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Dodge claims 707-hp Challenger SRT Hellcat is the "most powerful muscle car ever"

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July 3, 2014

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has 707 hp and 650 lb-ft on tap

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has 707 hp and 650 lb-ft on tap

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Sometimes overshadowed by the muscle car war between the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang, the Dodge Challenger is another legacy car with history stretching back toward the heyday of American muscle. The all-new 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat adds an exciting new chapter to that history, hitting the highways as Dodge's most powerful muscle car ever.

We're not sure that we can accept Dodge's unrestricted claim of most powerful muscle car ever without some type of "factory produced" qualifier, what with 952-hp Shelby Mustangs roaming the Earth, but a 707-hp Challenger is an exciting development nonetheless. The 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 powering the car is the most powerful Dodge V8 ever and the first HEMI to make use of a factory-installed supercharger.

Dodge first revealed the 2015 Challenger SRT and SRT Hellcat in May. At the time, it said that the Hellcat would carry its most powerful V8 ever, but it limited its horsepower estimate to "600 plus." The 707 makes for a big dose of "plus," pushing the Hellcat right over the 640-hp Viper V10 and even the Viper GT3-R race car (680 hp). While it's not quite as powerful as special packages like the aforementioned Mustang 1000 and the GT500 Super Snake by Shelby, it easily bests the 662-hp Mustang Shelby GT500 and 580-hp Camaro ZL1 flagships offered directly from Ford and Chevy.

The 6.2-liter engine is the first V8 unit to get the Dodge/SRT supercharger treatment

Dodge reckons that the new Hellcat has so much power that it requires two keys. The black key fob limits the driver to "just" 500 ponies, while the red key unleashes the full stable. We'd say that's a nice feature for a dad handing the keys over to his son on a Friday night, but we're pretty sure most dads don't want junior trying to rein in a 500-horse stampede. Dad might want to punch in his PIN and activate valet mode, which limits engine output, alters transmission settings and makes other drive alterations to cut the fun out of joyriding.

The big, grumbling HEMI V8 handles its 650 lb-ft of torque with help from the buyer's choice of a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual or a new TorqueFlight eight-speed automatic. Drivers can tune the ride by way of sport, track and default driving modes, tweaking it even more with a personalized "custom" mode option.

The hard edges and boxy shape of modern-day muscle cars like the Challenger keep them from being poster children for aerodynamics, but Dodge and SRT designers did spend a lot of time in the wind tunnel optimizing the 2015 Challenger's form. The Hellcat includes a large front splitter increasing downforce, aero-optimized side sills and a tall rear spoiler. Its lightweight aluminum power-bulge hood has an intake and dual air extractors.

The Challenger SRT Hellcat comes standard on "Slingshot" split-seven spoke 20 x 9.5-in forged-aluminum wheels. Those wheels are wrapped neatly in P275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero Nero tires that come screeching to a stop behind a high-performance braking system with all-new 390-mm Brembo rotors and six-piston calipers up front.

Inside the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Inside, the Challenger SRT Hellcat is outfitted with a fully modern cockpit touched up with elements inspired by the 1971 Challenger. Smack in front of the driver, a 7-in driver information display offers a customizable read-out. That display is flanked by throwback analog gauges that tie the look into the 1971 car. To the driver's right, an 8.4-in Uconnect touchscreen keeps them connected from the center stack. Leather-wrapped surfaces and aluminum trim finish off the look.

Dodge will manufacture the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat at its Brampton, Ontario plant, getting it into dealerships the third quarter of this year. It has yet to release pricing.

A sinister scene

The news of the Hellcat's 707-hp rating comes just after Dodge's July 1 centenary anniversary celebration. Not all that long ago, Dodge looked like it might not make it very far past its 100th. After losing its truck line to Ram and its Viper halo to SRT, it seemed like it was being stripped of product and possibly prepped to become the next extinct American auto brand. But with its recent consolidation with SRT, revamped focus on performance, and exciting products like the Hellcat on offer, Dodge appears fully energized and ready for the next 100.

As fun as the Hellcat is to chat about, it's even more fun to watch. Check it out in the new video below.

