Dodge Challengers and Chargers have always been up there as one of the key muscle car players in the world, along with the Shelby Mustang, the Chevy Corvettes and Camaros. But for some reason, Dodge muscle cars never received the fame and credibility as their American counterpart cousins, but with their latest and by far the loudest SRT Hellcat range. It looks as though a new day is dawning, and the Hellcats are coming out to play.
So without further ado let’s start with the first fur ball, the SRT Challenger Hellcat, we all know the normal challenger is a beast of a machine. Its roar can be heard from a mile away and in no way was it ever down on power, but as with most muscle cars. Its major flaw, other than the interior, was its handling where in the corners it felt and looked more like a sailing boat than a car when going round one. However, with the Hellcat SRT Challenger, it’s more of a tightly wrapped package that’s ready to pounce without warning. With 707 horsepower and 650 lb/ft of torque derived from its 6.2 litre Hemi V8, it’s more than capable of delivering quite a pounce to its adversary. But the performance doesn’t stop there. With the Hellcat accelerating from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reaching a top speed of 199 mph, it challenges even the top performing players from Europe such as Porsche, BMW, Audi and even Ferrari.
You might be thinking that the Hellcat is a bargain, costing a fraction of the price from its European contenders; and with similar power outputs or higher, it should be a no brainer to get one. But there is a simple yet straightforward explanation for this, you see, European cars are more expensive because they are better refined. Most of them are comfortable to sit in, have a luxurious interior and are enriched with electronic gizmos that’ll make life easier for the driver and passengers. The Challenger Hellcat is old school; its interior is mainly composed of plastic making it feel cheap. But then again it does cost £70,000, and the European equivalent for similar power outputs or performance figures would cost more than double the price if not more. So, in essence, you’re sacrificing luxury and comfort for supreme power and handling, or in other words, it’s a track bred road car that wants to do nothing more than be ludicrously insane. Coming down to terms, it’s a toy for grown boys who want to do nothing more than have fun with a machine, and this ladies and gentleman, is what the Hellcat SRT Challenger is. It releases the inner 5-year-old within us, which is why we love and will continue to love American Muscle cars; because they’re ridiculous, outrages and most of all bewildering to drive. Which is why we buy them.
The Charger SRT Hellcat tries to be a bit more of a mature cat within SRT’s arsenal, think of the Charger as a fully grown Maine Coon. A big, friendly giant that is loyal to the end. But at a moment’s notice it’ll pounce and drop you like a brick, and that’s what the Charger Hellcat is. A loyal family car, but at a push of a button and a press of a pedal. It releases its inner wild side, sure it’s a tad slower than its more immature brother to 60 mph. Which takes the Charger a steady 4.2 seconds, than the Challenger’s eye watering 3.9. But for a four door saloon, and for a car that’ll do the school run. That is truly something special and that’s what these two successfully accomplish, they make you feel special when sitting behind the wheel. Their looks and physique stand out from the crowd, and if that wasn’t enough, a good old rev will definitely heighten that feeling. The problem with most sports and muscle cars today is that they come fitted with so many fancy gadgets, tools and mode settings. That you don’t really feel like you’re driving the car yourself, but feel more like a piece of meat weighing the car down. But the Hellcats bring something different to the table, they bring the old into the new, and who says going old school was never cool?