How is it possible that Dodge’s flagship model, that being the 640-horsepower SRT Viper , may not even be the most powerful model in the entire lineup? For Chrysler , the answer might very well be tied up to what it does with its new "Hellcat" supercharged V-8 engine, specifically if it uses it to power the next-generation Dodge Challenger.
Should that be the case, it could prove prophetic to what SRT boss Ralph Giles told Hot Rod magazine. In the April issue of the mag, Giles talked about an "internal horsepower race" brewing within Dodge, one that could determine whether the Viper maintains its post as the brand’s flagship, or if it gets undermined by the next-gen Challenger .
It’s an interesting pickle to be in the middle of, especially if the Hellcat engine is everything it’s been hyped up to be. The company has made no bones about its plans for the Hellcat, with a recent leak of what could very well be an official Hellcat logo having made the Internet recently.
Every indication seems to point to the arrival of the SRT Challenger Hellcat within the year, and the word out is that it will come in a 6.2-liter, supercharged package, producing close to 700 horsepower, more than what the SRT Viper and its 640 ponies is capable of producing.
If that doesn’t smash eggs in the face of the Viper, then the potential demand for the SRT Challenger Hellcat would. With the Viper struggling to get its sales going , the last thing it needs is a competitor from within its ranks.
Note: Current Dodge Challenger pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the Dodge Challenger.
The Dodge Challenger has been a staple of the American muscle car scene for years and its recent revival is a great example of a classic American automotive icon reborn. New for 2008, the Challenger, along with the Charger, were Chrysler ’s answers to the retro phase started by the 2005 Ford Mustang .
Six years later, the Challenger is still going strong. Customers have been enjoying seeing Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that makes 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque — decent power for open-road cruising. Stepping up to the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 gets you a lot more power at 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. The top-dog, 6.4-liter HEMI is the heart of the SRT performance model, and it generates a very respectable 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
Pricing for the Challenger starts at $26,295 for the V-6 and can climbs beyond $50,000 for a loaded SRT model.