Source: Dodge

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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25 Comments

The 580 HP supercharged ZL1 Camaro is $55k and the 505 HP 7.0L Z/28 Camaro is $72k.

I think the Z/28 is faster at turning than the ZL1 though with a 7:37 Nurburgring time (semi wet track).

I don't know how well it will turn but the Challenger will make more power than even the Viper. I think cars in NASCAR are only 800-850 HP @ 3400 lbs so at this rate even street legal sports cars are catching up.

Daishi
3rd July, 2014 @ 07:18 pm PDT

It's more fun to build your own mega power engine.

Slowburn
3rd July, 2014 @ 10:21 pm PDT

The Author saying that the Shelby cobra was the biggest ever, but that is not a Factory Production car, a factory production car is just what it say's, no tweaking after production right from the factory, Dodge claims the Hellcat is the most ever, & it's the most horsepower ever from the original manufacturer, & that is correct, nobody else in the USA manufacturers has ever produced that much horsepower from factory, John Hennessy reworked Vipers & Corvettes & has got incredible horsepower, but that isn't what Dodge is talking about. (FACTORY)

Bud Greiner
4th July, 2014 @ 06:04 am PDT

Wow. That's half a megawatt. In all seriousness - you could literally power your entire neighbourhood's electricity usage if you hooked this baby up to a genny in your garage while not driving...

christopher
4th July, 2014 @ 07:06 am PDT

@ christopher

The engine doesn't have much operating time at that output level. Running at 700 hp it would probably eat itself within an hour. That does not mean that an engine of the same power and displacement could not be built to continuously operate at 700 hp.

Slowburn
4th July, 2014 @ 08:19 am PDT

Great, I just found out Dodge uses plastic impellers on there water pumps. what a joke. who else is doing this ?

Jay Finke
4th July, 2014 @ 08:52 am PDT

Go Ralph Go!!!

Fantastiche!!!

You are the masterpiece!

And You Know CARS!

Island Architect
4th July, 2014 @ 10:16 am PDT

At the end of the day....Who cares? 700 bhp on a car that doesn't steer worth a damn at 30 mph.

RFM
4th July, 2014 @ 10:25 am PDT

Plastic impellers? Well, lets see the porsche I sold had them, as well as many other plastic water pipes. My BMW had plastic water impellers, which I replaced with a metal equipped water pump, though not before I lost the head gasket. Mercedes and Volkswagen also have nothing but plastic.

BMW and porsche expect you to replace the entire cooling system at around 45,000. You read that correctly. Replace the plastic radiator, water pump, auxiliary electric water-pump, all the hoses. Even if you do your own work, it is neither inexpensive or fun. Interestingly enough my 62 Impala SS still works with the original radiator. And is still faster in the quarter than an M-5.

steveraxx
4th July, 2014 @ 10:52 am PDT

I love reading comments on these types of posts. Shows how uneducated morons out there that are bashing a car maker for putting plastic impeller on water pump. Thanks to Steveraxx for putting people in their place with a fun filled factual filled posting about plastic impellers.

Srt_Adrian
4th July, 2014 @ 01:58 pm PDT

You need to stay on top of automotive news, bud. The SRT lineup is now back under the Dodge name again, the Viper is again a Dodge Viper. This happened more than 2 months ago.

Ruben Alamak
4th July, 2014 @ 02:56 pm PDT

I like the commercial for the Dodge hellcat. The red paint job is well, Hot. My only issue is that, the company along with chevy and ford are just nostalgic about their designs. They all need build something modern. I saw a rendering for a Dodge Barracuda in purple and thought, "Now that's awesome", but doubtful the good ol boys will build modern or futuristic for that matter. If I were buying a truck, Domestic all the way, as for a car foreign. Now they all welcome to change my mind. I'll try not to be doubtful.

