Written by Pete Nichols
There are fewer greater American love stories than the marriage of the Hemi V8 to classic muscle car sheet metal. Chrysler pioneered the effort beginning in 1966, offering the venerable and legendary 426 Hemi as a factory production line option within such iconic models as the Plymouth Satellite and Dodge Charger.
Fast forward nearly 50 years; Chrysler has raised the bar yet again with the introduction of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Boasting a borderline-irresponsible 707 flywheel horsepower courtesy of a supercharged 6.2L (392 cubic inch) Hemi V8 engine, the latest and greatest SRT model from the Chrysler camp packs all the subtlety of an M47 Patton tank when you drop the hammer. Yes, you read that right… 707 supercharged horsepower just waiting to punish the pavement at the blip of the throttle! This is the high water mark for Chrysler production, ushering in the highest power rating ever offered to the general public in a standard production line vehicle. And to think they’ve done so at a reasonable $59,995.00 sticker price, as we found out yesterday.
As if you didn’t already have 707 reasons to be waiting in line at the dealership, Chrysler ups the ante even further with a 6-speed manual transmission option (thanks to Tremec) as well as a new 8HP90 high-performance 8-speed automatic transmission carrying the venerable “TorqueFlite” badge.
Subtle styling cues improve the aesthetics of the already downright sexy Challenger while offering notable performance improvements via reduced aerodynamic drag. In a nod to classic muscle car build style and maximization of performance potential, function forgoes form with the deletion of one grill-mounted inboard parking lamp in favor of a halo-lamp with an inlet for the cold-air induction system.
Check out the video to hear this Hellcat scream as it’s put through the paces, showcasing the car’s equally adept performance abilities whether it’s tearing up the highway, assaulting the drag strip, or carving corners. Despite the naysayers, the car looks like it’s more than capable of handling it all.
While nimble through the curves, horsepower still proves king; we can’t help but grin with the thought of what fun the driver must be having as increased throttle modulation results in blissful over steer and copious amounts of tire smoke. We love the smell of burnt rubber in the morning! The Hellcat seriously delivers. Looks like the Dodge boys are back in town, and they’re not treading so lightly this time.