Dodge Challenger

Dodge Challenger

  The Dodge Challenger has come into the world in three completely different generations. The first generation Challenger was a pony car produced from 1970-1974 and the second generation ranged from 1978-1983 and was a badge engineered Mitsubishi Galant Lambda. The third, current generation came about in 2008 and was produced to compete against the Mustang and the Camaro, two muscle cars that had outlived the pony car era. The current generation Challenger is built on the Charger/Chrysler 300C platform and features rear-wheel drive and an independent rear suspension. It is powered by a choice of three engines: a 3.5L V6 that produces 250HP and 250 lb-ft of torque, a 5.7L V8 delivering 372HP and 400 lb-ft of torque, and the top-of-the-line 6.1L V8 producing 425HP and 420 lb-ft of torque. These engines are mated to either a 6-speed manual pr 5-speed automatic transmission.

The Challenger made its fateful return to Dodge’s lineup in 2008 following decades of remaining dormant. For the 2015 model year, the Challenger received a refresh that included a set of taillights that hark back to the 1971 model year. Those fancy taillights are small potatoes when compared to the big news of 2015, the addition of the 700-plus-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The wait if finally over, ladies and gentlemen! Dodge has unleashed its most powerful Challenger ever — the Hellcat. Rumored since early last year and initially expected to show up at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, the monstrous muscle car was raised from the dark pits of Hell with a huge, supercharged, 6.2-liter, V-8 mill under the hood and an appearance that will make the Shelby GT500 tremble in fear.

Needless to say, the Challenger Hellcat is the first product of the newly consolidated Dodge and SRT brands, a range-topping model that will sit above the already beefed-up 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker that we’ve seen during the New York Auto Show last month.

"The new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the ultimate performance muscle car," said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Dodge president and CEO, naming it "a true GT car with an all-new driver-focused interior." The beastly coupe will be built at Chrysler’s Brampton Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, but production won’t begin until the third quarter of 2014.

If you’re as excited as we are, waiting that long to see and drive the most powerful Challenger ever made will be painful to say the least. However, that gives us more than enough time to go through all the details and find out what the Hellcat is made of. Aside from the supercharged, V-8 HEMI we’re already drooling over...

Updated 07/16/2014: Pricing for the 2015 Challenger Hellcat SRT have been officially confirmed by Chrysler: $59,995 (excluding $995 destination and including $2,100 gas-guzzler tax; $1,700 gas-guzzler tax on models with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic).

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

O.CT Tuning has impressed us once again with a new program for the 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8. Not that the Challenger needs it seeing as a standard model already packs a 6.4-liter, V-8, HEMI engine that produces 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. But O.CT Tuning’s not impressed with those numbers, which is why the German tuner took it upon itself to give the American muscle car its new OCTSRT-700 program.

The program’s name pretty much says it all. This program means serious business, the likes of which we rarely see on a Challenger SRT8. For one, those stock HEMIs were deemed somewhat inadequate, hence the company’s decision to increase its displacement to an incredible 7.0 liters. O.CT Tuning then slapped on a compressor to the larger-displacement engine, resulting in an incredible power upgrade of 720 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque.

I’m no math genius or anything, but I do know that 470 is a long ways away from 720 — that’s an incredible difference of 250 horsepower — so excuse me for being a little tickled by the added output given to one of America’s finest pony cars.

This program is one of the most powerful we’ve seen on the Challenger SRT8. The fact that a German tuner did it speaks to the Challenger’s appeal as a global muscle machine.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8 By O.CT Tuning.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT , the most powerful muscle car ever built, has just been certified as the fastest, factory-built muscle car ever created. In a test conducted by Dodge and supervised by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the Challenger Hellcat ran the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 125 mph. That makes the 707-horsepower Mopar exactly one second quicker than a stock 2014 Corvette Stingray with an automatic and enables its full on bragging rights at the drag strip.

But wait, there’s more! Chrysler didn’t stop at running the 1320 using the Challenger’s standard Pirelli P Zero tires, but equipped the coupe with drag radials and had another go. The run dropped to just 10.8 seconds at 126 mph, making the Hellcat SRT the first production muscle car to achieve a 10-second quarter-mile. To get an idea of what that means, the Hellcat is quicker than supercars such as the Saleen S7 , Ferrari Enzo , Nissan GT-R Track Pack and the McLaren F1 . Sure, most of them are at least four years old, but the GT-R in question is a 2014 model. And beating the Track Pack on the drag strip is quite the achievement.

Unfortunately, Dodge has yet to release 0-to-60 mph acceleration data for the Challenger Hellcat SRT, and we’re dead curious to find out whether the sprint drops below the 3.5-second mark. If it does, customers will have a muscle car that’s quicker than the Ferrari 430 Scuderia and the Porsche 911 GT3 on their hands. How cool would that be?

As a quick reminder, the 2015 Challenger Hellcat SRT is powered by a supercharged, 6.2-liter, V-8 HEMI engine rated at 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant, which is the first factory supercharged HEMI, mates to either a six-speed manual transmission or a brand-new, TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic. This crazy, rubber-shredding beast is scheduled to hit the streets in the third quarter of 2014. Mustang and Camaro owners, save yourselves while you still can!

The hype over the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat ’s 707 horsepower hasn’t died off since Dodge proclaimed that information on its 100th birthday July 1, 2014. Now the fun begins. First up: gratuitous burnouts. Yep, what would an American muscle car be without the ability to lay down a smoke screen thick enough for a war zone? Well, it seems the SRT Hellcat has that ability and then some, as this video proves.

Put on by the guys at Car & Driver, the two Challengers challenge each other to the best burnout. This sort of hooning comes easy with 650 pound-feet of torque getting both tires loose and a monstrous 707 horsepower to keep them spinning. You almost feel sorry for the Pirelli P Zero Nero tires. Almost.

What’s more, those 707 horses not only make the SRT Hellcat more powerful than Dodge’s own SRT Viper , but more powerful than any other muscle car in history. It’s all thanks to a supercharged, 6.2-liter, HEMI V-8 with beefed up internals and a 14,600-rpm redline on the Lyshoim-style supercharger. The HEMI engine is mated to a six-speed TF-6060 manual unit from Tremec.

We look forward to seeing some actual numbers from the drag strip, including both 0-to-60-mph and quarter-mile times. Until then, we’ll know the Challenger SRT Hellcat is one awesome burnout machine.

We hope everyone enjoyed the show! A special big thanks goes out to our live viewers and commentators. You make the show even more enjoyable.

This week is crammed full of crazy and wild stuff, and we start things off with a bang. Right after introductions we talk about my upcoming trip to Colorado to drive some V-8 powered Miatas. We then jump straight into the Weekly Wheels segment where Justin talks about his time with the spacious Kia Sorento . Spoiler alert: he really liked it. We kept the SUV theme going with my talk about the Lexus RX 450h . You get a good explanation about why I was so hard on the thing in my review. We finish with Mark’s thoughts on the Prius .

If you think this list is a bit boring, I have a brand new Miata coming soon, so that will be in next-week’s podcast.

For the news, we start with the somber news of the tragedy at Pikes Peak. To keep from depressing everyone on this Thursday we move to Mark’s trip to the Hyundai manufacturing plant in Alabama. From there we move to the insanity that is a 700 horsepower Challenger. There is lots of grunting and yelling of ’Merica in that segment.

To finish out the news, we do a mad dash through a pile of Goodwood news including the new Focus ST , the McLaren 650s GT3 and Nissan’s new hill climb record.

We finish the show up with a few questions from the viewers that range from how to buy a used car, to how to escape rapid soccer fans. We also look at the future of the Focus RS and the next-generation Miata .

The last piece of the show is Own, Drive, Burn and we have a large Mercedes , an armored personnel carrier and a monster truck. This whole show was full of awesome and crazy.

If you have questions for us, or if you have suggestions for Own, Drive, Burn, just drop them in comments, or hit us up on the Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast . You can also send us an email to Podcast@TopSpeed.com.

Have a safe weekend and we will see you next Thursday.

I’m not expecting anyone to agree with me, but I think the all-new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is way cooler than the 2015 Ford Mustang . Sure, the Challenger ’s design is awfully dated when compared to the Mustang, and that platform was introduced eons ago, but I don’t care. All I care about is that huge, nasty HEMI V-8 and the supercharger sitting atop it. And between you and me, Ford somehow managed to dilute the Mustang with the new design.

Anyway, there’s more to the Challenger SRT Hellcat than that 600-plus-horsepower mill. It has a cool name, roars like all hell breaks loose with ease and sports a cool amount of exclusive features. What’s more, it can be had in Dodge ’s brand-new high-impact colors, including the awesome B5 Blue and Sublime Green. All of a sudden it feels like 1971 again. And by the way, did you see the massive integral charge coolers Dodge is dropping in the Hellcat’s engine bay?

If the aforementioned facts, our in-depth review , and the batch of videos released by the automaker aren’t compelling enough for you, then you must have a look at this new Hellcat footage we just stumbled upon. There’s nothing official about it, just a Sublime Green-painted example exiting a driveway. And grunt, a lot of grunt, a pair of rear tires leaving marks on the asphalt, and further proof there’s no actual replacement for displacement!

Ladies and Gentleman, it is Thursday, and that means it is time for Justin, Mark, and myself to fill your ears with banter about the automotive universe.