Gargamoth
4th July, 2014 @ 06:39 pm PDT

The Shelby is like the Hennessey modified cars. The Hennessey Viper Venom 1000 Twin Turbo is actually rated at 1,120 bhp @ 6,200 rpm

and 1,092 lb-ft Torque @ 4,200 rpm which destroys the Shelby Mustang. However to be clear about Dodge claims- the Hellcat IS the most powerful mass production car ever made in the U.S. Thankfully the new leadership at FIAT Chrysler recognizes Dodge has one of the greatest American Performance heritages of all time (along with Ford and and phases of Pontiac). This is also just the beginning. Dodge will no longer make mini vans (with Chrysler becoming less of a pseudo-luxury brand and more of a Plymouth/Chrysler brand positioning). THESE ARE THE GOOD OL' DAYS PEOPLE!!!

D.a. Sebasstian
4th July, 2014 @ 11:15 pm PDT

@ RFM

By what delusion do you say that the "car that doesn't steer worth a damn at 30 mph"?

Slowburn
5th July, 2014 @ 02:55 am PDT

RE: plastic impellers, I have a BMW 3 series which has plastic parts. I replaced the rad and water pump @ 150k. There are aftermarket metal replacements that the racers use.

@steveraxx - Love the comparison between the '62 Impala and the M5 in the quarter mile--just don't try to put that puppy through any corners!

RFM
5th July, 2014 @ 06:19 am PDT

Mustangs and Camaros are pony cars. Traditionally muscle cars have been defined as mid-size cars with really big engines, e.g., GTO, Chevelle SS, Olds 442, etc. "Pony car" != "Muscle car."

Will_Power
5th July, 2014 @ 01:38 pm PDT

These cars are power monsters but to me the new engine technology that can make just about any car go from 0 -60 in 4 seconds is just not appealing. I used to own a beautiful silver 350Z and although that's not anywhere near a true exotic (I know, even somewhat pedestrian) I would rather own another than one over one of these, or the millions of carbon-copy camaros and mustangs out there.

My 350 just seemed to be more unique, classy, and the tight drive was fantastic. Yes, one of these would destroy it in speed, but to me they all look the same: big, blocky cars with a huge engine.

Just my opinion, but regardless, let the flaming begin.

thekonger
7th July, 2014 @ 07:41 am PDT

@ slowburn

Cornering has always been the handicap of America's "go fast in a straight line" muscle cars. This car might beat the M5 in the quarter, but I'd drive the M5 11 days a week. To me, this car's design is based on '70s nostalgia, not on overall roadworthy performance.

Randy Meinert
7th July, 2014 @ 09:36 am PDT

I'm getting one already ordered

Timothy Jewell
9th July, 2014 @ 06:56 pm PDT

The question is, is that 707 HP enough to overcome the weight and handling difference when compared to the GT 500 Mustangs and ZL1 Camaros?

Looking forward to some comparison testing.

Bobbafet
9th July, 2014 @ 08:47 pm PDT

I'm willing to bet the Hellcat will show less power on a dyno than the Shelby GT500 considering the Shelby dynos at 600+ whp -- thats really about 705hp at the crank.

Aaron Harris
10th July, 2014 @ 12:12 am PDT

@ Randy Meinert

So no test drives just it is American and thus doesn't handle well. Knew it.

Slowburn
10th July, 2014 @ 05:52 am PDT

How do I get the drool off my keyboard?

Janet L Palmer
11th July, 2014 @ 04:41 pm PDT

It will need to weigh less than the near 4,000 lbs it weighs and offer launch control (with that much power) so it doesn't do the tire spin that Vipers do at the line, which tends to nullify straight-line acceleration, and to handle as well as the Camaros and Mustangs. Weight is a killer in acceleration and handling as well as fuel mileage (the Challenger will probably carry a gas guzzler tax). My only other concern is the quality-control issue; Chrysler, er Fiat, has had much worse consumer and professional ratings than GM or Ford. Hopefully Fiat (not a bastion of quality control itself with its cars) can pump some money and quality control into Chrysler. Otherwise, it will require more maintenance and depreciate much faster than its competitors. Other than that, I'm looking forward to seeing it on the road and in comparison tests with Camaros and Mustangs.

Mark Desade
14th August, 2014 @ 02:09 pm PDT

Bud griener who leaves a car stock anyway. Even considering a 4 door car as a muscle car or sports car is ludicrous. Its a family car with a big engine and that pretty much sums it up.

Nick Flaim
18th August, 2014 @ 12:21 pm PDT
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