By Patrick Rall
The Chrysler Group issued a statement this morning with the official news that so many Mopar lovers have been eagerly awaiting for months now – the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with the Hellcat Hemi will pack at least 600 horsepower.
That’s Right – the top of the line Challenger will be the second muscle car and the 4th American car of all time to break the 600 horsepower mark (after the Ford Mustang, Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette). This supercharged 6.2L Hemi is the most powerful V8 ever offered in a production vehicle by the Chrysler Group and other than the Viper’s V10, there has been no other Mopar motor to offer more punch than the Hellcat. That power is put to the ground by the buyer’s choice of either a heavy duty 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission that is similar to the one used in the SRT Viper.
In addition to the high performance supercharged Hemi, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat wears a hood that has both a front facing air intake scoop and a pair of heat extractors, “supercharged” logos on the front fenders, unique 20 inch wheels that have a very “Viper feel” to them and a unique front fascia that provides more downforce at high speeds along with much greater air flow to cool that massive blown Hemi. The Hellcat Hemi SRT Challenger will also wear a unique headlight design that has the central portion of the driver’s side inner headlight housing opened up to serve as an air intake for the 600+ horsepower engine.
Chevy can have their “Flowtie” – the Hellcat Hemi Challenger has a headlight that serves as a true cold air intake.
Unfortunately, we only know that the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with have at least 600 horsepower. This means that the supercharged SRT Hemi could pack 605 horsepower or it could pack 650 horsepower…or anywhere in between. If the actual number runs towards the high end of that range, the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat will be the most powerful American production car of all time – beating the 638 horsepower Corvette ZR1 and the 640 horsepower SRT Viper. However, I have a hard time believing that SRT will give the Challenger more power than the Viper so I expect the power to be around 625 horsepower. If that was the case, the new SRT Challenger would be as powerful as the C7 Corvette Z06 – the car that GM is billing as the most track capable Corvette of all time.
That would be some impressive company for the new Dodge Challenger.