By Aaron Bragman on August 13, 2014
You knew it was coming. There was no way Dodge was going to make an engine like the Hellcat V-8, a 707-horsepower, supercharged monster motor, and limit its use to the 2015 Challenger SRT. Sure enough, Dodge proved the internet rumor mill right by unveiling the 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat sedan today, christening it the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.
What'll she do? Zero-to-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, two-tenths of a second quicker than a Challenger SRT Hellcat. The National Hot Rod Association has certified it as running the quarter mile in 11.0 seconds flat on street tires with a top speed of 204 mph. It's only 100 pounds heavier than the Challenger Hellcat, and it's faster than the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, BMW M5, Aston Martin Rapide or any other sedan you can name.
Outside, the Charger SRT receives significant styling changes. The new 2015 Charger got a little smoother and less imposing with its latest redesign, but the SRT treatment returns a little of that aggressiveness. Dodge touched nearly every body panel, including a new front bumper and grille that improves cooling airflow, functional hood scoops with heat extractors, a slightly revised side scallop in the body and a new rear end with a deeper bumper skirt and unique spoiler. The longer body and improved aerodynamics are what help the Charger Hellcat beat the Challenger Hellcat to 60 mph — it's 12 percent more aerodynamic, Dodge says.
The Charger Hellcat gets a little love inside too, but the changes are not as significant. They include a three-spoke, flat-bottom SRT steering wheel; two unique color combinations; big bolstered seats; and all the electronic screen upgrades that come with the regular 2015 Charger. It also features the SRT Performance Pages app, which allows the driver to modify settings for horsepower output, transmission shift speed, paddle shifter function, traction control, steering effort and suspension firmness. Chrysler's Uconnect multimedia system and an 8.4-inch touch-screen are standard.
Under the Hood
Under the hood is the same supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine that you'll find in the Challenger Hellcat, making the same 707-hp and 650 pounds-feet of torque. That power goes to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, modified for heavy-duty service to be able to handle all that power. The brakes have been upgraded as well, to Challenger Hellcat-spec 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers. Those are the largest front brakes Chrysler has ever put on a production car. The combination of powerful drivetrain and massive brakes enables the Charger Hellcat to go from zero to 100 mph back down to zero in less than 13 seconds.
Like the Challenger, it comes with two key fobs — one red, one black. The red one unlocks the full horsepower of the Charger Hellcat, while the black fob limits engine output. A Valet Mode is also available through the onboard computer, which significantly reduces engine output, limits the engine to 4,000 rpm, requires the transmission to start off in 2nd gear and shift sooner, disables the ability to turn off traction control, and keeps the traction, steering and suspension in Street mode. The Valet Mode can be disabled through a four-digit PIN entered on the car's touch-screen.
Pricing for the new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has not yet been announced and will be revealed when the car goes on sale in the first few months of 2015. The Challenger Hellcat is priced at $60,990 (including destination and gas-guzzler charges), and it's not unreasonable to expect that the Charger will actually be priced similarly if Dodge sticks to the pricing strategy that it has been following for the company's SRT models.
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Cars.com photos by Aaron D. Bragman/Manufacturer images
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron