By Patrick Rall
While there has been nothing to confirm this rumor from the folks at the Chrysler Group – the internet is ripe with the whispers that the 2014 SRT8 vehicles will be powered by a new supercharged Hemi V8 packing supercharged power and the name “Hellcat”. Originally, these rumors suggested that the supercharged Hellcat Hemi would be the sole engine option for the upcoming (and currently non-existent) SRT Barracuda but lately, those who create internet rumors believe that this engine will instead be offered in some sort of higher performance trimline for the SRT variants of the Charger, Challenger and the Chrysler 300C.
Since there has been no official word from Chrysler as to the existence of this supercharged Hellcat Hemi V8, all of the information that we can discuss comes strictly from the rumormill but these rumors are very exciting – to say the least. The Hellcat Hemi is expected to measure 6.2 liters while a rooted supercharger is expected to create somewhere in the area of 600 horsepower and 550lb-ft of torque. This is a substantial jump over the 470 horsepower currently offered by the Charger and Challenger SRT8 and while it is romantic to think that Chrysler would offer a 600 horsepower Challenger SRT8 – this engine will most likely be reserved for some sort of ultra high end trimline for the SRT muscle cars.The other option is that the SRT vehicles as we know them will all be spun off into SRT branded vehicles rather than trimlines of the Dodge Charger or Chrysler 300C but we have to question what kind of jump in price would come with a jump in power that makes these models almost as powerful as the 2013 SRT Viper.
The current rumors go so far as to suggest that the new 6.2L Hellcat Hemi will be available as early as this summer – which would put this new engine right in line to be introduced with the 2014 model year of the different SRT8 products. The current Dodge Challenger SRT8 with 470 horsepower and 470lb-ft of torque carries a base price of $45,750 including the $995 destination fee and the $1,000 gas guzzler tax while the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 starts around $55,445 and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 starts at $56,550. This means that the 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8 packing the 600 horsepower supercharged Hellcat Hemi could see a price increase of some $10,000 and still be the less expensive option of the three super muscle cars.
For the Dodge Charger SRT8 and Chrysler 300C SRT8, their high performance competition comes strictly from European luxury brands so those two sedans could handle a huge price increase without getting anywhere near the price of other high end sedans like the BMW M5 or the Mercedes Benz E63 AMG. The current AMG E63 packs “only” 518 horsepower while carrying a price tag that starts around $90,000 while the BMW M5 offers 560 horsepower and a $90k price tag of its own. Should the Chrysler Group equip the Charger
and 300C SRT8 variants with 600 horsepower, they could charge somewhere in the area of $60,000 and still be a bargain buy in terms of high performance sedans.
Again, this is all based on rumors and speculation but should the rumors of a 6.2L Hellcat Hemi packing 600 supercharged horsepower be true – the Mopar nation could soon have some heavy hitters in the performance lineup that could go head to head with the best that the world has to offer.