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New Dodge Challenger R/T Hellcat

You want a bigger fistful of available HEMI® V8 engine power than ever before? The Hellcat will give you that and then some. Efficient performance meets knife-edge handling. Get ready for the ride of your life.

Muscle cars are all about the numbers, and Dodge has just issued a triple-digit warning to the rest of the ponycar herd. Packing 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 “Hellcat” engine is the very stuff Saturday night legends are made of.

Installed in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, this wild engine has the loftiest power figure of any V-8 engine in Chrysler history. To put it numerically, the Hellcat brings 45 more horsepower than the Shelby Mustang GT500, 127 more horsepower than the Camaro ZL1 tested, and—in what may be viewed as an act of sacrilege by some—67 more hp than the V-10 in the current Viper.

How’d she handle? To quote Scott Evans, “Just like a Challenger. Under steer into the corner, over steer out.” Which, I’d like to add, is exactly how it should be. You want massive horsepower and catlike reflexes? Buy a Viper. Or wait a few months and grab the upcoming 650-hp, 650-lb-ft-of-torque Corvette Z06. The Hellcat is another breed of beastie entirely. Sure, there’s probably some way to foist a super-stiff chassis and all the track-worthiness that entails under the latest and greatest from SRT. But you’d be missing the point. This is a big, comfortable boulevard yacht that just so happens to have a Hellfire missile where the engine should be. Voyaging along in the Barcalounger front thrones with potent, finger-chilling air conditioning and a pretty righteous stereo in total comfort, yet knowing that you can break the tires completely loose in almost any of the eight gears (our test car’s an auto; we’ll review the manual in a later story) is precisely the point. If you really must know, the Hellcat can be wanged around our figure-eight course in 24.7 seconds.

The Hellcat will be at Withnell Dodge soon. Be sure to look for it this late fall.

 

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