By Elizabeth Sindelar-Loy
The workday has been a long one and your stress level is at its peak. The clock on the wall ticks by slowly until finally…freedom. As you walk out to the parking lot, she is waiting for you with a devilish grin. As your hand reaches for the door handle excitement builds. The smell of leather is intoxicating. Like a siren calling out to unsuspecting sailors, she has cast her spell. The stress begins to melt away. As you engage the push button start, the growl from her 6.2L Hellcat V8 engine screams with unapologetic horsepower.
This is what your day has been missing – absolute unadulterated speed. As you stomp the accelerator to the floor and shift through the gears, she feverishly goes 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. Her supercharged V8 cranks out 707hp leaving any remaining stress to disappear in the rearview mirror. This is exactly what you needed – you, her, and the open road.
Ever since the Dodge Challenger was reintroduced to muscle car enthusiasts in 2008, it has proven to be the purest and most resilient of today’s muscle cars. Consistently listening to consumers, Dodge has given the Challenger “more power, all the time” with each new model released. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is no exception. This mesmerizing beauty of a beast makes daily use enjoyable but is undoubtably more entertaining on a drag strip where you can freely unleash everything she has to offer.
The cast-iron engine block and aluminum cylinder heads of the Hellcat V8 engine was designed to withstand incredible power and abuse. Ultimately, the best choice for this high output V8. Additionally, the Hellcat V8 has a forged steel crankshaft and forged steel connecting rods. Atop the rods sit forged steel pistons with a “diamond like” coating on the wrist pins which only adds to the engine’s ability to withstand the demands of horsepower.
The Challenger’s Hellcat engine has 6.2-liters of displacement with a bore of 104 millimeters and a stroke of 91 millimeters. It’s remarkably high compression ratio for a factory forced induction engine is at 9.5:1 creating 707 horsepower with 650 lb -ft of torque. Spoken in the iconic words of Tim Allen, “More power, argh, argh, argh.”
The primary source of the Hellcat’s substantial power comes from the IHI supercharger. The supercharger itself has more displacement than a lot of car engines at an impressive 2.4-liters. It creates 11.6 PSI of boost, forcing air through its integrated intercooler system before it reaches the engine’s intake. For non-gearheads this means the Hellcat V8 engine is built extraordinarily tough to make and sustain the ludicrous power output. Basically, you’ll gladly hand your wallet over to the gas pump lords to experience the exhilaration of heart pounding speed.
If the sheer power under the hood of the Challenger doesn’t seal the deal, its body will. When Dodge brought the Challenger back, it stayed true to the slick curved lines and shape of the original model including its iconic hood scoop. Back in 1969, designers elected to scrap the idea of a turbine engine but retained the hood scoop for aesthetics. Combined with the “egg-crate” grill that was introduced in 1972, these two details visually set the Challenger apart from its Camaro and Mustang counterparts. And let’s face it, in the current muscle car race, the Challenger is by far the sexiest with its longer, sleeker body lines.
Once you enter inside, the Challenger continues to impress. Dodge gave the 2015 model a stylish cabin that was long overdue and well deserved. The canted center console and configurable central dash display along with the small-diameter, well-contoured steering wheel is driver focused. The dash has stylish metallic accents which adds a sportier look to the cabin. And the 2015 model includes an infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface.
Unlike its smaller Chevy and Ford rivals, the Challenger offers an adult-friendly backseat that would seat two with ample head and leg room. There is a 60/40 spilt-folding back, a fold down armrest and even a middle seat belt if you are toting around a smaller human. The generously sized 16.2 cubic inch trunk is spacious enough to pack plenty of luggage for a long-distance adventure or to fill with goods purchased during a shopping extravaganza. To get around the limited rearward visibility from the high beltline and chunky rear roof pillars, there is a rearview camera and parking sensors.
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