It is time for the TopSpeed Podcast . No video this week folks, sorry, but we are working on getting a live show setup soon! That means you can see us and chat with us all in rel time. We hope to have it ready by next week.

We start the show in the usual fashion with Weekly Wheels. Justin has been driving the Mazda6 , I spent some time with Nissan Juke Nismo, and Mark blasted around in the supercharged Audi S5 .

For the news this week, we talk about Nissan’s love of fun cars , the Audi S7 , and the changes coming to the 2015 Corvette Stingray .

We keep the horsepower high with talk about our exclusive image of some of the Challenger Hellcat’s cooling equipment , and we speculate on the upcoming small Porsche 718 .

We conclude the news with a quick talk about my recent time with Grid Autosport .

Our Q/A segment features some talk of F1 cars, and we finish the show with Own, Drive Burn. This week we have a trio of the greatest supercars of all time. This one was far from easy.

As always, you can find us on iTunes. Feel free to rate, review and subscribe, it makes us all very happy. If you prefer the Twitter thing, you can find us @TopSpeedPodcast, and you can always reach us be email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com. Of course, we love the comments and enjoy chatting with you.

See you fine people next Thursday.

We have some solid evidence that the Challenger ’s new Hellcat engine will be making a lot more power than people are giving it credit for. What we have here is an exclusive image of the prototype phase of the Hellcat’s intecoolers.

You may be yelling at your monitor right now that many supercharged engines don’t use intercoolers, and you are correct, sort of. When you compress air, it gets hotter. Superchargers traditionally don’t add much boost pressure, so the need for an intercooler is mitigated. The Challenger does have an intercooler system mounted in the front of the car, but the correct term for it in this case is "integral charge cooler."

An integral charge cooler has a very similar function to a normal intercooler, cooling air, but it is integrated into the supercharger system itself. It the last thing the forced air passes through before reaching the engine. This makes sure the air is as cool as possible before combustion to provide the greatest level of power and performance.

This unit here is a water-to-air style cooler, which looks to be larger than most units I have encountered. This suggests that Dodge is likely playing boost levels over the 11 pounds they are quoting, or perhaps an overboost function. As a bonus, even at lower boost levels the cooler air is much more dense, helping the engine to make more power.

Either way, it seems that Dodge still has a few tricks up its sleeve about what the Hellcat is really packing under its hood.

Suddenly Viper -beating horsepower doesn’t seem so unrealistic. Cue the maniacal laughter, folks.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and read more about this integral charge cooler.

We’re pretty much done with the Mustang ’s 50th Anniversary celebrations here in the U.S., but the iconic muscle car is about to get one more birthday party in Europe. The event will occur during the Silverstone Classic in late July, when more than 25 competition-prepped Mustangs take on the famed track in two different races .

To preview the event that we expect to become the world’s largest gathering of race-spec Mustangs on one grid, the folks over at Silverstone Classic have put together a video that pays tribute to the memorable car chase from the "Bullitt" film. Regarded as one of the most influential in movie history, the chase saw a 1968 Mustang driven by Steve McQueen gain on a 1968 Dodge Charger through the streets of Chicago.

Recreated right on the Silverstone track with vehicles that looked similar to those in the movie, the scene is a worthy replica of the "Bullitt" scene with all the drifting and the V-8 revving. It all comes to an abrupt halt near the end, when the Charger "blows up" in a poorly rendered crash. At least they didn’t wreck a perfectly restored classic.

If you’re planning on traveling to Britain for the Mustang races, this year’s Silverstone Classic is scheduled between July 25th through 27th.

Welcome to the most awesome automotive podcast extravaganza on the internet, the TopSpeed Podcast . We have audio, we have video (after the break), and we have lots of banter about cars!

In this Thursday’s episode we bring you talks of the Nissan 370Z Nismo , the (exciting) Challenger Hellcat and Mark’s NASCAR roadtrip . We even find time to cover the revival of the Nissan Pulsar name and the new/old Jaguar Lightweight E-Type .

We also take a minute to remember F1 legend Sir Jack Brabum .

Our weekly wheels include a discussion about the Acura MDX that Justin got to drive, and the IS 350 F Sport that Mark went to Charlotte in. I am left out of the party again, but I have a new toy to talk about next week.

We have a few questions from the audience including what would make the perfect enthusiast vacation, top tracks to listen to while driving, and we speculate on what old cars need a good dose of carbon in their diet.

As always, we finish things off with Own, Drive, Burn and a trio of McLaren supercars .

Hope you enjoy. As always, you can reach us on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast, through email Podcast@TopSpeed.com and you can leave us a comment below.

Don’t forget that you can leave us a rating at iTunes.

See you next Thursday!

Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler, Mark McNabb
Weekly Wheels: Acura MDX, Lexus IS 350 F Sport


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