ROYAL OAK, Michigan – This ought to finally silence the old-timers who complained that real Dodge Chargers have only two doors. The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is 0.2 second quicker in the quarter mile than its Challenger brother, despite -- or really, because of -- its extra 100 pounds. The four-door sedan’s body is 12 percent slipperier than the Hellcat two-door coupe’s, an advantage that pushes the Charger SRT Hellcat up by 5 miles per hour, to 204 mph.
“It’s the quickest, fastest, most powerful sedan in the world. No asterisks,” said Dodge brand president and CEO Tim Kuniskis.
“The extra weight helps get it off the line,” Kuniskis said, in explaining the 0.2-second quarter-mile advantage over the Challenger SRT Hellcat. The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat weighs about 4560 pounds and will be available only with the eight-speed automatic (the Challenger Hellcat will come with either the automatic or a six-speed manual) and rear-wheel drive when it goes on sale in the first quarter of 2015. Dodge did not announce pricing, but expect something very close to the Challenger SRT Hellcat’s $59,995, including the gas guzzler tax and destination charge.
Trap speed on the Charger Hellcat’s National Hot Rod Association-certified quarter-mile time is 122.7 mph. Dodge says it will make the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.7 seconds.
The Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 is based on the standard Chrysler Hemi engine architecture, though Dodge SRT claims the Hellcat has 92 percent unique parts, including the block, crankshaft, pistons and, of course, the supercharger. The eight-speed transmission has bigger clutch packs and wider gears. A unique fuel pump with a half-inch inner diameter can pump the tank dry in 13 minutes at full power.
Like the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the four-door Charger version comes with a 707-horsepower, 650-lb-ft rating.
Front brakes are six-piston Brembos with 15.4-inch rotors, and there are four-piston Brembos in the rear.
The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat also has a separate oil cooler and air-to-water intercooler. Its grille is narrower than on the newly face-lifted Charger, to allow for a larger lower front fascia air-intake. Like the Challenger version, there are NACA ducts on the hood bookending the center hood scoop. It has slingshot wheels with the “brass monkey” finish, sized 9.5 by 20 inches, with choice of three-season or four-season Pirelli P Zeros. The interior comes in black or sepia Nappa leather, with the SRT flat-bottom steering wheel, and optional red seat belts.
Like the Challenger version, the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat comes with two key fobs: black to limit the car to 500 horsepower and red for the full 707. There’s also a valet mode to further limit power.
Kuniskis said rumors of production limits on the Hellcats are unfounded. “It’s not going to be 1200 units, that’s for sure,” he said. There are no plans to add the Hellcat engine to other platforms -- the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and even the Dodge Viper are obvious candidates. “We’re not going to put it into the Dart.”
The Charger SRT Hellcat also comes with a new engine badge on the front fenders, a badge Kuniskis says will be applied to the Challenger SRT Hellcat as well. “Hellcat” is the original internal codename for the 707-hp supercharged Hemi, much as “Charger” was originally an engine codename -- for Chrysler’s 273-cubic-inch small block V-8, before the name was applied to the 1966 Dodge Charger.