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Reality Check: The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Wont Beat the C7 Z06

In many of the discussions around the internet pertaining to the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, there are some people who insist that this 600+ horsepower Challenger will be a proper muscle car that will beat the Corvette Z06 – but I am here to tell those folks that even if the Hellcat packs more power, the Z06 is going to have a decisive advantage.


The Chrysler Group has been pretty vague with reference to the power output of the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT, but they have promised at least 600 horsepower and at least 575lb-ft of torque. Some of the e-thugs online insist that the output of the Hellcat will equal that of the V10 under the hood of the SRT Viper and those same people seem to think that a new SRT Challenger with 640 horsepower and 600lb-ft of torque will beat the 2015 Corvette Z06. The basis of their claim is that the Challenger will have 640 horsepower while the Z06 will only have 625 horsepower.

You know, because just having more horsepower guarantees that a vehicle is faster than a vehicle with less power. Or not.

I would imagine that most people with any common sense realize that in a battle between a Corvette and a Challenger, the Dodge would need way more than 15 extra horsepower to outrun the C7 in any venue – be it a drag strip or a road course. However, for those folks who actually think that the big, bruising Challenger with 640hp would beat a C7 Corvette with 625, I feel the need to explain why that just won’t be the case.

The first problem is that much like the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 specs are not official. Although the badging on the dash board of the new Z06 at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit stated that it would have 625 horsepower and 635lb-ft of torque, those numbers are “at least” figures much like the 600 horsepower of the Hellcat Challenger. In other words, while the Challenger’s “at least 600hp and 575tq” could mean 640hp and 600lb-ft of torque, the Corvette’s “at least 625hp and 635tq” could just as easily mean 650hp and 650lb-ft of torque.

What these folks also seem to forget is that the Dodge Challenger is a big, heavy muscle car with a curb weight that will comfortably exceed 4,000lbs and based on the weight of the current (2014) models and the additions to the SRT Hellcat package, this 600+ horsepower Mopar muscle car could tip the scales in the 4,300lb range. On the other hand, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will likely weigh closer to 3,100lbs so even if the Challenger has a very modest advantage of 15 horsepower, the Z06 will have a massive power to weight ratio that will guarantee that the C7 Z06 will probably beat the SRT Hellcat Hemi pretty handily in pretty much any possible performance venue.

Oh, and for those folks who expect the SRT Hellcat Challenger to beat down the C7 Corvette Z06 and after reading this they are assuming that I am yet another journalist jumping on the Chevy bandwagon (or working for the GM advertising dollars), I should point out that I am the proud owner of several high performance Mopar vehicles. However, as much as I love my Mopars – I know that it will take far, far more than 640hp for the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat to beat a C7 Z06. It is fine to love a brand and the vehicles that the brand offers…but being unrealistic in your claims and expectations doesn’t do you or the enthusiast community any good.


rdsOLDschool (not verified)    June 4, 2014 - 10:16PM

I think your the only one comparing the Hellcat to the Z06. Certainly Dodge is not making that claim. Reality Check: The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat could beat the Camaro ZL1. That should be your story.

Auto Motive (not verified)    June 5, 2014 - 8:17AM

Come on man. Where in the hell did anyone think a Z06 at 3400 lbs vs a 4300 lb Challenger that has less hp would even come close. Then on the other hand the Z06 is a supercar and the Challenger hellcat a muscle car. How stupid is this article??????? Fire the author since he has no car knowledge wgt to hp ratio sports car to full size car.

Patrick Rall    June 5, 2014 - 10:04AM

Since neither of you two were capable of comprehending what was said above, I do not believe in any way, shape or form that the Challenger Hellcat will beat the Corvette Z06...but there are plenty of fanboys on the various interior forums and social networks clamoring on about how the Z06 is nothing compared to the Hellcat Challenger.

Chukwuma (not verified)    June 5, 2014 - 12:08PM

In reply to by Patrick Rall

The article was well written, it is stating that all the people that actually think the Hellcat, to stop thinking that. The two cars are different and that as much at they love the hellcat the ZO6 will NEVER EVER be defeated by this beast of a car. The actual specs are not out the weight class is way different. HENCE THE TITLE REALITY CHECK (Stop comparing the two cars and for people out there stop thinking the ZO6 will lose) So with that said, he is saying nice try but never going to happen.

Well that is what I got from it.

vtenpwr (not verified)    June 5, 2014 - 1:24PM

First off the Corvette is suppose to be a sport car,.....that competes with the Viper and other foreign sports cars,.........The Challenger was designed to compete in the Muscle Car catagory..(Pony car)....which untill now it was late to the Party...This attempt will help the car people out there that are sick of the Mustang..and Camaro ...........and if the Corvette is a Muscle car,..then it all fair and well for the Camaro to run against the Vette..

