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Letting the Cat out of the Bag

Letting the Cat out of the Bag

By Matthew Harris

dodge_challenger_srt_hellcat_06_h-0704In 2008 the Challenger made a return to the Dodge lineup. But, in 2015 Dodge is letting the cat out of the bag with the all-new Challenger SRT Hellcat, or perhaps they did what the name implies and unleashed this beast from hell. With 707 horsepower, and 650 lb. –ft. of torque coming from the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8, and running on its stock Pirelli P275/40ZR20 P Zero tires the Hellcat is able to cover the quarter-mile in just 11.2 seconds at 125 MPH. This being certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) makes the all-new Challenger SRT Hellcat the fastest and most powerful muscle car to come off an assembly line to date.

Since the Hellcat is the first supercharged Hemi to come straight from the factory, Dodge had to go through some changes and a little more beefing up. In order to get more air in for the supercharger a ram-air inlet was built into the drivers-side parking light. The crankshaft is forged steel with hardened bearing surfaces. The pistons are forged. The rods are power-forged and fitted with beefed-up bushings and carbon-coated pins, heat-treated aluminum heads and die-cast aluminum rocker covers painted Hemi Orange for you die-hard Mopar fans out there. Dual water-to-air intercoolers help keep the V-8 running nice and cool, and an almost straight through exhaust with electronic valves that open to increase sound and practically breathe fire. This can all be paired with either a Tremec TR6o6o six-speed manual or a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic.

While the power is the main focus and selling point of the Hellcat, it has so much more to offer.  To stop this beast, it comes standard with 15.4 inch two-piece Brembo brake rotors and six-piston calipers. The exterior styling while being largely retro-based comes with a large front splitter and rear spoiler aluminum hood with a large intake and added dual air extractors for more cooling. The interior is a beast itself with Radar Red gauge faces , and digital graphic read outs on an 8.4-inch touch screen, and a seven-inch full color TFT driver-information display, Uconnect infotainment-based Drive Mode selector for cycling between Default, Sport, Track, and Custom for the power output, transmission, three-mode Bilstein suspension, traction Control, and steering. For driver comfort the Hellcat offers an SRT-specific, heated flat bottom steering wheel and even heated and cooled front high bolstered seats.

With all that the Hellcat has to offer speculation from various sources has the price to be around the $65,000 range, but Dodge has been quiet on that front for now. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014.

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