After Exorcising Its Demon, Dodge Looks Ready to Improve on the Hellcat

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
after exorcising its demon dodge looks ready to improve on the hellcat

What can an automaker do after its limited-run, 840-horsepower performance flagship shuffles off into the afterlife? Move the second-highest rung a little higher.

That appears to be what Dodge is planning for the Challenger. In a world filled with crossovers, electrified powertrains, and looming autonomy, the drag strip-focused 2018 Challenger SRT Demon was just the gas-slurping, go-you-own-way ticket the brand needed to earn a ton of recognition. Now that a brief run of Demons has settled into climate-controlled garages and auction blocks across the land, it’s time for Dodge to turn its attention back to the Hellcat.

Recent spy photos seem to back up an unverified report that appeared on the forum (first noticed by AutoGuide) last year, stating that the 707 hp Challenger SRT Hellcat stands to gain some of the Demon’s goodies, as well as extra horsepower.

The report claims the Hellcat Drag Pack contains up to 75 percent of the model-specific trappings found on the Demon, including an Air Grabber hood, grippier Nitto rubber (no drag slicks, though), a “Drag Mode” option in the car’s UConnect infotainment system, and a taller final drive ratio. Any number of other bits could find their way into the lesser model. The list includes SRT’s Power Chiller, which uses the A/C system’s refrigerant to cool intake air, as well as a launch-boosting torque reserve system and transbrake.

Reportedly, the Hellcat Drag Pack bumps the model’s output to 725 horsepower. It’s always good to add aspirational trims and packages to a car line, and the Challenger line is far from fresh (but far from moribund, too). With a planned Alfa Romeo platform swap put off until the coming decade, a Hellcat Drag Pack would keep the Challenger in the headlines and give Hellcat customers a reason to hand more cash over to Fiat Chrysler.

These photos, showing a regular-bodied Hellcat decked out in Demon duds, were snapped outside FCA’s Street & Racing Technology HQ in Detroit. Assuming it’s not a one-off, a debut should occur later this year.

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 24, 2018

    Seems like a 2.5% boost in horsepower is scraping the bottom of the barrel in order to maintain customer interest.

  • Paulinator66 Paulinator66 on Apr 24, 2018

    More power is great and all but FCA needs to figure out what to replace these cars with. Unless they already have that in the pipeline, and it's the world's best kept secret, they can't milk this platform forever. . .can they?

  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.
  • El scotto Pondering if he has a clean brandy snifter. Well but, ah, I mean the original Grand Wagoneer was fully loaded and had a V-8. The original Grand Wagoneer had an almost cult-like following with a certain type of woman. Attractive, educated high earning women; or those that put on the appearances of being that way.Our esteemed HerR DOKtor Perfessor again shows how ignorant he is of the American market. What he deems "bread-vans on stilts" are highly coveted by significant others that are also highly coveted. The new Grand Cherokee with the new well engineered V-6 will sell as well as the ones from the 80s some of us get wistful over. The only real question will be: LL Bean or Orvis edition?
  • El scotto Well, I've had cats that are smarted than a great many members of congress. I rather doubt that any of the congresspeople Matt named are engineers, finance people or project managers. Ya know, professionals you call in to get a job done.Today is Wednesday, this will be out of the 36 hour news cycle by Friday. Oh it might get mentioned again on OCT 6. Unless there are cute animals to put on TV that day.
  • El scotto Oh My Good Lord Yes! Gents, this is a Caddy that carries on the soul of Caddy. Loud, brash, and apologetically American. Also large and in charge and one of GM's best evah engines. What used to be a flash roll is now bottle service.Can't deal with that reality? There are plenty of excellent SUVs/CUVs on the market. I'm a former Escape owner. The Escape was a sensible lil CUV, this Caddy is just way over the top.Canyon carver? Not a chance, this is based on a Silverado frame. Easy to park? Toss the valet the keys. Will some of the other high-end SUVs have better "soft touch" materials that make car journalist get tingly all over? Of course.This Caddy is designed to eat up huge and I mean huge amounts of American interstate miles. Four people and their luggage? Easily.