Bob Johnson (not verified)    June 5, 2014 - 2:26PM

Let's not forget about the tires folks. The Z06 comes with 335 mm wide rear tires while the Challenger's tire's are much smaller (near 245 mm). Look's like Dodge didn't upsize the tire. Unfortunately, it seems that the new Hellcat will be unable to use the extra power given it's forward bias weight distribution with little rubber. This is what happened with the GT500 (all years). It would cost too much money for Dodge and Ford to allow for extra tire size and as a result, we won't see it. However, it appears that the new Mustang GT350 (or whatever the name), comes with 295 mm tires. Kudos to Ford.

Eric Charette (not verified)    June 5, 2014 - 4:28PM

Dodge waits until the Shelby GT500 is gone for that? Wimpy. Why not 6.4 supercharged 750hp? That would make a new name and a REAL challenger.

Matt (not verified)    June 5, 2014 - 9:39PM

This is literally the first time I have heard a Hellcat/Z06 comparison. Apples and oranges and a pointless article

Jeff (not verified)    June 6, 2014 - 7:58AM

Apples to Apples, it should be a GT500/ZL1/Hellcat discussion. That would be an article I would like to see. There have been many articles involving the Challenger, but the normally aspirated SRT could never keep up. Now with all of them Supercharged it should be a good comparison. Unfortunately the GT500 is done for now, at least until the GT350(Turbo V6) comes out in 2016. One car from each of the big 3 would be great!!!

Matty G (not verified)    June 6, 2014 - 9:14AM

Why are we comparing USA to USA.
Your article should knock down foreign junk instead of USA cars.
Gilles goal was not to compete against the Vette, but instead blow the doors off the foreign garbage.
Dodge / Ford / Chevy all rule foreign cars suck.

phil (not verified)    June 6, 2014 - 12:57PM

Frankly, I'm not sure the "hell cat" would be able to beat the new Z/28 or old(-ish) ZL1 where it counts the most, on an actual race track.

James Bowen (not verified)    July 1, 2014 - 4:57PM

The Horse power rating for the hell cat came out today from Chrysler. 707 Hp so I think you might want to think again about your beloved corvette being able to take it down.

Morgan (not verified)    July 2, 2014 - 8:36AM

In reply to by James Bowen (not verified)

I like all cars. I tend to like the Challenger more because of its room, but at 707hp, it still won't beat the zo6. One guy said the C7 is a supercar. If so, then the Dodge has to be one since you say it will beat it. Its built for straight line. Just look at the body styles. That says everything. I wouldn't compare a 485 hp SRT8 to a ZO6, but Dodge choose to go to 707hp, so thats the attention it's going to get. That's just fact. The 4 biggest factors IMO is that the vette weighs 1000 less pounds and has wider (335 vs 275) and much better tires (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup vs Pirelli P-Zero). Also, it sits lower and is much more aerodynamic.

rdsOLDschool (not verified)    July 2, 2014 - 12:05AM

A little advise Patrick "Never say Never". You lost! What a kick in your rear to you and your fanboy vet!
Lets see if you can "Man up and redo that Reality Check again"!

Joe (not verified)    July 2, 2014 - 4:36PM

Or the at least 600 hp and 575 torque could be a complete lowball. Especially since they just came out with dyna results of 707 hp and 650 ft lb of torque. Lol

James Bowen (not verified)    July 2, 2014 - 6:10PM

In reply to by Joe (not verified)

It was not a dyno result. It was from the mouth of the engineer at Chrysler who worked on the engine. SO most powerful production car in America and the fastest production car. Yes faster than your ZO-6 and faster than the GT500. They made sure of that before they said it . Sorry to burst you bubble.

Thomas (not verified)    July 13, 2014 - 12:17AM

Congratulations to Dodge for coming out with a mean muscle car. Im a ford guy . One thing ford will always have over Dodge & Chevy is the aftermarket Department. The 2013 shelby GT500 is stock at 662hp sure but with a pulley upgrade , throttle body , and exhaust meaning axle backs only the 2013 shelby GT500 goes well into 750 hp AT THE REAR WHEELS. We dont know actually what the rear wheel horsepower is on the hellcat challenger until someone dynos it. Will it beat a C7 Z06 NO keep dreaming its hard for the shelby GT500 to keep up with the C7 base . We all shell see what the future holds shortly

HC (not verified)    July 7, 2015 - 11:14AM

I own both of these cars. The Hellcat would win if it wasn't such a incredible task of preventing the wheels from breaking loose and loosing traction. The Hellcat is a Monster making more the 707hp .