Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat revealed
Dodge unveils the world's most powerful production saloon, the loony 707bhp Charger SRT Hellcat
With tyre smoke still lingering from the recently launched 707bhp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Dodge has now dropped its 6.2-litre HEMI V8 in the Charger too, creating the world's most powerful saloon car.
The company claims some staggering statistics for the car - in addition to the Hellcat's headline 707bhp figure, the supercharged HEMI also produces 650lb ft of torque - 337bhp and 255lb ft more than the standard 5.7-litre HEMI currently found in the chunky Dodge saloon.
The Hellcat's power unit is far from standard, featuring a forged-steel crankshaft, induction-hardened bearing surfaces, forged-alloy pistons and heat-treated aluminium alloy cylinder heads. Less mechanical and more aesthetic are the die-cast aluminium rocker covers painted in iconic HEMI orange.
A heavy-duty TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission directs power to a set of 9.5-inch wide rear wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tyres. Hook it up correctly - probably not an easy task - and drivers should match the claimed quarter-mile time of 11 seconds. At its peak the Hellcat is good for 204mph, while the 390mm Brembo two-piece brakes help yield a 0-100-0mph assault of 13 seconds.
To reach the full output, the Charger SRT Hellcat features the same two-key system as its Challenger Hellcat stablemate. The black key limits the engine to a reduced output and also features a valet mode to prevent the car becoming an overnight YouTube sensation - the engine rev limit drops to 4000rpm, first-gear is locked out, up-shifts come earlier, paddle-shifters are disabled and the car's electronic stability program defaults to 'on'.
The red key is much more exciting and one that few (if any) valets will ever get to see. Here, the full 707bhp output is unleashed, the paddles are activated, ESP is now switchable and Pirelli shareholders break out the champagne in anticipation.
Visual changes over the regular Charger amount to a unique front grille and bumper design, a new bonnet, new rear bumper and rear spoiler. According to Dodge, the front takes cues from the iconic second-generation Charger, losing the standard Charger's 'crosshair' grille. The large air intake on the bonnet is inspired by the original Dodge Viper, flanked by two further grilles helping extract heat from the engine bay.
At the rear is a pair of four-inch tailpipes and a subtle bootlid spoiler, while the Hellcat's profile differs little from that of the regular Charger - just a set of 20-inch 'Slingshot' split-seven spoke alloy wheels and the hint of a lower front splitter marks it out as the high-output model.
Inside, drivers get a mix of leather and Alcantara surfaces, a distinctive T-bar transmission shifter and the obligatory flat-bottomed, SRT-branded steering wheel.
Dodge has not yet announced pricing for the new model, but confirms it will be built at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario plant from early 2015.