With regards to the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Motor Trend: Ignition host Carlos Lago muses: “This is a bizarre time to be into cars because we have things like this in existence.” I couldn’t agree more. The technology that carmakers currently have at their disposal makes the seemingly impossible a reality; we have zero-emission sports cars like the 2015 Tesla Model S, lap-crushing SUVs like the 2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, and civilized four-doors with race car performance like the Charger Hellcat.
This is truly a revolutionary time in the automotive industry, which means it’s the right occasion to ask some pretty weighty questions. This video has one: is the Charger Hellcat the ultimate family sedan?
Clearly, the basis for finding an answer is based on two determining factors: practicality and speed. Around town, the Charger Hellcat is docile. The ride isn’t jarring, the exhaust doesn’t reverberate through the cabin, and the exterior design is somewhat inconspicuous.
Put your foot down, and all that changes. When more than 700 horsepower hits those rear wheels, the world blurs around you, the supercharged V-8 bellows, and a good deal of smoke can be seen emanating from the tires. Even better, all of this goodness is available for around $64,000.
It’s a magnificent dual personality — completely compliant for a school run, but flagrantly quick at the track. It’s the right combination for lots of the right reasons.
However, the question remains: is it the ultimate?
Don’t get us wrong: we think the Charger SRT Hellcat is fantastic. But to truly find that answer, we’ll need to set-up a comparison test. Here are a few cars worth inviting: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, 2015 Audi RS3, 2016 Lexus GS F, 2014 BMW M3... Anything else?
Click past the jump to read about the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
As part of the recent American muscle car revival, the new Charger brings with it a good deal of expectation. The original Charger was introduced in the mid-1960s, and to faithfully do it justice in the modern era requires much more than a badge slapped on the backside of some barely-rentable suck-mobile.
Dodge knows this, and consequently created the Charger SRT Hellcat. For less than $70K, buyers get to enjoy 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque from a supercharged, 6.2-liter, HEMI V-8, the same engine found in the Challenger Hellcat. It’s enough to motivate the sedan to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and a top speed that can clip 200 mph. It’ll also run an 11-second quarter mile; throw on drag radials, and it’ll run 10s.
But this isn’t some stripped-out, caged-up, and completely-compromised race car. The Charger Hellcat still has four doors. The front seats have standard heating and ventilation. There’s an optional 900-watt, 18-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. The transmission is an easygoing, eight-speed automatic. The exterior is somewhat modest, considering the performance potential lurking underneath it. You could drive this thing to the supermarket and bring home a week’s worth of food without attracting the attention of every cop in the county.
And therein lies the beauty. Sure, you could spring for a Mustang GT500 or Camaro ZL1, and everybody will know you’re fast, because, well, those are some very fast cars. But pulling the same trick while flying under the radar? Well, that’s something else entirely.