When talking about a second-generation Dodge Charger, racing isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind. Sure, Dodge modified the R/T into the 500 for NASCAR racing and later on it slapped a pointy nose and a huge wing to it to create the Daytona, but the Charger didn’t make an impact outside the oval track. I’m not saying the second-gen Charger is a heavy slouch that can’t take turns. Heck, it’s among my favorite classics. It’s just that in order to turn it into a more nimble machine, you’d have to invest a lot of cash and time in aftermarket parts and a restomod-like rebuild.
Or pretty much what the guy who owns the gorgeous blue Charger in this video did.
Although I don’t have access to most of the details about this car, it’s obvious that it sports a more modern drivetrain and suspension, on top of a new set of wheels wrapped in meatier, low-profile tires. According to the owner, the front suspension is adjustable, while stopping power is provided by Brembo/Wilwood brakes. When you have almost 600 horsepower and more than 600 pound-feet of torque at the tend of your gas pedal, solid brakes all around are mandatory. Of course, it still wouldn’t be competitive against full-fledged race cars, but it’s definitely more potent than a stock 1968 Charger.
What I like most about it is that its exterior has been kept stock. It’s both a cool restomod and a sleeper.
Dennis McCarthy has a pretty cool job. He’s been the picture-car coordinator for the Fast and Furious franchise since Tokyo Drift, which means he’s the man behind all those badass tweaked-out rides you’ve ogled over the years. And now that Furious 7 is rampaging through box offices nationwide, McCarthy got a chance to discuss some of the cars he’s had the pleasure of producing, including his new all-time favorite, the hyper-custom off-road Charger you see bashing its way through the film. Hit play and you’ll find copious close-ups detailing the cars, not to mention a few spots of rubber-burning sprinkled throughout.
“I have a history of off-road racing and for me to be able to combine that experience and what I have a passion for into Dom’s hero vehicle was just a dream come true,” McCarthy said in an interview with theAFICIONAUTO. “That thing is basically a Pro-2 chassis with a Dodge Charger body on top. I tried to make it look like something Dom would be proud to drive.”
For McCarthy, realism is of utmost importance. “My belief is that if you go to a movie and everything’s CG, it just takes away from the final product. People wanna see cars crashing, running into things, sliding through corners… that’s what I think makes this franchise a step above all the others.”
What can we expect from McCarthy in the future? “It is on my list to build a Hemi supercharged Charger for one of these movies.” McCarthy and his crew put one together for F7, but ended up sacrificing it to Hollywood for one of the scenes. Still, he isn’t discouraged: “We need to build that nine-second Charger.”
Just a couple of weeks ago, it was reported that Dodge was going to put production of its SRT Hellcat models on hold due to “unprecedented demand,” but Mopar fans can now rejoice as it sounds like the Hellcat’s vacation was just temporary. Hellcat.org is reporting that Dodge plans to restart production of the 707-horsepower Charger and Challenger, although the production will be capped at just 1,000 units. If the dealer markups and wait lists weren’t insane enough before, they sure will be now.
The excessive demand meant that some dealerships were taking deposits on the Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat cars that they simply wouldn’t be able to come through on. After a quick lesson in how dealer allocations work, expect it to be even harder to get a new Hellcat parked in your driveway. Despite the time off to sort through the mess, it isn’t even clear what, if any, kind of headway Dodge made in clearing up backlogged orders that didn’t have a chance of being delivered.
It’s unclear what will become of the Hellcat’s future beyond these extra 1,000 units, but there’s a good chance that this production run will coincide with the end of the 2015 model year.
Continue reading to learn why Dodge decided to increase Hellcat production figures.
"Some things you just don’t do in a Dodge." That’s the company’s tagline for its latest commercial featuring both the 2015 Challenger and Charger. The sedan plays an undercover police car, but don’t let that detail, as well as the fact that the commercial is named "Not So Fast and Furious" fool you, the scenario is far from being worthy of a Steve McQueen movie. The Challenger driver is actually pulled over for driving too slow and getting passed by an older-generation Volkswagen Passat and then arrested for listening to chamber music.
The cop is none other than TV show host and Gas Monkey Garage owner Richard Rawlings, while his partner is a computer-generated monkey that doesn’t react well to Dodges being overtaken by Passats. Or to chamber music. Heck, I think this monkey needs some anger management therapy.
