By on July 11, 2014
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We try not to blindly re-post content created by OEM PR teams, but Dodge has thrown down the gauntlet here.

According to them, the all-new Challenger SRT Hellcat will knock off a 10-second quarter mile time, and we’re not about to let that claim slide. Our own EIC Jack Baruth will be off next week to test out those claims, on a drag strip at the 2015 Challenger launch event. Let’s see what JB is capable of pulling off both there and the road course. Anyone care to take bets?

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106 Comments on “You Owe Me A 10-Second Car...”


  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Someone get BTSR a box of Kleenex.

  • avatar

    10 seconds is fast. Someone will need some sophisticated launch control, some wrinkle walls, or both to accomplish it in a street legal car…. not that wrinkle walls are street legal. Is this with open or closed headers?

    • 0 avatar
      John

      Mickey Thompson ET Streets are DOT legal wrinkle walls. I used to drive to the strip on them at 20psi, then make my passes at 10 – 11 psi. Got caught in an thunderstorm going home from the strip one evening and almost soiled my underwear – had to go about 25mph in a 55mph zone.

    • 0 avatar
      ktm

      As a commenter alluded above, a cage is necessary if it runs under 11 secs (NHRA).

      Still, a sub 11 factory car is awesome.

      I know people have no idea how quick a sub 14 car is much less sub 11. My LS1 240z has run 11.8…..it’s a handful on the street after driving my Mazda5 daily for a while.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Yep. I can’t imagine driving a 10-second car on the street. My G8 GXP is a low 13s car and feels overpowered in just about any street situation, although it’s not usually scary.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Just curious, where do you live? I saw a 240Z on the street a few days ago, and by the sound of it had to have had a V8 under the hood. I’m in DC.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I ran with a friend who had a turbo civic R that was low 13s and it was squirrly on the streets. I can’t imagine sub-10 cars that can do it with DOT legal tires…

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        I thought they changed that? In a newer car I think its 9.99/135 mph or faster.

        Gotta check with my buddy on that? He has a Terminator and needs a cage where my GT500 doesn’t.

        Go go magic google…

        *By NHRA rules, a roll cage is not required in a full bodied car until 9.99 or 135MPH. The 2009 NHRA rule book shows that a roll cage is required between 10.99 and 10.00 only at speeds of 135 or higher.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      I thought a stock Nissan GTR could do 10-second passes on street tires. No?

      • 0 avatar
        kmoney

        That’s mostly because of the AWD though… I have no doubt that the Hellcat can run in the 10’s, but being able to launch it with street tires on a suspension not set up for drag racing is what’s going to make or brake it. Lot’s of high performance street cars post trap speeds that could go along with 10 second cars, but they have a hard time breaking into the mid 11’s due to traction and launch issues.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Is that even possible for a production car on street tires? I am just thinking, traction…. No way it hooks on street tires.

    Not a Challenger hater, just a thinker.

  • avatar

    There was a time, not too long ago, when everything running under 12 seconds required a roll bar. At least that was the case at Englishtown.

    I’ll also be covering this event for Hooniverse, but at a different time than Jack. That’s a shame… Another missed opportunity for me to school his ass.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      Those are NHRA rules. Either it was an unsanctioned track, or someone was bribed.

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      I think that the NHRA relaxed the rules for factory stock cars that are slower than 9.99. With exception of tires, we are looking at a factory stock vehicle, that is within its design parameters.

      “NHRA DRAGS: STREET LEGAL STYLE PRESENTED BY AAA (Page xiv) (5th paragraph) Additionally requirements and specifications for Street Legal are the same as those for the Summit Racing Series with the following exception: Unaltered 2008 OEM model year and newer production cars running slower than 9.99 and 135 mph do not have to meet the requirements and specifications for the Summit Racing Series except for the following: Convertibles and T-tops must meet Summit Racing Series Roll Bar and Roll Cage requirements, All drivers must meet the Summit Racing Series Helmet and Protective Clothing requirements.”

  • avatar
    Feds

    These are going to bottom in value at exactly the time I’m ready to have a mid life crisis! YAY!

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I wish, they’ll sell a few dozen a year at most. They’ll hover in the 20s and 30s for the rest of their existence as they get wrecked and the owners resell them through auctions.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        As a Hot Rod Magazine reader I look forward to the flood of hot rods (5 to 10 plus years from now) that have Hellcat drivetrains taken from examples totaled in t-boning and rear-ended.

        • 0 avatar
          Eurylokhos

          I have a feeling that these will all be totalled from front end impacts.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            I think it’s safe to assume more than a few of them will meet their ultimate fate going off the road sideways or backwards at a high rate of speed after the driver insisted that traction and stability was for wusses, or something to that effect. Don’t worry, he’s got this, bro. Right up to the point he doesn’t.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Can a car with an automatic transmission still be considered a muscle car?

    • 0 avatar
      ktm

      Is that a troll comment? All else equal, an automatic equipped car will beat a manual on the drags every time. Every. Time.

      I am not an apologist for automatics. I used to think like all of you closed minded manual troglodytes and only ever owned manuals for 20 years. Guess what, technology knocked down the damn door.

