The power wars are heating up again in the muscle car arena. With the 580bhp Camaro ZL1 and the 660bhp Mustang GT500 having been on sale for a while now, it was about time Dodge reacted and it has with the 2015 Challenger SRT trotting out a 600 horsepower (447kW) Hemi Hellcat option.
The 6.2-litre supercharged V8 is Chrysler Group’s most powerful engine ever and the good news keeps coming when you hear the monster engine will be hooked up to a TorqueFlite’ eight-speed auto. Finally the old five-speeder has been given the bullet. Dodge is yet to reveal the official power rating for the Hellcat option, only stating 600 plus horsepower at present. It’s unlikely to top the 640bhp (477kW) offered by the SRT Viper, though some 750Nm of torque sounds likely.
The new engine is a development of the regular 392 Ilemi, de-stroked to 6.2-litres and features a forged-steel crankshaft, forged-alloy pistons and connecting rods and gets heat-treated aluminium- alloy cylinder heads. The screw-type supercharger gains water to air intercooling and the free flow exhaust features an active valve to let the sound flow. Buyers will be able to choose between the new auto or an upgraded Tremec six-speed manual.
A new Drive Modes feature lets pilots alter the throttle, transmission, steering, and the traction and suspension systems while new 20-inch forged aluminium wheels wear 275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero rubber. The Hellcat also gets new 390mm Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers. It will also come with two different keys, the car needing to be started with the right one to unlock the V8’s full power.
The Dodge SRT Challenger 2015 gets a fresh fascia for MY2015 with a new vertical-split grille, a larger, power-bulge for the bonnet with a cold-air intake and the Hellcat package also gets dual air extractors to ensure the V8 doesn’t boil over, along with a larger front splitter. It also gets extended side sills and big supercharged badge as well. The rear is updated too. Production of the new SRT Challenger begins in Q4 later this year.