2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Patrick Rall's picture

Manual Transmission Outselling Automatic in Dodge Challenger Hellcat

When the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was introduced with a 707 horsepower supercharged Hemi mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission, it was widely believed that sales of the self-shifting model would eclipse the manual transmission, but during the first phase of ordering, the proper manual transmission is outselling the high tech automatic.

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is offered with the buyer’s choice of a 6-speed manual transmission that was borrowed from the Dodge Viper and a newly designed 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic. While most people expected that the self-shifting transmission would be the more popular of the two gearboxes – early sales have told a different story as the manual transmission has outsold the automatic by a ratio of about 55/45.

The New TorqueFlite Arrives
Since the information on the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat began trickling out, the majority of marketing attention has included the new 8-speed automatic and there are plenty of good reasons for that. First and foremost, the TorqueFlite automatic was the transmission used for the NHRA certified quarter mile times of 11.2 with stock tires and 10.8 with drag radials. Those are smoking fast times and they can be achieved with less experience than a comparable Challenger with the 6-speed manual so for those looking to go fast, the TorqueFlite is the way to go.

Hellcat Galleries:
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in TorRed
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in Sublime
Live images of the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat debut

Next, there is the fact that the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with the 8-speed automatic offers an impressive EPA rating of 22 miles per gallon on the highway. This fuel economy level doesn’t allow buyers to avoid a Gas Guzzler Tax, but it is still a mighty impressive figure for the 6th most powerful production car in the world.

So the 8-speed automatic transmission makes the Hellcat Challenger quicker (in theory), easier to drive and more efficient than the manually shifted models – why are people buying the manual model 10% more often? Because for the first buyers, the manual transmission is just plain more fun to drive.

The Manual Transmission Still Rocks
I have had the extreme pleasure of driving the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with each of the transmissions and were I ordering a 707hp Challenger right now, it would have the 6-speed manual transmission. The automatic transmission might make for the quicker stock drag racer, but that doesn’t replace the added fun to drive factor that you can only get with a proper manual transmission. I love driving a manual transmission and I believe that banging my own gears is worth what little compromise comes with the third pedal. Obviously, the majority of the first buyers of the Hellcat Challenger feel the same way, with 55% of them opting for the 6-speed manual.

The TorqueFlite Should Even the Score
While the majority of first buyers of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat are opting for the 6-speed manual transmission, it is expected that the figures could even out as times goes on. These hardcore first-run buyers are more likely to opt for the more traditional manual transmission, but as time goes on, expect those folks who are focused more on going fast to buy their Hellcat with an automatic and even the numbers out.

