Dodge didn’t expect the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to be as popular as they are. In fact, the demand was so high, Dodge just couldn’t keep up. All 2015 models have been spoken for, and all remaining orders that cannot be fulfilled have been canceled so production of 2016 models can begin. Not all of the cancellations are the fault of Dodge or Chrysler as a company, though – a few sketchy dealers unethically took orders after they hit their order cap for the muscle cars.
The good news is that, as of Monday, August 17, 2015, you can now reserve a 2016 Charger or Challenger Hellcat – with a deposit, of course. Dodge also thought ahead and changed up its ordering system as well. This time around, dealerships will not be able to order above their order cap. Moreover, to help accommodate such a high demand for both vehicles, Dodge has expanded its Hellcat testing capabilities — it will now be able to produce more the twice the number of Hellcat models than it did last year
With the success of the Hellcat models, Dodge is planning on bringing the SRT and Hellcat badges to other models in its lineup. Dodge hasn’t speculated on what models yet, but I suspect we’ll see the Hellcat come to the Durango, 2017 Dodge Ram and maybe even the Barracuda — if Dodge and SRT change their minds about axing the fish car. Despite the demand from customers to create a Viper Hellcat, Dodge has implied that it does not intend to do so. The Viper is a “perfect” track car, according to Dodge, and throwing the Hellcat engine into it would disrupt the 50/50 weight ratio that makes the Viper what it is. Of course, if you’re looking to purchase a Viper anytime soon, the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR and its extreme performance should more than satisfy you.
Continue reading for the full story.
“It’s like the ’71 Hemi all over again.” That’s a pretty good way to sum up the wildfire sales success of Dodge’s 707-horsepower Hellcat twins, and it’s how Dodge and SRT CEO Tim Kuniskis explained it when asked about that success. Now, Dodge is responding to the laws of supply and demand by giving the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat a price increase of $2,500 and the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat an increase of $1,950 for 2016. In return, customers get new standard equipment, including Laguna leather and navigation.
Kuniskis also spoke with Detroit News about broader plans for the Hellcat brand. Dodge has sold roughly 4,500 Hellcats so far in 2015 and plans to double production next year. The previously limited supply meant several customers spent months on waiting lists, which often led to dealers taking deposits for orders they weren’t certain could be fulfilled. In response, Dodge has cleared orders of 2015 Hellcats and reset them for 2016, though customers who initially ordered 2015 cars will get a 2016 at the same cost. A new ordering system also ensures that dealers can’t take deposits for cars they can’t deliver.
The production bottle neck was apparently caused by a limited number of dynamometers at the factory. Each Hellcat engine requires a rigorous 42-minute test, and Dodge has remedied this with expanded dynamometer capacity. Now that Dodge has the capacity to meet demand, expect continued Hellcat sales growth, even despite the minimal price increase.
Forget what they say, these are the glory days of muscle. Sure, carburetors and glass packs are out, but direct fuel injection, variable-flow exhaust pipes, and computers have revolutionized the way modern street and track fighters do battle. We’ve pitted three of the most purpose-built machines together to see not only which car would win on the track, but which car would be the easiest to live with on a daily basis.
The competitors all hail from the U.S. of A. and sport snarling engines making huge amounts of power, all sent to the rear wheels though a manual transmission. They’re brash and unapologetic, unforgivably fast, and diabolically cool. Though they’ve all got the performance creds, do they have what it takes to impress the missus enough for a purchase to occur?
Our three contenders are the SRT (now back to Dodge) Viper, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.
In order for this to be a fair fight, we’ve got to price these cars correctly. Starting with the Viper, its base MSRP is comes in at $102,485 — well over that of the Vette and Z/28 — but considering the hard time Dodge has had selling the sultry snake, there are dealer incentives to be had. According to a few price-checking websites, a 2014 base Viper can be had in the mid $90,000 range.
The Camaro Z/28, on the other hand, starts out at $73,300 — but that’s bare-bones stock without air conditioning. Another $1,150 makes the car livable in the summertime. Its total cost comes to $76,150 after destination and the gas-guzzler tax.
The Vette represents the bargain of the bunch, coming in at $70,985 in its top-line, 3LT trim fitted with the Z51 Performance Package, Magnetic Ride, Performance exhaust, and Competition Sport seats. It may be the highest equipped here, but will its least-powerful engine be able to keep up?
Click past the jump to find out.
There is no denying the pony car wars are raging hotter than ever. With the Chevy Camaro boasting the ZL1 and new Z/28, the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang coming to market soon, and Dodge presumably working on an outrageous halo engine for the Challenger, the segment is on fire. Well, things are getting a little less “presumable” for Dodge these days.
