2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: Top 10 Amazing Facts about America’s … – Forbes

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

No matter how you slice the data, Chrysler is enjoying great success in the automotive world. At Kelley Blue Book we’ve watched shopper traffic across every Chrysler division (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram) effectively double over the past two years. This is reflected in the automaker’s sales, which have increased every month for the past 50 months, and also its market share, which bottomed out in 2009 at 8.95 percent but stands at 12.52 percent so far in 2014. That number is up nearly a full percentage point from the 11.56 percent market share it averaged in 2013. and it’s the biggest single-year jump in Chrysler’s market share since the Great Recession started, suggesting momentum is still building. Much of this success can be attributed to Sergio Marchionne’s control and increased alignment between Chrysler and Fiat over the past 5 years, a fact reflected in the full merger of the automakers and a recent name change to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

How is this magnitude of success reflected in the modern product, beyond higher sales numbers? One could argue the first indication of confident optimism within Chrysler was the revival of the V10-powered, 640 horsepower SRT Viper in late 2012. But if that car represented Chrysler’s opening salvo in the modern-day horsepower war, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is an unmitigated nuclear strike. At 707 peak horsepower, the Challenger SRT Hellcat is the most powerful American production car — ever. Let’s review the Hellcat’s top 10 amazing facts to fully appreciate what the spoils of success have allowed Dodge to unleash on the American car-buying public.

10. With 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque the SRT Hellcat’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 can burn through 1.5 gallons of gas per minute at peak performance. That rate would theoretically drain the fuel tank in 13 minutes. But, it also meets Federal Tier 2, Bin 5 emissions requirements, meaning it is classified as a LEV II (Low Emissions Vehicle) in California. With the all-new 8-speed transmission that comes standard in every 2015 Challenger, the SRT Hellcat is expected to get approximately 20 mpg — if you aren’t accessing the supercharger’s boost on a regular basis.

9. At a starting price of $60,990 (including destination charge) the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat offers one horsepower for every $86.27 dollars. To get more horsepower you’d have to step up to a Lamborghini Aventador LP 720-4 Anniversary Edition. It’s got 710 horsepower…and costs over $400,000 ($563 per horsepower). The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is actually a much better deal, providing 731 horsepower for a mere $318,000 starting price ($435 per horsepower).

8. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has certified the SRT Hellcat at 11.2 seconds in the 1/4 mile when rolling on its factory 275/40ZR20 Pirelli PZero tires. On drag slicks the car is certified at 10.8 seconds in the 1/4 mile. There’s a launch control system that makes controlling each of those 707 horsepower easy, but we could “only” pull low 12s using it. It was a capable human, balancing throttle application against traction limitations, that scored those certified NHRA numbers. Don’t expect to beat up on hyper-exotics in a drag race until you’ve learned how to judiciously manage all that power.

7. Speaking of reigning in power, the Hellcat is the first Dodge to feature two keys — a red and a black version. The red key unleashes all 707 horsepower and every one of the Hellcat’s numerous performance settings for suspension, steering and traction control. The black key limits peak power to “just” 500 while keeping engine rpm below 4000 and the transmission out of first gear (with no paddle shifter control). This key should keep valets from destroying your rear tires while you eat, but even 500 horsepower and second gear would provide an entertaining joy ride…

6. The Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT has a stated top speed of 199 mph. Like the horsepower figure, you can find vehicles with higher top speeds, but only at substantially higher prices.

5. The supercharger on the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter V8 engine makes 11.6 psi of boost, while the forged-steel crankshaft and high strength connecting rods are engineered to withstand 1,595 psi, or the equivalent of nearly 20,000 pounds, pressing on the piston tops every two crank rotations.

4. To control 707 horsepower worth of heat build-up Dodge incorporated multiple cooling ducts into the Hellcat’s front-end design. An “Air Inlet” catcher port replaces the driver’s-side parking light to bring fresh air in, while twin reverse-facing hood scoops suck hot engine air out. These openings are in addition to the Hellcat’s prominent center hood scoop and wide, lower front fascia opening.


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