Days before the massive Woodward Dream Cruise and just a few feet off of the famous cruising strip itself, Dodge dropped the other shoe and revealed the Challenger Hellcat’s more practical four door sibling, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, also equipped with the supercharged Hellcat HEMI V8 that is rated at 707 horsepower. With a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds, a quarter mile ET of 11.0 seconds and a top speed of 204 miles per hour, the Charger Hellcat is, without any asterisks or caveats, the fastest sedan in the world. The phrase “redefines practicality” was jokingly tossed around and it’s possible that the Charger Hellcat will outsell the Challenger Hellcat because it can be rationalized as a family car. After all, it does have four doors and seats five.
While no pricing was announced, you can expect it to be somewhere in the same ballpark as the Challenger. The new Charger gets an upgraded butter-soft Napa leather interior and some aero tricks making it more slippery than the Challenger by 12%. Concerning the Challenger, it was stressed that the rumors that Chrysler will be limiting the Challegner to just 1,200 units are absolutely not true and that it would be silly to make such a desirable car and then not sell them to everyone who wants them. As with the Challenger, this American muscle car is assembled in Canada, with an engine built in Saltillo,Mexico. While Chrysler doesn’t use the one-man-one-engine build process in a dedicated performance engine facility like GM has done with it’s high performance members of the LS V8 engine family, or a dedicated assembly line like Ford uses for their supercharged Coyote motors, since over 80% of the parts for the Hellcat are unique and not shared with other HEMIs initial assembly is done on a spur line, with the Hellcat V8’s joining their less powerful brandmates on Saltillo’s regular assembly line to add the final bits.
When the Challenger was introduced, some commented on the fact that a Supercharged badge was the only indication, at least in terms of graphics, that it is a Hellcat. That was apparently because they hadn’t finished making the Hellcat character badges that will grace the fenders of both the Challenger and Charger Hellcats. Chrysler understands the evergreen value of a good brand character, cf. Road Runner and Super Bee.
The Hellcat name was actually an internal product code for the engine but the marketing team decided that it fit the cars so well that they decided to use it as a brand name, in part because of its association with the World War II era Grumman Hellcat fighter plane, which was also supercharged, one of the last high performance piston powered aircraft. Not surprisingly, they didn’t mention that the Hellcat was also the name of a WWII era armored vehicle, the M18 Hellcat tank destroyer, as that was designed by General Motors and built by Buick.
The full press release is below and I hope to get video of the reveal and car posted later. Chrysler produced video of the reveal and press Q&As can be seen here.
New 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is The Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful Sedan in The World
With 707 horsepower, an NHRA-certified quarter mile elapsed time of 11.0 seconds on street tires and a top speed of 204 miles per hour, the world’s only four-door muscle car is the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan ever
- Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat engine produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful V-8 Chrysler Group LLC has ever produced
- Unrivaled four-door performance includes quarter mile elapsed time in 11.0 seconds on street tires, 0-100-0 mph in under 13 seconds and a top speed of 204 miles per hour (mph)
- Dodge and SRT designers re-sculpt and refined nearly every body panel with functional performance cues, including heat extractors in the hood, unique front and rear fascias and dramatic LED lighting in both front and rear
- Segment-first TorqueFlite heavy-duty eight-speed automatic transmission capable of delivering fuel-efficient street driving and maximum performance track driving with 160 millisecond shifts with rev-matching
- New performance attributes include the largest brakes ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle – 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers, 20 x 9.5-inch wide forged aluminum wheels with Pirelli P Zero performance tires, adaptive damping three-mode suspension and three-mode, heavy-duty eight-speed automatic transmission
- New SRT Performance Pages allow drivers to tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, paddle shifters, traction and suspension
- Two key fobs – one black and one red. The red fob unlocks all 707 horsepower
- New interior design elements, including SRT three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel, 7-inch reconfigurable digital gauge cluster, 8.4-inch touchscreen, Nappa leather and Alcantara suede seating, premium materials and a choice of four new trim and color combinations
- Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat features a slew of the latest high-tech features, including the new award-winning available Uconnect Access system, Uconnect Access Services with roadside assistance, theft-alarm notification, voice texting, new 3-D navigation and the ability to turn the Charger into a Wi-Fi hotspot
August 13, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Dodge is upping its high-performance game again with the unveiling of the new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.The new Charger SRT Hellcat will feature the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine that produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque – making it the quickest, fastest, most powerful production sedan in the world, as well as the most capable and technologically advanced four-door muscle car in America.“For the last eight years, a large part of the Dodge Charger’s successful formula has been its many personalities. It’s a muscle car, a performance sedan, a family capable sedan; its success is that it can be any or all of those things, depending on how the customer chooses to equip their car,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge and SRT Brands. “And now, with a NHRA-certified quarter mile time of 11.0 seconds and a 204 mph top speed, the new 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat redefines itself again, as the quickest, fastest, most powerful sedan in the world!”The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat will be built at the Brampton (Ont.) Assembly plant. Production is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2015.
