June 3, 2014
Dodge Challenger Hellcat – Quite The Ride
I am not much of a Dodge fan, but the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat gives a new meaning to the term “muscle car.” Aside from the race-ready versions from Ford, Chevy and Dodge, the Mustang Shelby GT500 is currently the most powerful, quickest and fastest American made muscle car produced. However, the GT500 could be discontinued in 2015, so it leaves the door open for Chevy and Dodge to close in on taking the title.
The following comes to you in partnership with our friends at Top Speed.
Dodge has answered the challenge with the all-new Challenger Hellcat, which is set to be showcased at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show this year, and production to begin in the third quarter of 2014. It features a massive 6.2-L supercharged V-8, estimated to produce around 620 hp. Quickness matches the Stang’s 3.5 second 0-60 mph and is estimated to top 200 mph. All this power is fed through a six-speed manual transmission or optional eight-speed automatic with an electronic shifter.
“The new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the ultimate performance muscle car” and “a true GT car with an all-new driver-focused interior,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge president and CEO.
It is rumored the Hellcat name comes from the World War II Hellcat fighter, plane which amassed a kill-to-loss ratio of 19:1 and destroyed over 5,000 enemy aircraft.
The exterior of the new beast features the split grill being replaced by a single piece and a power-bulge hood with dual air extractors for heat removal and an Air Catcher port. The front nose has quad projector lamps and a large splitter to keep the car firmly on the ground at higher speeds. To help keep the rear end to the pavement, a rear spoiler is attached with the “SRT” logo on the right side. The fenders carry the “Supercharged” badges and on the sides are side sills and a rear valance, all for improved aerodynamics. The exterior paint is offered in 11 different colors, including two new paint schemes: high-impact blue and sublime green.
The interior features a few modifications and upgrades, including a redesigned steering wheel with the SRT logo and a flat bottom. The gauges feature digital graphics finished in a Dark Radar Red hue and a 200 mph speedometer. Also featured are aluminum trim and French-seamed stitching on the leather surfaces. The seats are heated and ventilated for comfort, with the interior either sepia or black.
The power plant has been modified for strength and durability by being destroked and a forged-steel crankshaft was added with induction-hardened bearing surfaces and main bearings. The cast-iron block includes extra strength connecting rods, as the pressure inside the cylinders can reach 1,600 psi. The supercharger is a Lysholm-style and is produced by IHI Corporation. It is more efficient by allowing less air leakage and power loss at its 14,600 rpm redline.
The suspension is sport-tuned with 20-inch split-seven forged aluminum wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Nero all-season rubber. The brakes have 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece rotors and six-piston calipers at all four wheels. Those are combined with an anti-lock system, ESC and traction control specifically tuned for the Hellcat.
In conclusion, the Hellcat ranks right up there with any muscle car produced. Still, personally, I would go with the Mustang. Happy driving.
Featured Image Credit: Dodge / TopSpeed.com