SOURCEWell, it's a bargain when dealers aren't slapping enormous markups on the price anyway. What is a bargain at sixty grand can appear less so with ten or twenty thousand extra on the sticker, but Dodge itself is stepping to the rescue in an attempt to curb this behavior. The longer a Hellcat sits on the lot, Automotive News (subscription required) reports, the fewer Hellcats a dealer will receive in the future.
"I think it’s the right thing to do" said brand boss Tim Kuniskis, and while he says that dealers are within their rights to carry out market pricing, the move should dissuade them from squeezing every penny from customers. He adds that dealers going gangbusters on regular models like Darts and Journeys will be rewarded with extra Hellcat allocation.
If you've not quite got to the dealer yet, it's worth having a look at Dodge's online Hellcat configurator. Sixty grand is out of the reach of many, but a spin on the configurator is free and still pretty satisfying. It also gives you a good idea of how much you'll really pay for the car: While desirable options like Sublime green or TorRed paintwork won't cost a penny, you can now finally discover the price of the TorqueFlite eight-speed auto gearbox ($1,995), a set of summer tires ($395) or red seat belts ($95). Click here to access the configurator.
Like the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. As Ruedisueli points out in this edition of “Autoline After Hours,” the speed of an SRT product is not electronically limited. And the Hellcat—which was the internal code name for the 6.2-liter HEMI engine that has become the moniker for this version of the SRT Challenger—has/is a 707-hp supercharged engine. If mated to a Torqueflite 8H90 transmission, the curb weight of the car is 4,439 lb. If mated to a six-speed manual Tremec TR-6060, the curb weight is 4,449 lb.
So think about that: 707 hp. 4,449 lb. Pretty quick.
SOURCE“We used LED technology in the headlamps, and that enabled us to open up a 66-mm (2.6-in) passage through the sealed driver inner headlamp,” Jeff Gale, Senior Manager of Dodge Exterior Design Studio, explained in an Automotive Engineering interview during the new Challenger’s recent media introduction in Portland, OR.
“We then shaped the lens back toward the housing to help with airflow through the headlamp,” he said. “Then we sealed everything up and created an air intake opening that feeds directly to the 8.0-L airbox located right behind the headlight.”
Sports and racing cars historically have used a similar approach to increasing airflow to the engine. “A lot of times they’d take out the high-beams, put a screen over the opening, and ducting would feed directly to the air cleaner or carburetor. That’s the type of thing that racers would do to the cars when they went to the drag strip or road course,” Gale noted.
The new Air Catcher had its genesis in the Dodge Challenger 1320 concept revealed at the 2009 SEMA show, and sporting a hole in one headlight. “That was a one-off concept aimed at a drag racer. But then we thought, ‘Why not try this on a production car?’” said Gale.
Chris Cowland, Director of SRT Powertrain Engineering, estimates the Air Catcher provides a single-digit horsepower bump to the new Challenger SRT Hellcat’s V8.
SOURCE"We received more than 4,500 orders in just the first five days, and to date we have received more than 9,000 orders," Reid said, adding that the restrictions would be lifted once orders in the system are sorted out. "Some customers may have put multiple orders at different dealers in an effort to get one of the first Hellcats."
Should you wait? Choose jaw-dropping acceleration over instant gratification? Should you even care? And what's gotten consumers and certain corners of the Internet so hot for the Hellcat?
Performance, for starters. The Challenger SRT Hellcat can knock off 0-60 mph in the low 3-second range, hustle down a quarter-mile drag strip in 11.2 seconds and top out at 199 mph, according to SRT.
To deliver those kinds of numbers, the Hellcat relies on the most powerful production V8 Chrysler has ever offered. Producing 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, harnessing it and keeping the drivetrain alive demands attention to detail, some very nifty hardware and software, and for good measure, a few tricks learned from racing.
Under its unique vented and scooped hood, the 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V8's heavy-duty forged pistons and connecting rods are matched to a forged-steel crankshaft. While the block is cast iron, cylinder heads are aluminum alloy. The supercharger's internals are built to tight tolerances and use special coatings for efficiency and durability. The sealed supercharger, which produces a maximum boost of 11.6 psi and has integrated heat exchangers, is designed to never need oil changes and uses premium synthetic oil. Borrowing a neat technique drag racers used in the '60s, the Hellcat takes in air for the blower's air box through a vent in the grille that's fashioned from one of its lights.
