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Why the Hellcat Challenger Didn't Destroy the Corvette Stingray in This Race

A video surfaced online recently showing two journalists drag racing in a 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and a C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and when the 707hp Challenger only beat (and didn’t destroy) the 460hp Corvette, the clueless masses took to the internet to claim very conspiracy theories but there is a very simple reason why the Mopar muscle car didn’t annihilate the Vette.


The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is powered by a supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 with 707 horsepower and 650lb-ft of torque while weighing 4,560lbs. The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2L LT1 V8 with 460 horsepower and 465lb-ft of torque while weighing just 3,298lbs. Even though the Corvette has a weight advantage of more than 1,200lbs, the Challenger still has a pretty significant advantage in power-to-weight ratio of 6.45lbs per horsepower to 7.17lbs per horsepower.

Hellcat Challenger VS Corvette Stingray on the Quarter Mile
On paper, the Hellcat Challenger should absolutely destroy the 2015 Corvette Stingray in a quarter mile drag race and with an NHRA certified stock-tire quarter mile time of 11.2 for the Challenger to the Stingray’s expected stock times in the 12.0-12.2 range, the big Dodge should beat the Vette pretty convincingly on a well prepared race track with two experienced drivers. However, out on the open road, results may vary based on conditions and driver skill so when Yahoo Autos' Ezra Dyer lined up in a new Stingray against the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Neil – we were all excited to see the outcome. Really, we were all excited to see just how badly the Hellcat Challenger destroyed the Corvette Stingray, but when the two were pitted head to head, the outcome wasn’t quite as lopsided as many people had expected.

The close race between the Hellcat Challenger and the Corvette Stingray caused many people to ramble on via the various social networks about how the Challenger really doesn’t have 707 horsepower or that it really isn’t capable of running an 11.20 stock quarter mile time. After all, the video below clearly shows that it could barely outrun a Stingray that should only run in the low 12s, but I can assure those naysayers that this video is a fine example of what should happen when these two awesome American performance cars meet on the bare, unprepared street surface.

Why the Hellcat Didn’t Devour the Stingray
The reason that the Hellcat Challenger only beat the Stingray by a small margin in the quarter mile comes down to the racing surface and the lack of available traction when trying to get away from the starting line. While the Challenger has a tremendous amount more horsepower and torque, I can say from my experiences with the beast that it is very tricky to launch hard. I made a few quarter mile runs with an automatic Hellcat Challenger similar to the one in the video and I was only able to muster a best time of 11.8 seconds on the unprepared race track. Those 11.2 NHRA quarter mile times were achieved by a professional driver on a very well prepared track in what was likely ideal weather.

2015 Challenger Galleries:
The 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack in Sublime
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in TorRed
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in Sublime

Basically, when you launch the Hellcat Challenger, you are forced to baby the car through the first two gears before really cranking into the throttle. On the other hand, with “only” 460 horsepower and 465lb-ft of torque, the Stingray is much easier to launch hard so while the Challenger makes far more power at full throttle, it takes a few seconds of traveling down the quarter mile before you can put anywhere near that much power to the ground. However, with the Corvette, you can put all of the available power to the ground much more quickly.

This was why the Corvette Stingray jumped out to an early lead and maintained that lead throughout much of the quarter mile race, only to be caught and passed by the Challenger SRT Hellcat as the two cars neared the 1000 foot mark. Had the two raced on a half mile course, the beating would have been much, much more severe.


Brad (not verified)    January 1, 2015 - 4:44AM

How about we have too guys that drag race for a living... Drive these cars... No yuppys allowed . no Chevy guys driving a Mopar either. Point blank the challenger rules even the vette . camero is in the challengers class. Hey Chevy girls... Start puckering up ur ass for the Hellcat viper. Ur out of excuses girls. Mopar Rules the drag strip. Boo hoo.

Ex (not verified)    January 6, 2015 - 3:44PM

In reply to by Brad (not verified)

Do you own a Hellcat, I am going to guess no. But if you did I would invite you to come race with me and my ZL1 on a roadtrack and then see how you do, because we all know the Hellcat is a 1 trick pony. Throw some corners in the track and your ass is mine. I can add more power to go faster in a straight line for little cost. Can you lighten your fatass HellCat and improve the suspension to handle a road course?

I think not.

daveo (not verified)    June 6, 2015 - 12:00AM

In reply to by Ex (not verified)

You've got it backwards. The Hellcat is the more well rounded car whereas the Vette is the one trick pony. The Challenger can do 95 percent of what the Vette is capable of ON the track, but the Vette can only do half of what the Hellcat can do OFF the track.

walt curll (not verified)    July 10, 2015 - 1:10AM

In reply to by daveo (not verified)

LOL are you on crack the hellcat cant take corner or brake nearly as good as the vette wow just wow let see the hellcat take a corner at 100 have fun calling that wracker

David (not verified)    May 4, 2016 - 8:29PM

In reply to by Ex (not verified)

You would be wrong. Yes...the big heavy molar can have it's suspension set up for a road course. But...the article is about 1/4 mile in a straight line.
Just proud to see muscle cars are back.

