Autoblog Senior Editor Seyth Miersma will shortly be getting his sweaty mitts on Dodge’s 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat, but he’s wisely sitting through a presentation on the car before they let him loose on track and street today. He’s been kind enough to send along some of preliminary specs and details about the entire2015 Challenger family, and they suggest the entire revamped range will be pretty fierce.
The headlining Hellcat is anticipated to get from 0-60 in the “mid threes,” says Tim Kiniskis, President and CEO of the Dodge brand, while storming all the way to a top speed of 199 miles per hour. The 707-hp, 650 pound-feet of torque monster is 91-percent new versus the standard 392 engine, so this isn’t merely a case of adding more boost – the crank, pistons, connecting rods, and bottom-end are all new. It takes 80 horsepower just to drive the supercharger. In fact, the Hellcat is so powerful that Chrysler needed new dynos to test the engine – the ones used in Viper development weren’t up to the challenge.
As Kiniskis says, this “science-project car” is “not for everybody.” Despite having a powertrain that can burn a whopping 1.5 gallons of fuel per minute, when not driven like an utter maniac, it can still return an impressive 20 miles per gallon on the freeway. As previously confirmed, this is a drag-racing powerhouse right from the factory, with a quarter-mile time of 11.2 seconds on street tires or 10.8 on drag radials.
To keep all that power on a leash and hitting the ground, the Hellcat will benefit from substantial 15.4-inch front brakes and a three-mode adaptive suspension.
To keep all that power on a leash and hitting the ground, the Hellcat will benefit from substantial 15.4-inch front brakes and a three-mode adaptive suspension (normal, sport, track), and buyers will have a choice of a rev-matching eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual. The 8AT gets a 30-percent increase in its torque capability thanks to upgraded internals, and the manual transmission is derived from the Viper.
As superhero legends caution us, with great power comes great responsibility, and in this case, the Hellcat will get a valet mode that mandates second-gear starts, a 4,000-rpm rev limit and lowered power overall.
On the other end of the Challenger spectrum, the V6 SXT model checks in with 305 horsepower and is expected to get to 60 mph in six seconds flat for a base price of $26,995 while achieving up to 30 miles per gallon on the freeway. The 5.7-liter V8-powered R/T model returns with 375 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque for $31,495. Under the new Hellcat sits the previous king of the hill 392 model, which for $45,995 also receives the Hellcat’s big brakes, along with creature comforts like a Harman/Kardon audio system. With 485 hp and 475 lb-ft, the 6.4-liter 392 will peg 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and still achieve 25 mpg on the freeway.
The 2015 Challenger range hits showrooms next month, and Dodge is expecting to receive a lot of return customers – they say the Challenger enjoys a 78-percent loyalty rate, and their buyers are the youngest in the segment, with an average age of 46. We have a feeling they’ll be entertained.