707-horsepower really brightens your day. As the first dry-weather drive of the Challenger Hellcat, we could hardly help the ear-to-ear grin in the video below. Blasting out of the parking lot and up to highway speed is a near-religious experience in the SRT Challenger.
Until you try a 30-to-80-mph passing move — as we do shortly into the brief GoPro vid here. There are no words for the sublime, stomach-turning power of this musclecar BSD.
Another acronym? Oh yes. But this one is totally NSFW… and stands for Big Swinging D***!
The Challenger SRT is one of the most joyful performance cars of all time. Power hooked up on this day totally cleanly (in a straight line), addressing some of the concern we had about axle tramp in the Challenger Hellcat. That is mostly confined to Track mode and funky tarmac.
On this day, we attempted a 0-100-mph spring launch for the camera, but the video is MIA. In person, it is a half-second of wheelspin via the simple-to-use launch control. Followed by the most riotous bellow from front and back as the car explodes up to supra-legal speeds in just seconds. Impressive hookup from the limited-slip diff as well as launch control. The 4-second 0-60-mph is only the appetizer. Above 60-mph, the Hellcat sucks in distance with more in-gear pace than even the much-loved E63 AMG.
Around corners, the Hellcat Challenger was a corrupting force — making tailout drifts and power slides a part of your daily habit.
Owners are truly spoiled for power. Everything else — GT-R included — suddenly lacks drama and ferocity by comparison.
The Hellcat is unchanged for 2016 aside from a bump in supply — hoping to clear the rolled-over 2015 order backlog as fast as this supercharged HEMI sucks in the horizon on full chat.
This Hellcat had a few options above its $59k base (with delivery). These included Redline Red for $500, $95 red seatbelts, $2k for the 8-speed automatic versus the Tremec six-speed manual, and yet more to reach an as-delivered total of $64,670.
The $695 Uconnect 8.4 also joined the fun, as did 20-inch summer tires in 275/40ZR20 form. Finally, a gas guzzler tax upcharge is the best $1700 you will ever spend.
The only missing options from this test car are the Brass Monkey wheel finish and a contrast satin-black hood. B5 blue with the gold-tone alloys for me!
20-Inch x 9.5-Inch Brass Monkey SRT® Forged Wheels
Satin Black Aluminum Hood with Functional Vents
Challenger HELLCAT Colors
2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat