Hellcat Hemi Dodge Challenger SRT Could Pack More Power than the Viper
While speaking with Hot Rod Magazine, SRT CEO Ralph Gilles made this intriguing comment that has spurred new discussions about the power output of the Hellcat Hemi powered Dodge Challenger: "We have a situation where, you know-- we may have a situation--where the flagship car is not the most powerful car in our arsenal. So we have an internal horsepower race as well as an external one."
Just to be clear, the flagship car for both the SRT brand and the Chrysler Group as a whole is the 2014 SRT Viper. The Viper is powered by an 8.4L V10 that produces 640 horsepower and 600lb-ft of torque so if it were not the most powerful car in the arsenal, that would indicate that the next generation SRT Challenger packing the new supercharged Hellcat Hemi will offer more than 640 horsepower.
Current speculation across the various social networking sites and enthusiast community forums suggest that the Hellcat Hemi will be a supercharged 6.2L V8 with as much as 680 horsepower. That number seems to be incredible almost to the point of being unbelievable, but we should keep in mind that the likely goal of the SRT engineers in developing the Hellcat Hemi powered SRT Challenger is to be the most powerful American muscle car ever.
To this point, the most powerful American muscle car (or American full factory production car in general) is the current Ford Shelby Mustang GT500. That supercharged monster packs a 5.8L V8 that makes 662 horsepower and 631lb-ft of torque with the current SRT Viper ranking second with 640 horsepower and 600lb-ft of torque and the C6 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 slips in third with 638 horsepower and 604lb-ft of torque. The most powerful Chevrolet Camaro is the ZL1, with 580 horsepower and 556lb-ft of torque.
Even if the Hellcat Dodge Challenger has only a shade more power than the SRT Viper – say 650 horsepower and 610lb-ft of torque – it would create the internal horsepower race that Gilles referenced, but it wouldn’t make the Challenger the most powerful muscle car ever. With that in mind, I expect that SRT may actually aim for the 680hp figure as to give the brawny Challenger a comfortable advantage in power over the GT500 Mustang.
Considering that the other SRT Hemi V8s have had very similar horsepower and torque figures, there is a good chance that the 6.2L Hellcat Hemi will also have a massive lead in torque over anything else sold in the US outside of heavy duty diesel pickups.
While there has been some question lately as to when we will meet the 2015 Dodge Challenger and the new SRT Hellcat Hemi, I still have my fingers crossed to see the next Mopar muscle car – and possibly the most powerful muscle car ever – at the New York Auto Show next month.
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