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Comments

Can torque news get us the total number of hellcats ordered? That is the question on a lot of people's mind with fears of Dodge not being able to deliver all of the orders
That is exactly right. People are saying so many things, that you cannot order a sunroof, that the Hellcat is going to be on the streets in 2016, blah, blah and more blah. It will be great if somebody tells us the truth.
It won't hold. These are just collectors hoping to cash in on them. Once regular buyers start buying, the numbers will change significantly, probably to the area of around 75/25 auto to manual. People don't like driving the antiquated manual any more. Too slow, not worth the extra effort. I haven't worked on a customers car with a manual box since the late 1990's. People who are after performance buy automatics or dual clutches.
Your FOS that's why full on race cars have manual tranny's which have less weight on the fly wheel and stronger. Auto's are there for chicks and people who are poser's like you.
What race cars are you talking about? If you are talking NHRA cars they only use auto transmissions. Also, many of the euro exotic cars have gone to dual clutch and automatics.
Correct. After all they don't want to risk spilling their lattes
As with most muscle cars, especially Mopars, a lot of the buyers are enthusiasts with a love of Mopar above all else, and history and tradition go hand-in-hand with that. There's a lot of sentiment there, and though 6 forward gears as opposed to 3 or 4 is a big difference from the early muscle car era, I believe that a lot of these will be purchased by people that just want the car and don't care about being two or three tenths faster on the quarter mile, if they even ever see the drag strip. The name "High end tuner" makes me assume that you're completely devoured by the idea of being the fastest one out there... that's not the case for everyone. Granted, the way that things are going, more people are driving automatics because they're easier and people have gotten complacent and lazy behind the wheel, but in the world of enthusiasts and purists, manual is sometimes the only option.
I am not a collector jumping on a bandwagon I ordered a 6 speed because they are so much more fun to drive.
I just bought the RT Classic yesterday with a MANUAL transmission. I will say that honestly it is WORK to drive this car, especially in city streets. You have to be on top of shifting gears since this car has so much power and it is jittery when it hits RPMs above 3,000. I assume an automatic would take some of the guesswork and jitters out. That said, the manual ROCKS. Nothing compares. Plus you can use cruise control, so I get up to 25 mph (my speed limit in town) and cruise control it and things are mellow and I can relax a bit. If I want to drive a manual and be lazy, that's what my Honda 6 cylinder is for...
Back down Hell Cat. Trade that crown to the new fastest sedan in the world! An electric car besting your 0-60 by .5 seconds. The new king. Tesla model SP85D 0-60 3.2 seconds.
No one cares about electric cars yet... I much prefer the sound, and especially feel, of an ICE with a manual transmission and knowing that I can extend my range by a couple hundred miles in a matter of 2-3 minutes. Keep your couple tenths of a second... I'll get further, faster, in the long run.
Yeah.....whatever. Get a job moron.
Who wants a 2010 SRT SE 6 speed? I ordered a Black Hellcat w the automatic. I'll tell you why, my first ride was a 54 Internatiol P/U 4 speed/3 pedals love the manual and always have! The 2010 SRT factory shifter sucked, the dealer installed a Hurst and fresh air tube. What a difference like from rowing a boat to a Snap on ratchet. My mechanic tells me it's the fastest one he's ever driven and the only one with a Hurst. Additionally the 2nd gear bypass tends to work whenyou don't want it to and was told it can't be disabled. So why did I choose the Hellcat auto? First it's faster but with more control out of the hole. Who wants to take one hand off the wheel to shift into 6th at 155mph?
Who wants a 2010 SRT SE 6 speed? I ordered a Black Hellcat w the automatic. I'll tell you why, my first ride was a 54 Internatiol P/U 4 speed/3 pedals love the manual and always have! The 2010 SRT factory shifter sucked, the dealer installed a Hurst and fresh air tube. What a difference like from rowing a boat to a Snap on ratchet. My mechanic tells me it's the fastest one he's ever driven and the only one with a Hurst. Additionally the 2nd gear bypass tends to work whenyou don't want it to and was told it can't be disabled. So why did I choose the Hellcat auto? First it's faster but with more control out of the hole. Who wants to take one hand off the wheel to shift into 6th at 155mph?
New Lambo's don't have a 3rd pedal... the Auto Hellcat has paddle shifters and it lets you shift down/up regardless of RPMs so you can have fun with that too. I've owned many manual transmissions in my life (all in performance cars) and driving them in city traffic sucks. I'm going with the auto... I'm more torn on color than anything. When is B5 blue going to be available???
Good to hear it. I will be ordering one in the spring. Not a hellcat. I want a r/t scat pack. less powerful but bigger engine and 0-60 is really close. Put a supercharger on it for 6 grand might make more power for less money. I won't supercharge it though
Here's my ?? Guys hope you's can help me thinking seriously about getting one all my friends have well modified Camaros Corvettes and time to time we drag race to see who's car is boss but we never race 1/4 mile always from 30mph and up and all there cars are Manual so what I'm trying to say if I get a auto and race my buddy's manual would the stick be faster from rolling and higher speeds for example lets you's the same car one manual ones a auto.????
manual cars have less power loss from flywheel to the ground. so against an auto you will have a power advantage. the rest is up to you and your skill. And besides whats more important? beating your friend, or the fun and the sensation only a manual transmission gives you. And when you do win. the victory is much sweeter.
Manual transmissions have less power loss through the drivetrain to the wheels. So against an auto you will have a power advantage assuming you have roughly the same engine output. If you got skills you can beat em'. And the experience is much more enjoyable with a manual transmission. For me the manual transmission is the way to go.