traction) all get disabled and the black key turns the Challenger SRT Hellcat into a car which you can reluctantly give to your mother-in-law to pop down to the market.

The red key, however, you should keep to yourself. It turns the car into a proper beast and all those performance numbers become fully available, so the Hellcat really seems like a ride from the depths of hell. Even the sound is different and the roar you get is sure to turn everyone’s head. In this mode you will also enjoy the Performance Pages feature. Here you can record accelerations and lap times, g-forces, reaction times and quarter-mile runs, so you can actually compete with other people in just one car. Not as fun as with more cars, but a nice feature either way. If you are interested in the technical parameters of your run, you can also view current hp and torque, boost pressure and various other temperatures and pressures in real time.

Driving the SRT Hellcat is a special experience. Torque delivery is so powerful and constant that you will never come up against those lags, or twitches that high-powered cars often throw at their drivers. Ride also seems pretty stable and firm even at high speeds. The wheels which also help with stability and look amazing are large, 20”, forged aluminum units coated in 275/40 tires. The front brakes are also new and improved. You will get 15.4” rotors and Brembo calipers with six pistons.

The looks are sharp. This is obviously a retro model. Angular design with just the right amount of curves in perfect places makes the Challenger look confident, sleek and aggressive at the same time. The hood air intake is a great feature that almost every high-performance car should have and just slightly curved line of the section with the headlights and the grille sporting the SRT logo make the headlights seem like angry eyes. The middle line of the car stretches flat above the front wheels and under the door knob, but ascends slightly as it approaches the rear wheel following the design form which puts emphasis on rear wheel arches making the car seem far more muscular. The red and black color combination looks great on this car and continues on the inside on the instrument cluster.


Speaking of which, the interior is a perfect blend of luxury, practicality and sporty features. The steering wheel is massive and packed with multifunctional buttons, while the instrument cluster is a real joy to behold. Clear and simple to use and read information from, which is very important when you are driving 100+ mph. The same goes for the elevated display in the middle column while the bordered transmission stick further emphasizes the fact that even though there are five seats in the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the driver was the most important person for the designers. Well designed leather seats with the SRT logo provide amazing support during sharp turns and surprisingly comfy ride when things are peaceful.

The Mustang GT500 was the most powerful car of the lot with 662 hp before the Challenger SRT Hellcat appeared. At these numbers the 45 hp is not much of a difference, but the point is that being at the top is a matter of prestige, so the quick appearance of the Hellcat right after the GT500 was not so much of a surprise. This means that we can look forward to another attempt to surpass the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat soon.



About Author

Branislav Sjeran

Branislav Sjeran

My main interests include cars, music and social and political commentary, but I have written for several magazines, blogs and websites about a variety of topics that include probate law, cars, health, exercise, food and drinks, travel, sports, fulfillment services, gadgets, architecture and interior and product design.

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