Our spy photographers caught the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT8 “Hellcat” testing again, and a look under the hood confirmed that this high-performance prototype does indeed use a supercharged engine. That suggests earlier reports, which said the Hellcat would use a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, are likely accurate.
We first heard rumblings in March that Chrysler Group wanted to build a supercharged muscle car to take on the 662-hp Ford Shelby GT500 and 580-hp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Our spy photographers subsequently caught prototypes of this car, which will be based on the existing Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, both in Michigan and testing in the desert.
Today’s spy photos clearly show a supercharger beneath the hood of a Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, and the cars have several visual details that match other Hellcat prototypes we’ve spied before. Note the enlarged black wheels, large brake discs, unique exhausts, and disguised front fascia that has a much wider lower air intake. This all confirms that Dodge and SRT are working on a more powerful supercharged version of the Dodge Challenger SRT8.
SRT CEO Ralph Gilles previously told Motor Trend that SRT “will soon have an answer” to the 500-hp Chevrolet Camaro Z2/8, hinting that his company was working on a more powerful muscle car. Reports suggest SRT wants to match or even outgun the Shelby GT500 and Camaro ZL1, so the Dodge Challenger Hellcat would extract at least 600 hp — and possibly as much as 640 hp — from a new 6.2-liter supercharged V-8. Currently, the top-dog Challenger SRT8 392 has a 6.4-liter V-8 with 470 hp. It’s worth noting that the SRT Viper delivers 640 hp from its 8.4-liter V-10 engine, but even before seeing evidence of a supercharger, we were told Dodge was unlikely to cram that engine into the Challenger.
Thus far, Chrysler officials have remained silent on rumors about the Hellcat engine. However, it’s widely expected the Dodge Challenger Hellcat will debut in early 2014 as a 2015 model. Expect to see it at a major auto show within the next six months.