2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Review

?2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat at a glance

BODY STYLE: Full-size performance sedan.
DRIVE METHOD: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive.
ENGINE: 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 (707 hp, 650 lb/ft)
FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium recommended) Not available
TOW RATING: Not recommended
CARGO CAPACITY: 456 litres (16.1 cu ft)
PRICE: $64,495 not including $1,695 shipping fee

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat redefines North American muscle

WASHINGTON, DC: The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is the fastest full size sedan in the world ? period.

This made-in-Brampton road rocket redefines the meaning of North American muscle.

With its 707 hp supercharged 6.2-litre Hemi V8, it covers the quarter mile in 11.0 seconds on street tires not slicks. With a top speed limited to 204 mph, the performance eye-popper is a 0-100-0 mph in less than 13 seconds.

With a bargain basement starting price of $64,495 the only full size sedan that even comes close is the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG with 577 hp turbo V8 at $158,400 or perhaps the 621 hp V12 S65 at $249,500.

Talk about bang for the buck!

It starts as a SRT (Street and Racing Technologies) equipped Charger and then gets the very special ?Hellcat? engine thus the model name and marks the first time Dodge has gone to supercharging.

It is so strongly built that the crank can deal with combustion pressures of 110 bar (1,595 psi), which is roughly the same as having the weight of five sedans standing on each piston through two revolutions. And speaking of revs, it has been tested to 13,000 rpm.

At this writing NRCan fuel consumption numbers were still to be calculated.

Just walking up to it lets you know this is really something different with a larger power bulge in the hood plus cold air intake as well at two air extractors to exhaust heat and air turbulence.

The front fascia and grille are blacked out, giving it a sinister look, abetted by the front air splitter with cooling ducts.

While there is a strong family resemblance between the new Charger and the outgoing model, all body panels, the exterior trim and the lights (all LED except for the projector headlights) have been changed.

The 20-inch seven-spoke aluminum wheels come in standard matte black but there is an interesting bronze colour called Brass Monkey. Tires are Pirelli P Zero three-seasons and Y rated for the high speeds the Hellcat can obtain.

The 0-100-0 mph time is due to the 15.4-inch twin rotor Brembo brakes up front. The size of dinner platters, the rotors have six-piston calipers are the biggest brakes ever on a Dodge.

Power goes to the rear wheels via a new heavy-duty eight-speed transmission.

A new feature called Drive Modes lets the driver customize driving response by controlling the transmission shift speed, engine power, paddle shifters, traction and suspension.

There are three basic modes for the Hellcat ? Street, Sport or Track.

Perhaps the neatest thing is the Hellcat comes with two key fobs.

The red fob makes full power available, while the black fob provides reduced power. There is a also a Valet Mode reducing engine speed to 4,000 rpm and also disabling the paddle shifters, locking out first gear and Launch Control while having stability control locked on Full-On. A four-digit PIN the driver selects can deactivate the Valet Mode.

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Interior

The Hellcat may have started out as a humble family sedan but you?d never know it by the interior, which is driver oriented starting with the SRT-branded seats and flat-bottom, heated steering wheel.

Main instrumentation consists of a new seven-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster and a new instrument panel centre stack with the latest generation 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen media centre.

Just a small sampling of the technology in the Hellcat includes the optional Uconnect Access system, Uconnect Access Services with roadside assistance, theft-alarm notification, voice texting, new 3-D navigation and the ability to turn the Charger into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

But it is the driving you want to know about and everything the Dodge people promised is there.

At startup, there is a big heave as the crank rolls through its first revolution and comes to life with a low rumble that lifts with the slightest prod of the pedal.

Stab the pedal and Hellcat comes off the line like a cannon shell from a howitzer and, believe it not, builds from there.

Under full throttle the supercharger is spinning at 14,000 rpm and uses 30,000 litres of air per minute ? yes per minute.

That leads to the most wonderful high-pitched supercharger whine that, combined with the basso tone of the exhaust, is the kind of thing you read about but rarely experience.

Even at idle, blip the throttle and there is a sharp snap from the exhaust.

Rolling through the hill country of West Virginia, there was a chance to toy with suspension settings and drive modes, but with all the torque the normal Street mode is all you need.

The big Brembos are very effective but not grabby. The brake pedal is very firm but you can modulate it with the proper application.

The seats are more luxury car than sports sedan in feel and support but the big bolsters hold you in well enough.

During the presentation of the full 2015 Charger lineup that also included the potent SRT 392 and R/T, Dodge said these cars make it possible to own the fastest sedan in world yet you can take your family along for the ride.

At the press briefing they showed a child car seat with Charger design influences. It not on sale now, but it should be.

And speaking of family, this is a full-size sedan and the trunk cargo volume is 456 litres (16.1 cu ft) which is about as big as it gets.

As mentioned above, all Chargers including the Hellcat are built in Brampton that is at or nearly at capacity.

Chrysler Canada has already stated demand for the Charger Hellcat is way beyond what they expected and that doesn?t include orders for the two-door Challenger Hellcat.

My advice ? put your money down now and own an instant classic.

>2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Engine

  • 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Review
  • 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Review
  • 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Review
  • 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Review
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