Sonny, we can remember when 700 horsepower was just for supercars. Nowadays, you spoiled kids have the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, which throws what Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek calls "ludicrous" power behind the iconic muscle car. Watch Bruzek at the drag strip testing the fury the Hellcat hath in the video above.
It's perfectly common for automakers to provide quarter-mile acceleration numbers on their hopped-up performance cars. It's rare, however, when one provides times for street tires in addition to what the car should run with sticky purpose-built drag radial tires. Dodge's 707-horsepower 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat comes with two quarter-mile expectations: 11.2 seconds at 125 mph on street tires and 10.8 seconds at 126 mph on drag radials.
Related: 2015 Dodge Challenger First Drive
So, when a red Dodge key fob landed at the Cars.com offices we knew what we had to do. Sure, we test car seats and cargo room, but we really needed to test the Hellcat at the drag strip. The times we ran and the car itself caused a ruckus with folks flocking to like it was a celeb hounded by paparazzi.
The latest Ford Mustang is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The next Chevrolet Camaro is rumored to be smaller, lighter and likely powered by a four-cylinder engine. But when Dodge updated the Challenger coupe for 2015, its new addition wasn't a four-cylinder engine — it was the tire-smoking SRT Hellcat model, powered by a jaw-dropping 707-horsepower, supercharged V-8. That's what Dodge thinks of the smaller, lighter, more efficient trend, and kudos to the automaker. Who knows how much longer we'll have cars like these on the road, given increasingly stringent fuel-economy mandates?
Dodge updated the Challenger inside and out, with a mild nose job and butt lift and a thoroughly new interior with modern conveniences. Powertrains mostly remain the same, with a new eight-speed automatic transmission replacing the old five-speed auto in the 2014 model. But with an all-new Mustang just around the corner and the Camaro not far behind, has Dodge gone far enough in updating the Challenger to keep it relevant and competitive?
Dodge's iconic muscle coupe will flex its way into dealerships later this summer, but it won't necessarily stretch your budget on the base-model end with a starting-price increase of only $500. The 2015 Challenger starts at $27,990 (all prices include a $995 destination charge).
The Challenger is available with four different powertrains, starting with the base SXT model, followed by R/T, R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392, and the much-hyped, 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat. SXT models again come with a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 305 hp and 268 pounds-feet of torque. New for 2015 is an eight-speed automatic transmission that Dodge says boosts fuel economy by as much as 11 percent; last year's version was EPA rated at 18/27/21 mpg city/highway/combined.
Standard exterior features include a 1971-inspired split satin-chrome grille, dual exhaust with bright tips, 18-inch aluminum wheels, a "power bulge hood" with twin functional intakes and power body-colored folding heated side mirrors. Inside the SXT comes with cloth seating, a stamped aluminum instrument panel bezel, a six-way power driver's seat, a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone temperature control, keyless entry with push-button start and a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel and shift knob.
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