Revisited: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Vs. 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
When it was announced that the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat would offer at least 600 horsepower and at least 575lb-ft of torque, there were a great many Mopar fans posting on Facebook, YouTube and many internet forums about how the Hellcat would allow the Challenger to beat the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. At the time, it was expected that the Z06 would pack 625 horsepower and 635lb-ft of torque while the Mopar lovers who expected the Challenger to beat up the Z06 to pack somewhere in the area of 640 horsepower. After reading these views from the Mopar faithful, I did a piece detailing why I didn’t think that the Hellcat Challenger would be able to compete with the Corvette Z06.
As a result of that piece, I received tons of comments and tons of hate mail from both sides of the argument with both Challenger and Corvette fans chiming in to tell me that I was wrong…even though I was actually agreeing with some of them. GM fans insisted that I was a moron for suggesting that the Challenger could beat the Z06, although those folks obviously didn’t comprehend the article since I was agreeing that the Z06 would win the fight. On the other hand, some Mopar lovers insisted that I was selling the Hellcat short and that it would be able to beat the lighter Corvette.
Now that we know the power figures for the Corvette Z06 and the Challenger Hellcat, some of those commenters and hate mail authors are insisting that I re-evaluate the whole situation.
Hellcat vs Z06 – a Tale of the Tape
it is official – the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will make 707 horsepower and 650lb-ft of torque – making It the most powerful American production car of all time. It is also official that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will make 650 horsepower and 650lb-ft of torque. Based on the fact that the Challenger has a massive advantage in horsepower, Mopar lovers are clamoring that I was wrong and that the Hellcat will indeed outrun the Z06. The problem with that argument is that the Challenger is much, much heavier than the new Z06.
We don’t have official weight figures for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 or the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, but we can make some guesses based on the curb weight of previous models. The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 weighed 3,333lbs and it is expected that the 2015 Z06 will be in the same ballpark if not a little lighter. For the sake of discussion, we will use 3,300lbs as the possible Z06 curb weight. The 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT with the 6.4L Hemi V8 weighs 4,160lbs and while there might be some weight saving changes made for 2015, the Hellcat’s supercharged system likely adds at least a little weight. People are expecting that the Hellcat could weigh as much as 4,300lbs, but since we don’t have any sort of official figures on the Hellcat model’s curb weight, we will use the weight of the current Challenger SRT as that is really a best case for the Hellcat model. In other words, the 2015 Z06 will likely weight around 3,300lbs while the Challenger SRT Hellcat will likely weight around 4,200lbs.
Based on those estimated weight figures, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has a power to weight ratio of 5.08 pounds per horsepower while the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will likely have a ratio of 6.08 pounds per horsepower – giving the Corvette a clear advantage. The Hellcat Challenger will pack lots more power, but at roughly 900 pounds heavier, the Z06 will still have a significant advantage power to weight ratio.
Could the Hellcat Challenger Beat the Corvette Z06?
Yes. In the right situation, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat could beat the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06…but not without the help of a shaky driver in the Corvette. With the aforementioned horsepower to weight advantage, the Corvette Z06 should be able to beat the Challenger in a drag race unless the Vette driver blows the launch. With a bad launch or crappy shifts by the Z06, the Challenger’s 707 horsepower could be enough to allow the Mopar muscle car to get to the quarter mile marker first. However, with equally skilled drivers, the lighter Corvette should win the quarter mile drag race.
Where the Hellcat Challenger really shouldn’t compete with the new Corvette Z06 is in any race with turns – regardless of the available power. Although they are both high performance monsters, they are two very different types of performance cars so the lighter, lower and more nimble Corvette Z06 should crush the Challenger SRT Hellcat around any road course.
However, the moral of the story is that it is conceivable for the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat to get the jump on a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and win a quarter mile race – but a well driven Z06 is going to very likely win every race between these two 650+ horsepower beasts.