2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat
I understand that the name of the column is the Supercar Chronicle and that the Dodge Challenger is technically classified as a Muscle Car, but were not talking about a run of the mill Hemi Challenger, this is the Hellcat, its a factory supercar imported from Detroit.
How’d we get here?
In 2010, Ford rolled out the 550 horsepower Shelby Mustang GT500. Chevrolet upped the ante and introduced the 580 horsepower ZL-1 Camaro. Ford regained its composure and fired back with the 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500, producing an unheard of 662 horsepower. While those two iconic pony cars were vying for your attention and the obligatory magazine covers, the Dodge Boys were quietly assembling and testing a vehicular assassin of their own. During the summer of 2014, the veil of secrecy was removed and the Hellcat was introduced to the unsuspecting media and auto enthusiasts alike.
The “Hellcat” is a beast with 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque on tap courtesy of its 6.2 liter (370 cubic inch) supercharged and intercooled, 16-valve, V8. Atop the iron block and aluminum heads sits an IHI screw-type supercharger producing 11.6 psi, with a drive ratio of 2.36:1 and a maximum speed of 14,600 rpm, with dual water to air intercoolers to keep the system running smoothly. The supercharger swallows air through an Air Catcher, ram-air inlet built into the driver’s side parking light which connects to a twin-inlet, eight-liter air box and the 92 mm throttle body is the largest ever used in a Chrysler Group vehicle.
What makes the Hellcat a supercar?
Did you see the part where I mentioned the 707 horsepower? That number alone firmly plants the Hellcat in the supercar category. However, allow me to further justify the conversation. The Hellcat is more powerful than all but six cars currently on the market; Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, Porsche 918, Ferrari F12 and the Pagani Huayra. Of the six cars listed, the cheapest is still 5.5 times more expensive than the $60,000 Dodge. Plus with all the money you saved, you could commission Hennessey Performance Engineering to “tweak” the Hellcat to run down the 6 cars standing in its way.
While the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat tips the scales at 4488 lbs., it’s powerful enough to propel from a dead stop to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. It eats up the ¼ mile in 11.2 seconds at 126 mph and the top speed is limited to 199 mph. The 707 hp and 650 b-ft of torque is routed to the rear wheels (Pirelli P Zero) via either a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual or a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Of note, the Hellcat car gets to 150 mph in 17 seconds flat, almost a full second faster than the SRT Viper and has 40 more horsepower. That being the case, expect the SRT Viper to receive a performance boost, by way of a supercharged V10 which should produce north of 800 horsepower.
Not for everyone…
So let’s say you bring home your Hellcat and your son wants to drive it. Let’s also say that for some reason you’ve lost your mind and agree to hand over the keys to uncanned anarchy. The Hellcat comes with 2 sets of keys; the red key is used to unleash the car’s full amount of fury, while the black key is designed to limit the engine’s output to a “mere” 500 horsepower. In addition there’s a “valet mode” which dramatically reduces the horsepower, torque and limits the engine’s rpm’s to 4,000, as well as engages all safety sentries, and locks out manual control on the automatic transmission equipped cars.
In Las Vegas at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, the very first 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat (700001) was purchased by NASCAR super-team owner and avid car collector, Rick Hendrick. The hammer dropped at $825,000 with all proceeds being donated to charity. Hellcat #1 is a true one-of-a-kind as it will be the only car painted in the Viper only color; Stryker Red.
At the end of the day… the Hellcat is by far, the best value for the dollar and will not only place you firmly atop the muscle car kingdom, but will also allow you to kick in the door at the supercar club.