Dodge loyalists fretted that this was the beginning of the end for Dodge, but to balance the ledger Dodge has now revealed the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat, a new range-topping Challenger model that gives substance to the brand’s performance promise with a 600-plus horsepower supercharged V8.
While the final numbers have yet to be officially established, SRT powertrain director Chris Cowland remarked that the Challenger SRT Hellcat will be "bloody fast," with a minimum of 600 horsepower and something in the order of 575 lb-ft of torque. That makes the car’s 6.2-litre Hemi engine the most powerful V8 ever offered by any of Chrysler’s brands.
Cowland says that a supercharger was chosen over a turbocharger because it better suits the character of the car, providing instantaneous response and abundant low-end torque. Helping the motor breathe is a fully active exhaust system, the first such system used on a Chrysler product.
Power will be fed to the road via either a six-speed manual transmission or a beefed-up eight-speed automatic, and the Hellcat will get a new selectable Driver Mode system offering a choice of shock settings, steering assist levels, horsepower, traction control settings and transmission settings for automatic-equipped cars.
Outside, the SRT Hellcat gets subtle styling cues including an aluminum hood with cold air intake scoop and dual air extractors, a unique rear spoiler, a distinctive front fascia with a deep splitter, and quad projector lights with more aggressive brow "chops." At the corners, the Hellcat gets 275-width Pirelli P-Zero high-speed tires.
The Challenger SRT Hellcat is expected to launch with pre-orders starting this summer, although pricing hasn’t yet been announced.
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