Dodge Challenger Hellcat Beats Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in a Roll Race
A few weeks back, we featured a video from the team at Hennessey showing the C7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 roll racing against a new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. In that video, John Hennessey mentioned that they would like to have a race between the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the new Camaro ZL1, but they needed the owner of a stock Hellcat Challenger to bring his or her car to the Hennessey test track.
Well, it seems that they found someone, as this past weekend, Hennessey Performance published the video below on their YouTube channel, showing a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat racing – and beating – the new Camaro ZL1.
The Clash of the American Titans
Before getting into this highly anticipated race between the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, there is one key detail that we need to point out. The Hellcat Challenger is fitted with the lightning-quick 8-speed automatic and the Camaro ZL1 features the 6-speed manual transmission. The Hellcat Challenger’s transmission shifts very quickly, giving the Dodge an advantage over the manual transmission and even though the person driving the Camaro is a skilled driver – it is obvious that he isn’t shifting the car as hard as he could be. In fact, in the post-race discussion, John Hennessey mentioned that the Camaro driver was not “speed shifting”.
At the same time, while the Camaro’s manual transmission isn’t getting from gear to gear as quickly as the Hellcat’s automatic transmission, the ZL1 transmission will send more power to the wheels than the automatic transmission, so this Camaro should have a few more wheel horsepower than one with the new 10-speed automatic.
Hennessey also explains that on their dyno, the Camaro ZL1 made around 570 wheel horsepower while the Challenger made 640 wheel horsepower, but the Chevrolet is around 500lbs lighter (per Hennessey’s comments) – resulting in a very similar power to weight ratio.
In the video below, John Hennessey drives the Plum Crazy Hellcat Challenger against the black Camaro ZL1 three times and in each of the runs, the two cars roll around a tight turn, get side by side and hit it hard when they reach the starting line. When the race begins, each car is going roughly 40 miles per hour and the race lasts for around 1,400 feet, so this is more or less a quarter mile roll race, starting at 40mph.
The racing action is filmed from a camera at the starting line, two cameras at the finish line and a camera on each car.
On the first run, the Challenger jumps out to an early lead and when the Camaro ZL1 driver shifts, the Hellcat hops far enough ahead that the race was effectively over. From the finish line cameras, it looks like the Hellcat is about a length ahead of the Camaro.