Hellcat Challenger 50-100: Red Key -vs- Black Key

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A real-world look at the difference between the red key and black key functionality of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is powered by a supercharged Hemi that delivers 707 horsepower, but this monster Mopar muscle car also features a 2-key system which allows the owner to limit the output to “just” 500 horsepower. When using the red key, a Hellcat owner can enjoy all 707 horses, but when the driver only has the black key, the ECU will only allow the engine to create 500 horsepower.

While this 207 horsepower reduction seems pretty substantial, one Hellcat Challenger owner put together a video for the Family Cruisin YouTube channel showing the real world difference in acceleration when using the two different keys and the two different power levels.

The video starts off with a short explanation from the owner of this gorgeous 2016 Plum Crazy Hellcat Challenger, along with a great cold-start segment where we get to hear the supercharged Hemi roar upon being woken up on a cold day. The owner/driver explains that he is making pulls from 50-100 in order to minimize the number of variables impacting the times, which gives us the clearest data on the real world differences of the two power levels.

On each of the runs, this Hellcat Challenger driver starts in second gear at 50 miles per hour and accelerates at full throttle up past 100mph, timing the runs during the post-production process to get the differences from run to run. The driver also gives us a quick rundown of what changes on the infotainment system screen when you change keys.

The first run is his best, with the Plum Crazy Challenger scooting form 50-100 in just 4.06 seconds. On the second run, the dash to 100 takes 4.58 seconds and on the third run, it took 4.41 seconds. We also get to watch the Hellcat Challenger in 707hp mode pull from 50-100 with a third gear start, for comparison, and we see that it is quite a bit slower with a time of 4.95 seconds.

When he removes the red key from the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, forcing the car into 500hp mode, he found that those same runs took 6.30, 5.70 and 5.94 seconds.

Based on those numbers, in a best case scenario with each power output, the red key makes the Hellcat Challenger nearly 2-seconds quicker when pulling hard through the midrange.

Crank up your speakers and enjoy!

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