crankandpiston.com tries its luck on the streets with SRT’s 707bhp muscle car, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
|Engine||Power||Torque||0-100kph||Top speed||Weight||Basic price|
|HEMI V8, supercharged, 6166c||707bhp @ 6000rpm||650lb ft @ 4000rpm||3.6secs||320kph||2030kg(348bhp/ton)||$81,600|
“I can take this guy”
I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s the ’71 Dodge Challenger inspired cabin around me, the straight stretch of road in front of me, or the lack of traffic. Perhaps it’s because I watched the first Fast and the Furious movie again recently: seriously, before it became a haven for product placements, it actually holds up pretty well. Maybe it’s that hood scoop staring back at my through the windscreen, or that I’ve had one too many coffees this morning.
Then again, it might be the red key fob in my pocket and the 707bhp 6.2-litre supercharged HEMI V8 growling away under the bonnet. Yeah…that’s probably it…
I’m doing my best to keep cool, but on the green, I will own this guy. How can I not? As well as 707bhp from the first supercharged V8 in SRT history, I’ve also got 650lb ft of torque. Okay, fine, the weight disadvantage is a biggie, since the Challenger is packing more than two tonnes but 0-100kph is done in less than four seconds. Hell, a quarter mile is nailed in a little over 11 seconds. There’s no way this guy can match that…
I slowly turn my head to look through the passenger window, slightly surprised to find an approving nod being thrown back in the opposite direction by my soon-to-be-victim.
A nod of approval, or a gauntlet thrown down? I’m not sure. Actually it could be both. The Hellcat does look the part after all, all beefed out wheel arches, air intakes up the wazzoo and a demonic black paint finish. In fact, now I think about it, there’s only the Hellcat emblem on the arches giving away what this actually is. This guy may have wrongly assumed this is the 305bhp V6 model. Oh yeah. He’s gonna get owned.
Quick glance up. Lights still red. Game face time.
Roll the shoulders to show you mean business James, then subtly tighten your seatbelt. No no, look forward, always look forward: don’t humanize the enemy. Adjust the sunglasses in the rearview mirr…yeah, that rear visibility’s really not as good as I’d hoped. And now I think about it, I’d expected more headroom for a muscle car this size too.
Still it handles the corners nicely, that stiffened suspension and high centre of gravity allowing some body roll through the corners, but no more so than you’d expect from a bona fide muscle car. Shame the steering is a little vague but at least those massive, grippy wheels make it easy to place the nose.
Arrgh, focus man, focus. Look up. Still red. Wait…yes, hang on…those lights opposite have just turned red. Our turn now. Here we go. Left foot braking. Bring up the revs….
Holy crap, that soundtrack! It’s immense. I don’t even remember the Charger Hellcat being that ferocious. Maybe a little more comfortable, sure, but certainly not that ferocious.
Okay, here we go…red…red…red…red…green, NAIL IT…
Whoa…whoa…holy….yep, the back end’s gone. The rear wheels are just skittering left then right, and I’m putting in armfuls of lock to stop that power delivery barbecuing the rear rubber completely. Dear lord, this is insane! Traction off was a mistake…
Not that it matters. Already the other guy is way behind in my rear view mirror, the front grille getting smaller and smaller, traction returning and grip from the tyres now being put to full use. That brutal acceleration is ramping up, each gear change bringing a thunderous rock of momentum in the cabin as the speed truly starts to build, the quarter mile in site and my victim long, long gone.
I will admit, this is possibly an overreaction against a Honda Odyssey. Still, it’s hard not to get into the spirit of the thing
Technical specifications available on page 2