Awe-inspiring powertrain; largest brakes ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle
The new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is powered by the new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 engine. Its 707 horsepower matches the highest rating of any V-8 engine in Chrysler Group’s celebrated history – that of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
The all-new supercharged V-8 engine is mated to the beefy new TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission.
This new Hellcat engine is Dodge and SRT’s first application of V-8 supercharger technology, featuring a forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces. The result is a crank so well-engineered it can withstand firing pressures of 110 bar (1,595 psi) – the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston, every two revolutions. And its unique, specially tuned crank damper has been tested to 13,000 rpm.
High-strength, forged-alloy pistons, developed using advanced telemetry measurement, are coupled to powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like-carbon-coated piston pins.
The supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 has premium-grade, heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads, which are optimized for superior thermal conductivity. And its die-cast aluminum rocker covers are HEMI Orange.
Standard on the Charger SRT Hellcat is the largest front-brake package ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle, which were first introduced on the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat, featuring all-new 390-mm (15.4-inch) Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers for outstanding heat management and thermal capacity and longevity.
The unrivaled four-door performance numbers tell an impressive story with the quarter mile in 11.0 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in under 13 seconds, and a top speed of 204 mile per hour (mph).
All-new Drive Modes tailor the driving experience to each individual driver
Whether its on-road or on-track, Charger SRT Hellcat owners can personalize their drive experience, via the all-new Drive Modes feature. Drive Modes tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, paddle shifters, traction and suspension. Drive Modes are pre-configured for Sport, Track and Default settings, while the Custom setting lets the driver customize the drive experience to their favorite settings.
- Custom — Allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance
- Sport — Delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the Default Mode
- Track — Delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces
- Default — Activates automatically when starting the vehicle
- Eco — Maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, pedal map and second-gear starts
The Drive Modes feature is controlled through the Uconnect system and may be accessed by performing any of the following:
- Pushing the SRT button on the instrument panel switch bank
- Selecting “Drive Modes” from the “SRT & Apps” menu
- Selecting “Drive Modes” from within the Performance Pages menu
Unlocking the power
The all-new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat comes standard with two key fobs – red and black. The red key fob is the only key that can unlock the full horsepower and torque potential of the SRT Hellcat engine; while the black key fob limits the driver to a reduced engine output.
When Valet Mode is activated, the following vehicle configurations are enabled:
- Engine is remapped to significantly reduce horsepower and torque; limited to 4,000 rpm
- Transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal
- Transmission will treat the manual shifter position the same as the drive position
- Traction, steering and suspension are set to their “Street” settings
- Steering-wheel paddle shifters are disabled
- Drive Mode functions are disabled
- Electronic stability control (ESC) is enabled to Full-on
- Launch Control is disabled
The driver can activate and deactivate Valet Mode with a four-digit PIN code they create.
Sinister, functional exterior design
Inspired by its performance-enthusiast roots when Charger first launched more than 45 years ago, the new Charger successfully pays homage to past muscle cars while offering distinctly modern all-new exterior and interior appointments.
