When it comes to superlatives, particularly with performance cars, they are usually used in conjunction with luxury brands like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Bentley, Ferrari, and of course, Bugatti. Now along comes scrappy Dodge, first with its 707-hp Challenger SRT Hellcat coupe, the most powerful muscle car on earth, and now with the brutish Charger SRT Hellcat, nothing less than the quickest, fastest, and most powerful production sedan on earth. Apparently, bragging rights are contagious.
Just how quick are we talkin’ here? How does a 3.7-second 0–60 mph time sound? Even more impressive is a quarter mile time of 11 second flat. On street tires. Certified. By the National Hot Rod Association.
That figure is 0.2 seconds quicker through the traps than the kit-kat Challenger, as the Charger apparently uses its 100 pounds of added weight to its advantage. And if you have enough road ahead of you, the Charger SRT Hellcat is said to be able to hit a terminal velocity of 204 mph, edging out the 2015 Aston Martin Rapide S by one mph.
Powering the Charger SRT Hellcat, of course, is the same supercharged 6.2-liter “Hellcat” V-8 in the exact same state of tune: 707 hp at 6,000 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, and, not surprisingly, the only transmission is Chrysler’s TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic operated by the same, more natural-feeling T-handle as the Challenger, or if you choose, steering wheel paddle shifters. The Challenger SRT Hellcat, of course, and has proven not only to be spectacularly fast and loud and hedonistically awesome, but also to be eminently drivable, comfortable, and alas, a real car. We expect the same from the Charger Hellcat, given that the Charger is essentially a re-bodied Challenger with a bigger back seat and two more doors.
Alas, it looks as mean as it is. Like all 2015 Charger models, the Hellcat model benefits from heavily refreshed front and rear styling that came along with the 2015 mid-cycle update, then adds an even more imposing front end that divides the nose into two primary areas: a gaping lower air intake and a pocket-style grille spanning the headlamps. Above that is a Viper-inspired hood treatment with its huge Naca duct feeding air to the supercharger flanked by two air extractors. From the rear view—most likely the view we’ll be seeing most—you’ll see a unique rear bumper with diffuser elements and more aero ducts, as well as dual four-inch exhaust tips, smoked “racetrack” taillamps and a one-piece, body color rear spoiler.
A lowered suspension drops the body onto the same “slingshot” 20-inch forged wheels as the Challenger Hellcat, all of which are wrapped in standard Pirelli PZeros of summer- or all-season varieties. And since fast cars need to stop just as quickly, the brakes are Brembo six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers in back, clamping down on two-piece Brembo discs that are the largest Dodge has ever installed on a car.
Inside, the Charger Hellcat benefits from the numerous interior upgrades Dodge made to the Charger line for 2015, including as a slick new instrument cluster, improved materials and a T-handle shifter for the automatic with more natural operation than before. The Hellcat also gets its own flat-bottom three-spoke steering wheel, heated and ventilated sport seats in front and a heated rear bench seats, all upholstered in black or sepia Nappa leather, or an optional two-tone black and red faux suede if you’re feeling racy.
And the Charger Hellcat will also feature the same red key/black key system as the Challenger Hellcat. You’ll want the red key, since it unlocks all 707 hp, while the black key turns the engine down to 500 hp, for when you need a tamer pet.
Certain details remain TBD, including actual pricing and EPA fuel economy estimates, but we estimate that the Charger Hellcat will cost around $65,000 including a certain gas guzzler tax. Dodge said that the Charger Hellcat will go on sale during the first quarter of 2015 as a 2015 model, and that contrary to rumors that the Challenger, it will not place a cap on production for either this or the Challenger Hellcat.