Ur-Turn: An Ode To The Hellcat

Rich Murdocco
by Rich Murdocco
ur turn an ode to the hellcat

TTAC reader and Charger R/t owner Rich Murdocco pays tribute to the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

I’d say 6.2 liters is plenty of engine. Too much, in fact, especially if you’re trying to save the planet one bike lane at a time. It’s simply too much engine that consumes too many gallons of gasoline, which causes all sorts of problems down the road. Every time this 6.2-liter behemoth starts, I hope the driver, who is probably some man-child who never grew up, thinks of the plight of the polar bears. Shame on Fiat, the spunky Italian auto giant, who bought Chrysler, for creating this anachronism. Those peppery Italians have some nerve.

And then they added a supercharger.

The name of this testament to outdated American stubbornness? The Hellcat. This monster is named after the Grumman Hellcat, the naval fighter plane that helped secure America’s air superiority in the Pacific Theater during World War II. And what a name it is.

Husband: Honey, let’s go to the theater. I hear that “Waiting for Godot” is divine.

Wife: Oh darling, once I am done increasing our portfolio’s yield I’d be happy to.

Husband: Shall we take… the Hellcat?

Cue the wailing guitar solos and pyro, as every window in their mansion shatters at mere mention of the beast’s name.

That burble at start up; it stirs the soul. Listen, and picture volcanoes erupting, the earth quaking, and lightning piercing the blackest of skies.

What was once the realm of legends is now, somewhat approachable to us common men and women. For about $55,000, us mere mortals can pilot these rocket-sleds to oblivion. What an incredible time to be an auto enthusiast.

The Hellcat will compete in the Parthenon with a bevy of epic creatures – the Mustang, with Shelby’s coiled Cobra emblazoned on it, the Chevrolet ZL1. Each with enough horses in their stables combined to supply a glue factory for a decade. The bible got it wrong: There aren’t four horsemen to signal the end of times, but rather, the end will be brought by these three American-made chariots that run on the fossilized remains of our ancestors. How metal.

For perspective, in the 1990s, a McLaren F1, a million-dollar supercar had 627 horsepower. That power is now in a Dodge, the company that birthed the Neon. Incredible.

The Hellcat – what a name. One can imagine how the fine folks at Dodge came up with it. What creature can beat a Cobra? A panther? A mountain lion? Nay, only a hellcat. For less than the price of a BMW M3 or a Corvette, you can drive a leather-clad rocket that eats both tires and souls.

Baby boomers pine for the muscle-car era of the 1970s. In the age when a basic Camry can outrun Magnum PI’s Ferrari, when a mere Dodge can run with the best of them, as it’s been said before, we’re truly living in an automotive renaissance. Enjoy it my friends.

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2 of 172 comments
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.
  • Scoutdude I know that dealership. Way back when my friend's grandfather was that Turner that owned the Chrysler Plymouth International dealer, in MacPherson. Of course the International was dropped when they didn't deem the Scout reason enough to keep the franchise. I moved from there in late 1978 so it is possible I saw this running around town way back when.
  • Lou_BC "Overpriced" is a misnomer. Arguably, if they are selling they are not overpriced. "Dealer mark-up above MSRP" is a mouthful but more accurate. Simple, don 't buy anything marked up. A computer will help you search the country. It's a PITA but doable.