Dodge Boss: No Production Limits for Hellcat Charger or Challenger
When I attended the first wave of the 2015 Dodge Challenger media drive in Portland Oregon, we got to meet all of the 2015 Challengers, but the main focus was on the 707 horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat. While the representatives from the Chrysler Group, SRT and the Dodge brand talked about all of the new models – from the powerful V6 to the new R/T Scat Pack to the Hellcat Hemi – the focus of the media was on the models that offer more power than any American production car ever.
No Production Limits Mentioned at First
While at the event, the media and the folks from Dodge talked about all sorts of information on the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat including the price, specifics on the engine and the rest of the drivetrain, the performance capabilities and the unique exterior design that separates the Hellcat powered models from the rest of the 2015 Challenger lineup. What we did not discuss was any sort of production constraint…but shortly after the first few groups of journalists spent time with the Hellcat Challenger, a report from Edmunds insisted that the Hellcat models would indeed be limited production and with 1,200 units expected – the Challenger SRT Hellcat could be a tough one to get ahold of once they reach dealerships. Worse yet, low production leads to an excess of demand that would allow dealerships to send the price through the roof as prospective buyers line up to pay top dollar for one of the most powerful American production cars of all time.
Since that report surfaced, it has spread like wildfire as critics of the Hellcat Challenger have been quick to insist that it will simply become another high dollar collectable that will be purchased for well over MSRP and then stored away in a garage. Fortunately, it seems that the Edmunds report was incorrect, as Dodge brand president and CEO has made it very clear that the company has no intention of capping production.
Tim Kuniskis: No Production Limits on Hellcat Models
Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis was quick to announce at the debut of the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat that reports of the Hellcat Challenger being limited to just 1,200 units was totally incorrect. He said that with both the 707 horsepower Challenger and Charger, the company plans to build as many as they can sell so if they receive 600 orders for the Hellcat Challenger and 800 orders for the Hellcat Charger – they will build 600 Hellcat Challengers and 800 Hellcat Chargers for the 2015 model year. Along those same lines, if Dodge receives 2,500 orders for the Hellcat Challenger and 2,900 orders for the Hellcat Charger – they will built 5,400 Dodge muscle cars packing the supercharged 6.2L Hemi.
Of course, I have to point out that while the 707 horsepower Challenger and Charger are not subject to any specific production limit, there is probably a maximum capacity for the Hellcat models as the company can only build so many of the 6.2L supercharged Hemi engines in a given amount of time. Between the intricate assembly process and the high performance break-in/testing period on the dyno that every single Hellcat Hemi is subject to, this 707hp engine is one of the most time consuming and labor intensive engines in the Chrysler arsenal. Because of that, the Hemi engine plant cannot make as many Hellcat engines as they can, say, the 5.7L Hemi that is used across so many vehicles. In other words, Dodge doesn’t have a production limit in mind for the Hellcat powered Charger and Challenger, but the availability of the package specific features – most notably the Hellcat Hemi itself – could effectively prevent the Dodge brand from selling 20,000 Hellcat models a year.
Realistically, there isn’t a good chance of Dodge selling 20,000 examples of a 707hp muscle car whether it has four doors or two, but the fact that there is no planned production limit for either of the SRT Hellcat models should help keep the price near MSRP…especially a few months after they have become available to the public.