The automotive industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the world, and failure to comply can lead to big fines and bad press, as Volkswagen is finding out over its Dieselgate saga. Everything from the size of your taillights to the sound emitted by the tailpipe are measured and regulated, though once in the hands of the consumer, it becomes a much different matter.
It seems almost cruel to muffle a car like the 707 horsepower Dodge Charger Hellcat, especially after hearing what the supercharged 6.2 liter HEMI sounds like completely ungagged.
We have Hellcat enthusiast and owner “Sinister_Hellcat” to thank for this unmuffled audio of Fiat-Chrysler’s ultimate muscle machine, blasting down back roads to the tune of pure horsepower.
American musclecars have always been about torque and sound, but for almost three decades following the late 70s “Malaise” era Chrysler steered clear of V8, rear-drive vehicles to compete with the Mustang and Camaro. Instead cars like the Plymouth Lazer and Dodge Viper at opposite ends of the performance car spectrum, leaving a wide gulf where a V8 musclecar should have been. That changed with the return of the Dodge Charger and Challenger, and as we near the inevitable end of production for these hulking brutes, the Hellcat models stand ready to send them into the sunset, leaving smoldering strips of burnt rubber in their wake.
That’s the magic of unbridled musclecars, the sound, the feel, the mystique of it all. It seeps into the prose of even the most reserved drivers and writers, giving them cause to see cars, and their potential for performance, in a whole new light. There’s no other car on the market right now that better represents America’s commitment to V8 performance, and nothing else that sounds this good.