The Dodge Challenger is a towering automotive icon that has been around for more than five decades. It’s amazing to think that the third-generation model has been on the market for 15 years. Few modern cars have remained relevant over such a long product cycle. The guys at Dodge did an amazing job freshening the car over the years, and they hit the bullseye with every update which propelled the car to outsell arch-rival Camaro in its twilight years.
The third-generation Dodge Challenger hit the market in February 2008 at a time when the world financial crisis was starting to roil the car industry. The new Mopar pony was a retro-styled muscle car that paid homage to the original Challenger from the 1970s. The car was based on a shortened Chrysler LX platform. It featured a long hood, a short deck, and a wide stance. The car’s design was an instant hit with car enthusiasts, and it quickly became one of the most popular muscle cars on the market.
In The Beginning
The 2008 R/T model was powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine that produced 372 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The SRT8 was powered by a 6.1-liter HEMI V8 engine that produced 425 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
In 2011, Dodge introduced the Challenger SRT8 392, which was powered by a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine that produced 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. The car also featured an upgraded suspension system, Brembo brakes, and a new exhaust system.
By 2015, the Challenger SRT Hellcat debuted, which was powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine producing an incredible 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. The Hellcat quickly became one of the most powerful muscle cars on the market and turned the muscle market on its ear.
In 2017, Dodge introduced the Challenger SRT Demon, which was powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine that produced an astonishing 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque. The Demon was designed for drag racing and could go from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds.
In 2023, Dodge announced that production of the Challenger would end no later than December of that year. The announcement marked the end of an era for one of the most iconic muscle cars in automotive history.
For some, the Challenger’s legacy is great, but more is always more, especially when it comes to horsepower. With that in mind, check out the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat by Hennessey Performance. This malevolent machine is not for shrinking violets, as it boasts mega horsepower and a squinty-eyed, bulldog look.
The Challenger SRT Hellcat is a powerhouse right out of the box, with a 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine that expels 717 horsepower and 656 pound-feet of torque. It thunders from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 10.8 seconds.
If you still want a deeper reservoir of rocket sauce, that’s where Hennessey Performance comes in. A well-known Texas-based tuner known for creating some of the most ferocious builds on the planet decided to take the SRT Hellcat to the ozone layer of performance. They tweaked the supercharging system, installed stainless-steel long tube headers and high-flow catalytic converters, a high-flow induction system, and crankcase ventilation, resulting in 1,000 ornery horsepower and 948 lb-ft of torque.
The finished product is the Hennessey H1000 Dodge Challenger Hellcat, a car that can rival most supercars in terms of performance and swagger. Hennessey has not revealed the exact figures yet, but we can expect this cranky kitty to be much faster than the stock version, and possibly even faster than the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, which has 1,025 horsepower and does 0 to 60 mph in 1.66 seconds.
The H1000 Challenger Hellcat also looks every inch a street prowler, its Destroyer Grey paint contrasting with the saffron accents and the Hellcat livery. It rides on 20-inch Devil Rims in satin carbon with Pirelli P Zero tires and red binders. The interior features several hides of black leather, and Demonic Red seatbelts punctuate the all-business interior.
The car also features a Jailbreak body kit, which adds some aerodynamic elements and customization options. You can tailor the color of the Hellcat badge on the front fenders, the brake calipers, the leather, and the stitching inside the cabin. But wait, there’s more! A chassis dyno testing, road testing of up to 500 miles, a serial numbered engine bay plaque, and Hennessey exterior badging are available as well. The mods come with a warranty of three years or 36,000 miles.
Farwell To The Champ
Dodge has officially pulled the plug on the Challenger so if all this sounds good, give Hennesey a call sooner than later. Of course, Hennessey would be happy to mod your current Challenger, or buy a used one and give the Texas speed guru a shout.
Speak now or forever hold your peace as the likes of this Mopar pony car are not coming around this way again. We’ll all be driving glorified golf carts soon, so get a Challenger now and tuck it away safe and sound. Then on sunny Sundays, let it run free in its natural habitat, burning up the tarmac and scaring the sheople in their greige econoboxes.