Morgan (not verified)    June 12, 2015 - 3:49PM

In reply to by Brad (not verified)

The new Zo6 will kill the hellcat you troll. I love all cars and despise you whiney little bit chest that start stuff for more reason. You want to talk about whining. See why Ralph Gilles made the Viper TA in the first place. It's because the zr1 handed it a beatdown so bad, Ralph went back and pissed more money away just so that he could beat an old zr1 only to have those cars not sell, SRT to go bankrupt and Chrysler now selling the Viper for 30k less, but Mopar rules as you say. Get a life, troll.

Doug (not verified)    January 1, 2015 - 10:27AM

I have seen 2015 Vettes at my local track and they run a best of low 13's. Mind you we are at 2200 feet and our DA is usually a 1000 feet higher.

JeffS (not verified)    January 2, 2015 - 10:43AM

Good day, Patrick.The Hellcat is pretty much a straight line muscle car, the Vette a sports car. Put them against each other on a road course and I imagine the Vette will spank the Hellcat. The Hellcat is an awesome car, if you are looking for a 1 trick pony. The Vette, better all around. Put the Hellcat up against the Z06, (a full fledged, "Supercar" that will cost more, but you get a whole lot more) my guess is the Vette will beat the Hellcat in the 1/4 mile and absolutely annihilate it on a road course. Sure, with the Hellcat come bragging rights over the engine and, "potential" 1/4 mile times, but that is about where it ends. If you plan to drive it in the real world, after the initial, "Rush" of HP and Torque wears off, I think the Vette owner will still be smiling and having more, "fun". I like the Hellcat, it's a throwback to Muscle car days, when HP ruled. The Vette is a car looking to the future and is a forward thinking engineered car. If I had to choose between the 2, I'd personally go with the Vette. I know nobody is buying either of these cars giving much thought to gas mileage, but when the prices go up and they will, it will be a significantly less of a sting in the Stingray. Both cars awesome in their own way, I am not quite sure that there will be allot of cross shopping between the 2. High powered Sports car versus a monster powered Muscle car, really apples to oranges. Comes down to would you rather play in the twisties generating G's, or in a straight line holding on for dear life. To each his own and the bottom line is that's all that matters. If you were buying for yourself which would you go with, if having to choose between the 2, just curious?

Mark (not verified)    January 2, 2015 - 5:38PM

In reply to by JeffS (not verified)

Hahaha! Well, as someone who just took delivery of a drop-top vette, yeah, there was no cross-shopping Mopar whatsoever. I wanted a sports car, not a muscle car. Sure, the vette might not be as fast in the 1/4 mile, but I've raced the 1/4 mile 0 times in my lifetime. The vette is faster than most people can handle, and you should see the waves and double takes the vette gets from ordinary folks. People LOVE the way this car looks and sounds. Pictures don't do it justice.

Brian (not verified)    March 18, 2015 - 8:43AM

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

I am a MOPAR fan so of course I would take the Hellcat any day over a Vette. I do admit though that the new Stingray is an awsome looking car and they get better looking each year. If money was not an object I would take a Nissan GTR AMS Ronin. 1000 horsepower on 93 octane gas has all wheel drive and is super fast on the road course and 1/4 mile times of 9.8 seconds at 149mph. since money is an object I can only dream.

Auto Motive (not verified)    January 4, 2015 - 12:05PM

In reply to by JeffS (not verified)

I own a vette and yes its fun driving and a great track car but its heading for sale next year and I will special order a 2016 Charger Hellcat. HP aside its a great driving machine both at the track and on the highway. The Charger hellcat will accommodate my grandkids, cooler and chairs for our weekend cruises. Then comes the lap of PA and the tour of the US. A huge trunk, monster power and a comfortable cruiser. I've owned my vette for 8 years and its a great sports car but now its time to up the ante with the hellcat.

David McKinley (not verified)    May 4, 2016 - 8:35PM

In reply to by JeffS (not verified)

And you were wrong. Fuel prices have dropped. People...stop this crazy talk. Hell...these are 2 completely different cars in different classes.
So what are you comparing?

hightech (not verified)    January 2, 2015 - 12:03PM

The challengers tires are not wide enough on the back and the car weighs to much. Most of the new so called muscle cars are too heavy and really are not worth the money. An 2002/2004 z06 will smoke all the new mustangs/camaros/challengers with a fresh LS6 tuning and bolt-ons. If you do heads and cam it really makes them all look stupid...even the new Corvettes. Don't even talk about a supercharger or turbo's on the old's all over..No matter what you do to a mustang/challenger/camaro you are still several hundred pounds heavier and driving a car with inferior aerodynamics All you're paying for today is the style and a new version of the car on the corvette.. As far as performance you can get the same amount for 10's of thousands of dollars less money. 2002/2004 Z06 ran 12's typically and have posted high 11's stock with experienced drivers all with no supercharger or 4 cam fat engined craziness.

snort (not verified)    January 27, 2015 - 10:24PM

In reply to by hightech (not verified)

The new Corvettes aren't meant to smash straight-line records. They're better on the track. The new suspensions are better, the frame is stronger, the C7 is faster than equivalent C6 models on curves. All the mags, all the experts that race them agree. It's a better Corvette than ever.