      You can row your own gears all you like. All you’ll ever see are the tail lights of those who have stepped into the modern age.

      • 0 avatar

        There are other reasons to own a manual. Not everyone has ETs-at-all-costs as their first priority.

        • 0 avatar
          ktm

          I agree 100%. I like driving manual cars. No, I love driving manual cars. However, for me there is a time and place. I was commenting about the manual uber alles mentality that is pervasive with “enthusiasts”. I apologize to the OP as that seems it was not his intent.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m about 99% sure I’m going to buy one of these things, and this is the first time in my life where I’ve had the choice of a manual transmission and I’ve not been completely convinced that it was the right choice for me. I’ll probably get the manual anyway, but no slushbox has ever tempted me as much as this one.

      • 0 avatar
        John

        ktm is correct.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Maybe for dragracing. There are no auto-cars near what I’m willing to pay that can outdo a manual on a roadcourse. Not to mention the extra wear on brakes etc. Autos are nice for short distance driving and cruising though.
        On the other hand, I bet most ‘real’ muscle cars (1964 to 1971) were autos.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I don’t like automatics myself, but there have been automatic muscle cars for longer than the term muscle car has been in use. They started dominating Super Stock drag racing in 1962.

        • 0 avatar
          racebeer

          Absolutely true. The only way the MOPAR 413 and 426 Max Wedge B-Bodies of the early 60’s could get down the track was with a Torqflite. Those engines would blow the tires off in an instant with the 4-speed.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Don’t mean to troll, and appreciate the responses. I ask because, for me, a sports car is defined by as a two seater (2+2 OK), MT, RWD, light weight and sporting character. Ragtop is a big plus. But we aren’t talking sports car here, we’re talking muscle car.

        I was just wondering if there is a common definition of “muscle car” and how that is different from a “pony car”. My take on the Challenger is that because it is so heavy and is more ride than handling focused is that it is more of a personal luxury coupe with a big engine.

        I would appreciate further explanation of the definitions of muscle car, pony car and personal luxury coupe.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          Well, there are probably about as many definitions as there are different muscle cars, but usually ‘muscle car’ is any sedan or similar,with a massive engine, that is not a luxury car or sports car.
          ‘Pony cars’ are usually smaller more sporty cars, named after the niche the Mustang (and technically Barracuda) started, itdoes not need to have a massive engine, but must look sportier than a regular sedan.
          ‘Personal Luxury’ coupe is when you try to make a sportscar out of family sedan parts, but end up with a massively heavy car because you try to save money, and just have to make up a name for it (Thunderbird)

    • 0 avatar

      All three of the factory built NHRA drag racers, the COPO Camaro, the Drag Pak Challenger, and the Cobra Jet Mustang come with two speed automatics based on the Chevy Powerglide. Most people would consider those muscle cars.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    The 2011 GT500 came out, and I said, “550hp? This is the ultimate muscle car and will never be topped.”

    Then they boosted it to 662hp. And I said, “OK, THIS is the ultimate muscle car and will never be topped.”

    And now comes the Hellcat.

    I hope I keep being proved wrong. Maybe GM has a 750hp Camaro up their sleeve?

  • avatar

    JACK BARUTH

    tell me when and where you are going to test this car.

    and what happened to my reviews?

  • avatar

    10.8 @ 126 on drag radials, 11.2 @ 125 on street tires, both with the 8-speed automatic.

    I’m skeptical that Chrysler will have a car equipped with drag radials at the press event. (On the other hand… maybe they will, this IS Chrysler.) If so, I bet Jack can get it into the 10s.

  • avatar
    koshchei

    This vehicle is totally, utterly, stupidly impractical, but boy would I love one.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it has the potential to be entirely practical, and I plan to test that assertion by buying one and daily-driving it.

      Challengers in general are very comfortable cars for long trips, with a smooth ride and plenty of trunk space. The back seat is big enough for actual adults — my six-foot-plus-and-still-growing teen sons tried a 2014 and had plenty of room. Ralph Gilles posted a dash photo the other day of a Hellcat he was driving that was getting 22 mpg on a long highway trip (to Carlisle, I think). That’s not Prius mileage but it beats most pickups and big SUVs (and it beats my current car, a CTS-V). It’ll be no worse than my CTS-V in the snow — which is to say, workable with good snow tires. Long story short, a Camry would surely be more practical, but this will be practical enough — and it’s a zillion times more fun than a Camry.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Jack, be nimble

    Jack, be quick

    Jack, cross the line

    Before the 11th tick!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’m a certified hater of this car (and any coupe weighing two tons) but I have to admit the drag times are impressive. Now let’s see if it can beat a M235i with less than half the power around a road course. My money’s on the BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      ktm

      You sound like the old Subaru fan-bois. “But, but, but let’s see him beat me in the rain or snow.”

      Or any other make fan-boi railing against an AWD dig…….”I’d take him from a roll…..”

      Let’s just appreciate it for what it is.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      On drag radials? BMW for sure. Street tires are a different matter, there is a point where sheer power just starts to cut down on suspension in the corners. If the BMW still beats it by time it won’t be much by that point.

