(Words by Bryan McTaggart) – After years of speculations, false starts and rumor mills, the Dodge Challenger SRT “Hellcat” has been officially announced. While Dodge hasn’t officially released the power ratings for the Hellcat 6.2L supercharged Hemi, it is widely assumed to be between 640-680hp, with torque somewhere near 640 ft/lbs, at least for automatic cars (it’s all the eight-speed auto can handle). The air dam and grilles have been deepened for better airflow, and the Brembo brake system that the SRT cars are normally equipped with appear to have been upgraded. And yes, Virginia, that loudmouthed, tire-killing, all-American barge comes packing a six-speed manual with a third pedal and a stick, not touch-to-shift paddles.
The fact that the Hellcat exists at all after all of the turmoil that Chrysler has been through speaks volumes. The fact that it is pushing about as much power as the Viper tells me that Chrysler doesn’t have the same fear of overpowering the halo car (unless this is going to be the halo car – ed.), like GM does with the Corvette. And all of this is, according to the five-year plan unveiled by Sergio Marchionne, is just the start of things to come for Dodge.
The good old days are here again.