A key to the Hellcat's appeal is its gloriously aggressive exhaust snarl. SRT came up with a valve that's electronically controlled to tune the 2.75-inch straight-through dual exhaust system.
The standard Hellcat has an externally cooled, heavy-duty six-speed manual transmission that's based on the gearbox found in the Viper SRT. The optional performance-rated eight-speed automatic can handle 30 percent more torque than Chrysler's previous eight-speeds.
The suspension also has been made stouter. The front brakes are Brembo two-piece 15.4-in. vented and slotted rotors and six piston calipers. The rears are 13.8s. The Hellcat comes with 275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero all-season performance tires on lightweight 20 x 9.5-inch split-spoke forged aluminum wheels. Summer performance tires are optional as are dark bronze-finished wheels if you don't like the standard matte black.
The Hellcat's Uconnect with 8.4-inch display and GPS navigation is one of the most attractive, consistent and user-friendly infotainment packages in the industry. Techies will appreciate the electronics, which not only offer traditional entertainment via radio, satellite, USB and streaming, but also enable drivers to customize their vehicle's interfaces and measure performance on the street or at the track. An added plus: navigating the right menus and pushing the right buttons will get you into "drive mode" and that can be of great practical value. For example, one of the available modes, "valet" locks out first gear and tweaks other systems to tame power and suspension settings.
And here's a slick trick they never had in the old-school muscle car era. The Hellcat comes standard with two distinctly different smart keys. If you believe that absolute power corrupts, then warding off the corruption (or worse) that can result from massive horsepower is probably a savvy move. The red smart key unleashes the Hellcat Hemi's full fury. The black one dials back power and limits revs if you're entrusting your Hellcat to a valet, technician, friend or relative.
If you were A) shrewd/fortunate enough to take delivery of a Hellcat before the ordering intermission and B) able to buy the Hellcat at sticker price - MSRP is just a hair above $60,000 with destination ($995) and gas guzzler tax ($1,700) - count yourself lucky. But as over-the-top as spending 60 large for 707 stomping horsepower may seem, the Challenger SRT Hellcat is a pretty fair deal when you look at some of the competition from the cost-per-horsepower perspective. (Running in this power pack would be rides like the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500, Chevy Camaro ZL1, Porsche GT3 or Camaro Z06.)
Then again, for some, the allure of the Hellcat comes down to a factor far more powerful than any number obtainable on a dynamometer: emotion.
Proclaiming the Challenger SRT Hellcat a "great car," Dave Kinney, publisher of the Hagerty Price Guide, which analyzes collector-vehicle values, added, "It has the cred to back up the looks, with good off-the-line performance and speed. It's fast, good looking, and a true 'tribute' to the car's forefathers. There is no mistaking the Chrysler DNA in the Hellcat.
"It's got a fantastic name as well, a moniker that resonates with gamers as well as granddads," Kinney said. "It is also becoming a must-have for Chrysler muscle car collectors. That's a very good sign for future collectability.
Armchair investors, if your speculative gears are grinding, the licensed appraiser has some advice for you.
"If you are using your play money, that's fine," Kinney said. "Don't bet the farm on any collectible car; pay off the house and the kids' educations first. If you can afford it, and it makes you happy to drive and own it, go for it."
BASE PRICE: $58,295
AS TESTED, INCLUDING DESTINATION: $65,870 (includes $1,700 gas guzzler tax)
DRIVETRAIN: 6.2-liter supercharged V8, 8-speed automatic transmission, RWD
OUTPUT: 707 hp; 650 lb.-ft.
FUEL: Gas, 91 octane recommended
EPA ESTIMATED FUEL ECONOMY: 13 city/22 highway
INDICATED FUEL ECONOMY: 16.3 mix of city/highway
CURB WEIGHT: 4,439 lbs.
WEBSITE: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat | driveSRT