    • 0 avatar
      GranMarkeez

      My money is on BTSR buying the first Hellcat and getting the following vanity plate:

      HELLCAT1

      Lol

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Depends on the road course, the portly 2013 GT500 had more than enough to crush an Elise Exige S by more than 3 seconds at VIR and bested the Cayman R by more than 2 seconds on the same track as well and was just a tab bit more than 2 seconds behind the C6 Z06.

      As long as the Hellcat is sorted out well and can meet/beat the M235i in braking and beat it in acceleration on a track with a fair bit of space to use that 707 horsepower the BMW will lose.

      Conversely anybody taking a Hellcat to an autocross will certainly look foolish.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I find it enlightening that this car has about NINE TIMES the horsepower of my last car, a 1984 Volvo 245Diesel, and SEVEN TIMES the power of my current car, a 2005 Scion xB. Someone feels this car is necessary.

    It scares the crap out of me.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      I share your awe at the Hellcat’s power (it’s laying down SIX TIMES the horsepower of my 1.6 Miata), but why does it scare you? Aren’t you glad to live in a country where, if you had the money and the desire, you could buy a muscle car so staggeringly powerful?

      In case you’re wondering, I am not at all kidding, or being hipster-ironic (screw those guys).

    • 0 avatar
      arun

      This car is not necessary – and thats the point of the car. If all auto builders built ‘necessary’ cars, we would all be driving Priuses (Prii?)

      So why build a car that is not necessary ? Because ‘MURICA!! (HELL YEAH!!)

      • 0 avatar
        eggsalad

        You’ve got me wrong. I don’t begrudge anyone the right to buy or own this car. I just can’t fathom why anybody would WANT to.

        But there’s a lot about people that I will never understand.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Because racecar.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      Sounds like someone needs to go start “Mothers Against Hellcats”.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      The car DOESN’T scare me. The driver with insufficient skill/judgment to safely handle that much hp DOES.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My Leaf is a 10-second car… to 60 mph.

    Can’t wait to see Jack’s report.

  • avatar
    arun

    It is just awesome that I will be be able to buy a used one right as I will be hitting my mid-life crisis!

  • avatar
    George B

    Do tire manufacturers make drag radials for wheel diameters that large? If the rear brake rotors were a little smaller in diameter it would be possible to get more tire sidewall flex for a better launch.

    What geographic location would give the Challenger the best reported ET? I assume they will want to demo it at some place with cold air near sea level.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “No Dart GLH? Lame.”

  • avatar
    05lgt

    This is so fantastic. My 240z 351w ran mid 11’s on slicks. The hellcat has AC, a back seat, airbags etc. and runs faster 1/4’s without dumping half burnt fuel at idle. 2014 rules

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Being born in 1977, I concur. Mazda’s Skyactive 2.5 makes twice the hp of the Iron Duke in my first car. Technology is awesome whether it is a 2 ltr turbo diesel in a Cruze or a hairy chested multiple cylinder engine.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I’m just wondering who at Chrysler was foolish enough to greenlight something like this with a factory warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      As long as they beefed up the tranny and the rest of the driveline enough to take the torque I don’t see why it would be any worse than an SRT in that regard.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Considering that it’s a low-volume expensive car, it’s totally worth it for advertizing alone even if they have to do expensive repairs like replace transmissions, differentials, axles, etc. because the Hellcat engine is too powerful. What do “Hellcat is too powerful” recall notices do for Challenger sales and Mopar bragging rights?

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Completely with you on this. It will be a small cost for FiatShler to fix the low-volum cars under warranty.
        But I guess as they replace the broken parts, they will also ‘recommend’ that you check out Mopars aftermarket program to find suitable replacement/upgrade parts if you like to spend more money instead of constantly having it repaired for free under warranty.
        And, if you take ‘Hybridkiller’s comment under here into consideration, there probably are no ways to break any part of the Hellcat drivetrain under any sort of ‘street-legal’ activities…

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Torque management is most certainly part of the package along with upgraded driveline parts.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “I’m just wondering who at Chrysler was foolish enough to greenlight something like this with a factory warranty.”

      Somewhere in the warranty docs for this car there will be a paragraph that reads something like this:

      “This vehicle is not intended for use as a competition race car of any kind. Any use of this vehicle in speed-related activities including, but not limited to, amateur or professional drag racing, amateur or professional drift competitions, or anything else that leaves visible rubber on the pavement will void this warranty in its entirety faster than you can say ridiculous insurance premiums”

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I really like the new model performance cars, and would consider a Hellcat for weekend duty…but I am worried we are approaching a HP/price bubble and someday soon the market will crash for new ones. Only so much money around for such narrow scope cars.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      I wouldn’t worry about new ones getting cheaper, it’s an awful lot of performance for the money – especially when you consider what it would cost to build a 700hp drag car (that’s also street-legal) from scratch. And they’re not going to turn out enough of these things to where they have to discount leftover/unsold units. But anyone who does buy one should definitely plan on taking a pretty large hit if/when they go to sell it.


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