According to Allpar, one of their contributors shot a photo of a T-shirt worn by SRT staff members while at SRT’s annual Spring Festival of LXs. That shirt sported the menacing image you see above – and what is likely the logo for the new 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI engine.
Rumors suggest the Hellcat HEMI will crank out some 650 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque, besting even the mighty SRT Viper’s 640 horses and 600 pound-feet. The Hellcat’s numbers make sense, considering the standard output of the current, naturally aspirated, 6.4-liter HEMI in the Challenger and both the TorqueFlite and Tremec six-speed manual transmissions are capable of handling even more power.
Though Allpar says SRT’s CEO Ralph Gilles told their contributor the Challenger would debut in just under three months, most suspect the new Hellcat-powered Challenger will appear at the New York Auto Show happening April 16th and 17th. It’s appearance will also likely usher in the next generation of Challenger, as we’ve caught them testing around the streets of Detroit.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
With cars like the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, and to a lesser extent, the GTO, bringing back the nameplates and style of the classic muscle cars of the ‘60s and ‘70s, it makes sense that people will be clamoring for their favorite car to return as well. One of the biggest and the loudest of these groups is the Mopar boys asking for a new Barracuda.
There had been several rumors that Dodge and the SRT team had been working on possibly modifying the Challenger platform to bring a new ‘Cuda to the market (we even made renders), but it now seems those plans are thoroughly shut down.
At the recent Chicago Auto Show, Automobile Magazine sat down with Ralph Gilles, SRT president to ask him about the return of the Barracuda name. In short, he says it won’t be happening anytime soon.
Hit the jump for a full rundown of what Automobile learned, and to hear why Ralph says he won’t be working on a new ‘Cuda.
Chrysler revealed the current 6.4-liter, HEMI V-8 engine back in 2005, but it didn’t see use until the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 rolled out. Since then, the engine has found itself under the hoods of many Chrysler vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8, Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
Now, SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles said that the company is considering replacing the current HEMI engine, but not before the end of the decade. And that’s because customers are still very much in love with the HEMI engine, but research also revealed that customers would also accept some changes in the lineup.
In a recent interview, Gilles said: "We are only making it because our customers want it. They love it. They love how it sounds, how simple it is, the elegance of it, it’s so reliable, and the torque."
When the current HEMI is replaced, you wouldn’t be surprised to see that SRT will decide to offer something other than a naturally aspirated V-8. This leads us to the possibility of smaller-displacement, turbocharged engines. This allows SRT to offer more powerful engines — on paper, that is — and reduced fuel consumption.
Click past the jump to read more about the current HEMI 6.4 liter V-8 engine.
SRT chief, Ralph Giles, isn’t the type to back down from a challenge. So when Chevrolet unveiled the track-focused Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, nobody was surprised when Giles told Motor Trend that his brand "was preparing for an answer" to the Z/28.
So the onus now turns to Dodge’s resident muscle car, the Challenger, to pick up and answer the call. Giles didn’t go into specific details regarding what that "answer" was going to be, but there’s already speculation that a Challenger will be that steed and it will come with what folks expect to be a doozy of a powertrain.
As far as expectations are concerned, ours is that SRT will fit a modified version of its 6.4-liter Hemi V-8. You know, the one that currently produces 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Add a couple of tweaks here and there and that output can easily be bumped up to around 500 horsepower, right around the same figure the Camaro Z/28 currently provides.
In addition to the more powerful engine, SRT could also make the Challenger lighter with the use of carbon-fiber parts to go with lighter suspension, bigger brakes and new track-focused wheels.
All this, of course, is a matter of conjecture. Yet we do know that SRT has something planned up its sleeve. Ralph Giles isn’t the type to double-talk, so when he says that an answer is coming, you can pretty much take that to the bank.
The 2012 SEMA Show is about dazzling the world with the capabilities of tuning companies and it takes a strong presence to be able to pull out ahead of the crowd. Chrysler Group’s Mopar and SRT brands are attempting that very feat by teaming up with comedic ventriloquist, Jeff Dunham.
For this build, Dunham is putting aside Walter (the retired, grumpy old man), Achmed (the dead terrorist), Peanut (the hyperactive, purple-skinned "woozle"), and Jose Jalapeño on a Stick (well, that one’s pretty self-explanatory) so that he can team up with Chrysler on "Project Ultraviolet," the tuning package that started off as a Dodge Challenger SRT8. The purpose behind this build is for Chrysler to show off some newly developed technology and a brand new engine. Nothing else is said about the car in this video, but there are two more videos to follow before the 2012 SEMA Auto Show opens its doors.