In all, "Not So Fast and Furious" is a cute commercial promoting two of Dodge’s most powerful offerings, but I’m not sure it sends the best message. There’s nothing wrong with cruising at 45 mph on a public roads and you definitely shouldn’t hammer the gas pedal unless you’re on a closed course. Not even if you’re driving a 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat and the car that just passed you is a rusty AMC Gremlin.
Since 2001, the Fast & Furious franchise has brought together petrol-heads of every shape, size, and creed to rejoice in the pleasures of fast cars, electrifying stunts, and plot development as subtle as a bottle of nitrous. From high-strung imports to big-block muscle, bank-breaking exotics to custom one-offs, F&F claims it all. They even had a tank in one of them.
With that said, it should come as no surprise to Mopar fans that Dodge recently announced a promotional partnership with Universal Pictures in support of Furious 7, the latest installment in the series, slated for theatrical release April 3rd.
Notable car stars include a Candy Red 2015 Dodge Charger driven by Vin Diesel’s character Dominic Toretto, a Sublime Green and Black 2015Dodge Challenger R/Tdriven by Michelle Rodrigues’ character Letty Ortiz, and an armored 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimiteddriven by Ludacris’ character Tej Parker. In total, FCA U.S. provided nearly 30 vehicles during production.
Additionally, Dodge vehicles like the Challenger Hellcat and Charger Hellcat will be featured in music videos from Atlantic in support of the original movie soundtrack album.
Dodge has been with the franchise since the beginning, and it would be silly to pull out now. After seven films dedicated to the glory of some of the automaker’s best machinery, I can only imagine that the partnership is as strong as ever. It’s free cars meeting free advertising, all in the name of high entertainment.
Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge cars that will be featured in "Furious 7".
With most non-premium carmakers out there downsizing and predominantly preoccupied with fuel efficiency, not many people were expecting Dodge to revolutionize the modern muscle car with the monstrous Hellcat engine. Giving a new meaning to "Detroit muscle," the supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 delivers a staggering 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, and is now powering versions of both the Challenger and the Charger.
Performance figures for the two Hellcat-powered cars are similar, with the Challenger having slightly better acceleration figures thanks to its lower weight, while the Charger brings a higher top speed thanks to better aerodynamics. Pitting them against each other would mainly result in clouds of tire smoke, and that is pretty much what happened in the comparison made by Motor Authority. Unfortunately, not even the so-called "scientific" comparison between the two models resulted in a high level of entertainment in my book.
Then again, not everyone is Chris Harris, and I should probably be satisfied just seeing and hearing the Challenger and Charger Hellcats putting down some rubber. With both cars sharing the same engine and having similar performance figures, the only real differences consist of passenger volume and how easy it is to jump in, as the Motor Authority presenter so eloquently describes at one point in the above footage. In the end, it seems that the Charger Hellcat is the comparison winner, but just by a very subjective hair.
It’s not often that I find myself perusing the pages of TMZ.com, but that’s just how I stumbled across this rare gem: a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, now reportedly owned by none other than the Grand Poobah of Hemi-loving rednecks, Mr. Joe Dirt (aka David Spade). This flawless example of the Charger Daytona crossed the Mecum Auctions block last month, and while these bullet-nosed winged wonders go up for sale every now and then, the newsworthy bit here is the price Spade paid for the car: a cool $900,000.
Only 503 Charger Daytonas were ever built, but this particular car commanded top dollar due to its provenance, amazing condition and low mileage. Unlike the ratty-looking Charger Daytona that Spade drove in the original Joe Dirt movie, his new acquisition has been fully restored, wearing a flawless coat of the car’s original T5 Copper Metallic paint. Mecum had initially estimated that this Charger Daytona would sell for between $800,000 and $1 million, and it didn’t disappoint.
The gorgeous Charger Daytona was one of 24 vehicles (mostly classic muscle cars) to be sold off as a part of the Wellborn Musclecar Museum Collection, with other cars in the collection including another Daytona painted in Omaha Orange (sold for $280,000) and Burt Reynolds’ personal 1978 Pontiac Trans Am (sold for $90,000).
Click past the jump to read more about David Spade’s newly acquired 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona .
The Dodge Charger is one of the most impressive cars on sale to wear a badge from an American company. It features a relatively sophisticated suspension setup, a rear-wheel-drive architecture like its German rivals, and if you order it with the 707 horsepower Hellcat V-8, it is the fastest and most powerful production sedan in the entire world.
When I got word that I was getting one of these big American sedans to test, I got excited at all the possibilities. Could I get a Hellcat model? Will it have the Hemi V-8? Will the new styling for 2015 look as good in person as it does in photos? All of these thoughts were running through my head as the mostly bone-stock V-6 Charger rolled into my driveway.
I am not ashamed to say that I was a little disappointed that I had been given the rental-fleet special rather than a fire-breathing V-8, but I was still prepared to give this car a fair shake. After a full week and several hundred miles, would this car be worthy of the Charger name, and is it worth your money?
You’ll have to read on to find out my full thoughts, but I can say that my final verdict on the Charger surprised me.
We’ve seen the burnouts, the dyno runs and the quarter-mile times, but one thing we’ve yet to witness with regards to the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is a top-speed run to back up its claim of 204 mph. With Dodge getting ready to kick off sales of the Charger Hellcat, it released a video showing this sedan achieving its supercar-like top speed.
For starters, Dodge has the wonderful advantage of owning a 7.5-mile, high-speed oval track. It was here that the Charger Hellcat set its stunning top speed figure, on a cool, late-July morning last year with wind speeds ranging from 8 to 14 mph. It used a radar gun to clock the speed of the car with both a tailwind (206.9 mph) and a headwind (202.2 mph), averaging a top speed of 204.55 mph.
Most importantly, these runs were made with a Charger Hellcat in full production trim, with the exception of added safety items like a roll cage and racing harness. Despite the camouflage (this video was shot before the car’s introduction last August), Dodge says it made no modifications to the car’s aerodynamics, and it even used the stock tires that come on the Hellcat straight from the factory – a set of specially designed Pirelli.
What’s even more amazing is how stable this car looks at such a high speed, which is beyond impressive considering that at its core, it’s just a full-size family sedan.
Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat .
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.
2014 was packed with exciting automotive highlights, but none was as mind-blowing as Dodge’s new Hellcat engine. Fitted with a supercharger, the newly developed, 6.2-liter V-8 found its way into the Challenger and the Charger creating two monsters will no less than 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque at their disposal. Arguably the most powerful and quickest in their respective segments, the SRT-badged vehicles took no prisoners once their 0-to-60-mph sprints, quarter-mile times and top speeds were revealed.
Naturally, Dodge didn’t waste any time promoting its Hellcats, putting together a campaign that reminded us of the muscle car era. Both cars established new benchmarks and burned as much rubber as their HEMI-powered ancestors in the process, proving that the muscle car is alive and kicking in the 21st century. Now that 2014 has come to an end and both Hellcats are proudly displayed in dealerships, Fiat Chyrsler Automobiles has released a collection of the best burnouts done in Hellcat-powered Mopars. Nothing but tires squealing and smoke lifting up into the air as the rear wheels spin to intoxicating speeds. Hit the “play” button above to unleash the wrath!
2015 is almost upon us, car lovers, and TopSpeed has one last post to close out the year that was 2014! As this little blue green ball we all inhabit completes yet another revolution around that warm spot of fusing hydrogen hanging in the sky, we tend to revert back to the time-honored tradition of summarizing a few of the big events that transpired over the course of the year. It’s a crossroads, a time to bask in the glory of past wins, as well as learn from prior mistakes in a bid to avoid such blunders in the future.
In many ways, 2014 was a time of great change and rebirth, with both exciting successes and catastrophic failures laced throughout. We’ve seen the glorious return of heroes like the Dodge Challenger, plus the emergence of exciting new technology like in the Toyota Mirai. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a glut of niche vehicles stretched thin between a variety of purposes, like the Mercedes GLE Coupe, as well as fatal corporate mistakes in a record-breaking year for automotive recalls.
Usually, we’re a glass-half-full kind of crowd, so we’re tempted to say, overall, this most recent spin around the sun yielded a net gain for the automotive world. Perhaps, but we suppose that’s still open for debate. Regardless, it’s been a mixed bag, no doubt about that. But don’t fret: we’re here to tie it up into one neat package for you.
Click past the jump to read our list of highs and lows from 2014.