Kem Brady (not verified)    January 2, 2015 - 3:53PM

You mopar nuts may be able to beat a Vette but you have to bolt a hair drier on to the top of your motor to do it . Just ask yourself if you could do it without cheating.

brad (not verified)    January 2, 2015 - 5:39PM

What does the zl1 have bolted on top of it? GM and Ford were the first ones to start Bolton superchargers on. You need to go to an NHRA Top Fuel event and see what motor they're running duh hemi rules.

Zorad (not verified)    January 2, 2015 - 10:10PM

In reply to by brad (not verified)

If you think that BARELY beating a normally aspirated car with a BLOWER car makes you superior then you have mental problems. Let's see what happens when the 2015 Z06 comes out.

pdm (not verified)    January 3, 2015 - 4:29PM

Based on the points made regarding launching the Hellcat, I would be interested to see what a Scat Pak would do against the vette. Im sure the Vette would win, but with 485 HP on the Scat Pack and being about 300 lbs lighter than the Hell Cat, launching would get the Challenger moving fast much quicker.

dewey sudo (not verified)    January 9, 2015 - 2:58PM

The video i saw shows a Hellcat beating a new Z06 vette... supercharged engine vs. supercharged engine (if it was a base stingray there would be 4-5 car lengths between the 2 not 1-2) & the hellcat pulls away rather easily from the Zo6 but it should because it has +50 more horsepower but and it's a HUGE but... GM claims the Z06 should run a 10.95 et in the 1/4 mile... which i'm hearing isn't possible anymore because if they leave the tune in the car that ran that time you'll end up blowing up the rear end on the street... wha whaaaaaa...

Jimmy (not verified)    February 17, 2015 - 12:18AM

In reply to by dewey sudo (not verified)

Bottom line, dodge sucks the dodge viper is pretty nice though but the corvette z06 beat it and it was the closest race i have ever seen.With 707hp that the hellcat has even with the heavy body it shold've taken it.Chevy gust needs a little more improvments to there cars and by 2025 they will have the ultimate car our there!

Lance (not verified)    June 12, 2015 - 3:08PM

How about they race it against the 650 HP ZO6 so the CORVETTE can totally & completely DESTROY the pussycat Challenger

Skipstr (not verified)    December 23, 2015 - 4:36PM

In reply to by Lance (not verified)

How about we race it with the 2016 Camaro 2SS (Pony Car) Vs 2016 Dodge 4-Door Charger Hellcat Family Sedan and you drive the pussy car Camaro 2SS? Lets see who is the pussy? The fastest Pony car that GM has, cant even start to compete with the Grand Cherokee Hellcat AWD utility vehicle.

HREagle (not verified)    July 18, 2016 - 11:03PM

In reply to by Skipstr (not verified)

Damn! All these guys Dissing on us Dodge drivers. SMH. The Vettes are cool if that's your thing, but a nice big 4-door Charger SRT is the ultimate old Man Gear-Heads ride in my book. A Vette for a guy my proportions is too tight especially the leg room. I haven't driven a Hellcat or a Z0-6 but I've ridden in both and I think the Z0-6 would do the Hellcat in the 1/4 mile, it would be close, but it for sure corners a lot quicker. All the Muscle and Sports cars have their own personality, it would be nice to have a collection like Jay Leno's so you could enjoy driving all of them, wouldn't it?

Joe (not verified)    October 30, 2015 - 9:15AM

I was fortunate enough to come into a family settlement that allowed me to buy a new "toy" I drove both the non z06, the z06 and the hellcat. Hands down both vettes won my heart. Ended up going with the 2015 z06 just because of the added power. Comfort and interior is on par with the 911 and power is unreal. Can't beat power to weight ratio....I love all cars but the new z06 is wild

Skipstr (not verified)    December 23, 2015 - 4:26PM

I find most of these post's are very funny, including the guys that are racing. Most of these guys don't have (never will) or never had any of these cars and just think that they know what they are talking about. This so called race was to prove one thing, who is the fastest in the 1/4 mile and the Dodge beat the Vett. Most of the post talk about aftermarket bolt on or full blown rebuilds, this was about Chevy Sport Car Factory stock Vs Chrysler Pony Car (now Muscle) running a 1/4 mile. Stop talking about, if, when, where or what if's. The Chrysler has the most HP, does the better 1/4 mile, top speeds around 200mph for $59k, the Vett is much less HP, about 0.4th slower according to GM in the 1/4, top speeds at 205mph for about $84k, but it can turn somewhat better. How many of you, if you could afford a Vett would road race on a Mt. Road? To tell the truth, the Hellcats should Vs. Camaro SS or Mustang, and the Vett to the Viper but the Hellcats are so fast, these boys wanted to compare GM fastest sport car Vs one of Chrysler faster cars. Just wait till Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee Hellcat AWD hits the street, what excuse will GM have then? Good luck......