Are we excited to see what this purple Challenger has to offer? In the words of Jose Jalapeno on a Stick, "Siiiiii, señor!"
Hit the jump to read more on the Dodge Challenger SRT Project Ultraviolet by Jeff Dunham.
The details on the upcoming SRT Barracuda are still very scarce and we aren’t expecting to hear more until sometime in late 2013, at the earliest. There are, of course, the occasional leaks and the inadvertent video evidence of its existence, but nothing too concrete. We all have our assumptions, given the nature of the SRT line, that the SRT Barracuda will be a hulking V-8 powered machine set to rip the fender wells from future 4-cylinder Mustangs and Camaros.
Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The SRT lineup is a growing brand in itself, much like the Ram lineup. Plus, with Chrysler now being in bed with Fiat, we all know that Chrysler likely won’t build any other cars that don’t have a Fiat relative somewhere. Not to mention that Fiat is in need of a newer rear-wheel-drive platform. This brings us to our point that the SRT `Cuda very well may be a full-line vehicle. By that, we mean one that has a 4-cylinder, V-6 and multiple V-8 options.
According to reports, the SRT Barracuda should come in at a full eight inches shorter than the Challenger it will replace, giving it an optimal size for Fiat to use. With this shorter body, the `Cuda is also set to drop a few hundred pounds, which will make it more even with the Mustang and Camaro that the Challenger is simply monstrous compared to.
Now add in the fact that the EU standards and new CAFÉ regulations are going to force SRT to up its mpg and lower its emissions and you can see exactly why the Barracuda may have more than just a bulky V-8 engine powering it. We will likely see a boosted 4- or 6-cylinder engine gracing the bottom end of the SRT Barracuda range with your typical array of 5.7- and 6.4-liters playing at the top. Without that, all that SRT has to offer up to the CAFÉ standards is the gas-guzzling SRT Viper, and that simply won’t do. Nor will it work for the EU standards that Fiat has to live up to.
We’ll keep an ear out for any more information that we can dig up.
The SRT Viper is one of the hottest models on the tip of all of our tongues and we are all excited to see it hit showrooms in November. We have seen many weird things, however, when it comes to its official release. In a report, we learned that only about 15 to 20 percent of all Chrysler dealerships will “earn” the right to sell it by having their entire team trained on the car, among other odd qualifiers.
Well, we have finally found out exactly what this all boils down to for dealerships. The “training” program that Chrysler is making dealerships put their employees through will run the dealers a whopping $5,000 to have completed. Following that, the dealership still has to pay an additional $20,000 just for the right to sell the Viper, given the dealership meets all of the customer service criteria.
That brings the grand total to sell the viper to $25,000, or roughly one-quarter of the price for one base model SRT Viper. We are all for Chrysler wanting to get this release right, but to gouge your dealers like that is simply inexcusable. Regardless of how much money you may think dealerships make, keep in mind that the average new car sale nets the dealer less than $2,000 in profit.
That would mean that a dealership would have to sell roughly 10 to 15 SRT Vipers (at the average profit number) to break even on bringing the damn thing into the showroom. I worked at a high-volume Dodge dealer and allow me to tell you that the two Vipers we had on the showroom floor never left their spot on the floor – even for a test drive – in the year I worked there.
Chrysler is likely making far more profit on the SRT Viper than the dealers will and it needs to step up and provide these cars at a lower rate than $25K. The $5,000 training fee is understandable, but $20K just to “earn” the right to have it grace your dealership’s lot… Yeah, we feel a collective “Screw You Chrysler” coming from the majority of dealerships.
Chrysler’s Viper conversion from Dodge to the new SRT name wasn’t going to venture down the new path on its own. Rumors have been floating around that the company was also reviving the "Barracuda" name as a replacement for the current Dodge Challenger, but Automotive News is adding a side note to those rumors.
Turns out, the Challenger will be replaced with the Barracuda, but not entirely. The SRT Barracuda will take the place of the Challenger SRT8, but the standard Challenger will maintain its branding. This coincides with SRT’s goal of only producing high-performance sports cars; the 305 HP Challenger doesn’t quite fit the bill.
The future Dodge Challenger will be entering its new generation in 2015, so we’ll see the SRT Barracuda around the same time. The new Barracuda will be built on an entirely new platform and will be powered by a new 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 that will debut in 2014.