The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Rumored for Debut This Weekend in California
First off, the belief that the Hellcat Hemi slated to power the next generation Dodge Challenger SRT is based strictly on rumors and insider information. Neither the Chrysler Group nor the group which organizes the Spring Festival have stated that there will be any debuts at this weekend’s big meeting of Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum owners in Southern California. We do know that the Chrysler Group will have some corporate presence at the show and in addition to company big wigs coming out to support the LX crowd, there is a chance that the folks from the Street and Racing Technology division could bring something special with them from Detroit.
It is rumored that the something special could be the supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 that has been referred to for months as the “Hellcat Hemi” and it is widely expected that the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT will call upon this new blown Hemi to be one of the most powerful cars sold in America. Ralph Gilles hinted last year that the 2014 New York International Auto Show would bring about some big news for the Challenger and many people (including yours truly) believe that the 2014 Big Apple show will feature the debut of the next Dodge Challenger. Because of that, it is hard to imagine that the Chrysler Group would introduce the next generation Challenger in front of such a small group of enthusiasts, but the company could go two different ways to show off the Hellcat Hemi without revealing the next generation Challenger.
First, SRT could simply roll the Hellcat Hemi out in front of the crowd on an engine stand rather than driving it out in a new Dodge Challenger. This engine has been discussed to extensively that just having it at the big Mopar show on an engine stand would be big news – especially if the automaker offers up any of the preliminary specifications on the new supercharged Hemi. We don’t need to see it in a Challenger or anything else; just having the company acknowledge the existence of this supercharged Hemi with a rough power range will most certainly send shockwaves through the performance world…especially if the Hellcat Hemi offers the kinds of power numbers that so many people expect.
The other option is that the Chrysler Group could bring out one of the many Hellcat Hemi powered Dodge Challenger “test mules” that have been captured testing around the US. Even if they brought out a Challenger test mule covered in protective cladding and popped the hood to show off the worked out Hemi – along with offering similar information on the Hellcat to my first idea of showing off the engine on a stand – would make big performance world news. Going this route would draw even more attention as we would likely get to hear the Hellcat Hemi running under the hood of a 2014 Dodge Challenger test car.
The bad news is that there were rampant Hellcat Hemi rumors leading up to the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and those rumors turned out to be bunk. On the surface, it seems less likely that Chrysler would debut the Hellcat Hemi at such a comparatively small event (relative to the Detroit Auto Show), but the company has used these enthusiast events to make debuts in the past. If nothing else, simply showing off the engine in concept form will most certainly help keep the rumormill running strong until the Dodge Challenger makes its debut later this year.
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