The Dodge and SRT design team builds upon the 2015 Dodge Charger’s new modern four-door fastback coupe’s already iconic exterior styling by adding a sinister-looking, unique front fascia, hood, rear fascia and spoiler.
The new exterior of the 2015 Dodge Charger is spiritually inspired by the iconic second-generation Charger from the late 1960s, and for 2015, specifically draws its cues from the 1969 model. With its rear-wheel-drive (RWD) platform and proven power, the Charger’s modern take on old-school muscle is sure to resonate with today’s enthusiasts.
Up front, the Charger SRT Hellcat receives the larger, power-bulge aluminum hood, which features a dedicated “cold-air” intake – a visual styling cue from the first Viper coupe built in 1996 – and dual air extractors to ensure effective removal of heat and reduced air turbulence in the engine compartment.
The redesigned front fascia and grille use unique, blacked out upper and lower textures to produce the menacing look that is sure to make onlookers notice the ultimate performance sedan.
An integrated front splitter optimizes airflow to the cooling modules without compromising vehicle balance.
Filling the wheel wells are “Slingshot” split-seven spoke 20 x 9.5-inch, lightweight forged-aluminum wheels with either standard Matte Black or available Brass Monkey/dark bronze finishes.
Two new 275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero tires provide performance for all seasons. Both Pirelli P Zero Nero and P Zero tires are Y-Plus rated to handle the extreme speeds the Charger SRT Hellcat is capable of producing.
At the rear, a single piece decked spoiler is painted in body color while the unique fascia and valence showcase the 4-inch round exhaust tips.
The Dodge Charger SRT’s signature “racetrack” LED tail lamps take on the same continuous glowing ribbon of light that debuted on the new 2014 Dodge Durango.
The center high-mounted stop lamp is relocated from the top of the deck lid to the roofline inside the back glass, allowing centering of the Charger SRT’s backup camera.
The rear styling makeover begins at the touchdown point of the C-pillar, which is moved rearward to create an even more pronounced fastback appearance combined with a shorter rear overhang.
High-performance driver-oriented interior
The 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat’s restyled driver-focused interior features premium, soft-touch materials, a new 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster and a new instrument panel center stack with the latest generation 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen media center.
New for 2015, drivers can select one of the many offered backgrounds to connect the digital look and feel with their chosen interior package. In addition, the Charger SRT Hellcat comes standard with a premium 900 watt, 18-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system.
An all-new and class-exclusive electronic shifter with an all-new driver-oriented T-handle provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control.
A redesigned SRT-branded heated steering wheel features a flat bottom and thick rim for the high-performance driver. Standard paddle shifters are located on the back of the upper spokes. The buttons to control the driver-configurable, full-color thin-film transistor (TFT) display are large and illuminated. Buttons for Uconnect and phone access now reside along the bottom edge of the horizontal spokes. Optional adaptive cruise control is configured by buttons that are symmetrically opposite on the right-hand side of the wheel. As before, the highly praised audio controls are still found on the back of the upper spokes. This new power tilt-telescoping steering wheel also has a 360-degree heat element.
The new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat features redesigned seats with improved cushioning and more comfortable contours. For improved comfort and convenience, the SRT Hellcat includes standard heated and ventilated front high-performance seats and heated rear seats.
Charger continues to grow its market share
The 2015 Dodge Charger competes in the U.S. full-size car market, but stands alone in a class by itself as the only American-bred four-door muscle car. In March of 2014, the Dodge brand reached a significant milestone, with Challenger and Charger sales combining to sell a total of more than 1 million units in the United States.
The Charger’s combination of aggressive and youthful image, full-size functionality and world-class engineering and quality resonates with young and affluent buyers. Charger’s purchasers on average are 15 years younger than its competitors’ buyers within the segment, with more than half identifying themselves as millennials or Generation Xers.
The Charger’s appeal is attracting a high number of conquest buyers, helping drive a 62 percent increase in sales since 2009 – double the growth of the standard full-size car segment. In 2013, Charger posted its best sales year since 2007, further fueling a 3.2 percentage point gain in market share since 2009.
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS