How the Hellcat Challenger Got its Face
When the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was first introduced online last summer, we didn’t know how much power the beast would offer, but we knew that it packed a supercharged 6.2L engine known as the Hellcat Hemi. To make sure that it was crystal clear that this particular 2015 Challenger was supercharged, Dodge put a chrome badge on the front fenders that advertised the fact that it featured forced induction.
All of the early images of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat had the brawny muscle car sporting the Supercharged badges on the fenders and even as the media was driving the first wave of Hellcat Challengers at the Portland International Raceway launch – these 707hp muscle cars still said supercharged on the fenders. The gallery above with a Sublime Green Hellcat Challenger with a Satin Black hood from the online launch even has the supercharged font badges. However, when the 2015 Hellcat Challenger made its grand public debut at the 2014 Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit, the supercharged badges were gone and in their place was the Hellcat head logo that has become so very popular.
Hellcat Head Logo
Even after I had driven the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat on the road and on the track, I still hadn’t seen the Hellcat head logo. This aggressive cat’s head logo didn’t see the light of day until the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat debuted made its media debut a few days before the Woodward Dream Cruise. Unlike the Challenger with the Hellcat Hemi, the supercharged Charger didn’t have supercharged badges but instead, the Hellcat head logo was affixed to both front fenders.
A few days later, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the sidewalks of Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise and in the huge Mopar display, the Hellcat powered Challenger and Charger were key attractions. When the show filled in, attendees got a big surprise when they saw that the supercharged badges on the Hellcat Challenger had been replaced with the same Hellcat head logos that were introduced on the Hellcat Charger. However, it was still widely expected that the Charger would get the Hellcat head logo while the Challenger got the supercharged badges.
According to the folks at Automotive News, after the Hellcat head logo debuted at Woodward, the Chrysler Group brains closely monitored the various social media sites and enthusiast forums, where they saw a great deal of interest in the Hellcat head logo. The company saw so much interest, in fact, that they made a last minute move to the Hellcat head logo on the Challenger when production began later in 2015.
That last minute change to the Hellcat head logo has proven to be a very good move, as the cartoon killer cat has become the face of the 707 horsepower Challenger and Charger – with a great many new Challenger owners covering the entire sides of their cars with the Hellcat head. Also, the fact that Dodge changed from the supercharged logo to the Hellcat head logo based on what their people read online shows just how important customer and enthusiast input is to automakers in this day and age.