Preview: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
As much as the Mopar faithful would like to deny it, for the past few years the pony car wars have been a two horse race, with Ford’s 662 horsepower Mustang Shelby GT500 and Chevrolet’s 580hp Camaro ZL1 leaving the 470 horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT8 in the dust when it comes to performance. Rumors about a supercharged variant of the Challenger have been circulating for years, but Chrysler remained tight lipped about its existence. This week, Dodge finally took the wraps off the Challenger SRT Hellcat, an ultra-high performance variant of the coupe that should authoritively bring the Challenger back into the fold of the muscle car battle.
Offered alongside the standard 485 horsepower Challenger SRT, the SRT Hellcat boasts an all new, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 outputting "over 600 horsepower". Final numbers have not been nailed down yet, but a few months ago, Ralph Gilles, SRT Motorsport CEO, alluded in an interview that the Hellcat motor may spawn an "internal horsepower war", indicating that the final number of the Hellcat motor may exceed the 640hp figure made by the Viper’s 8.4-liter V10, and Chrysler Group points out that this new supercharged motor is the most powerful V8 motor the company has ever produced.
To make such an engine, Chrysler’s engineers started with the 6.4-liter Hemi motor and upgraded more than 90 percent of the engine’s internals before mounting a 2380cc twin-screw style supercharger atop it. The new motor also breathes through the SRT’s rather trick ram-air style Air Catcher inlet port, which replaces the driver’s-side inboard marker light.
All of that newfound grunt can be channeled through either a Viper-derived six speed manual gearbox or a new eight-speed automatic unit with paddle shifting. Performance figures for the Hellcat Challenger are still forthcoming, but 0-60 mph times of under four seconds and a top speed near or above 200 miles per hour certainly seem plausible.
The 2015 Challenger SRT (both in standard and Hellcat flavors) will feature three preset driving modes along with a fourth customizable option, allowing the driver to tailor power output, steering weight, shift schedules, traction control settings and suspension firmness to their liking. All SRT models will also ride on unique 20 inch forged alloys, with an eight spoke design wrapped in either Goodyear Eagle RSA2 all-seasons or Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires fitted to the standard SRT, while wider 20 x 9.5 inch wheels with Y-plus-rated Pirelli PZero Nero tires will be equipped to both the Hellcat and SRT Track Pack models. Stopping power will be provided by a set of six piston Brembo calipers attached to two-piece, 15.4 inch Brembo rotors – the largest brake package ever offered on an SRT vehicle. Handling prowess is provided by a new suspension system featuring adjustable dampers with unique springs and sway bars for Hellcat and SRT Track Pack models.
Visually, the SRT Hellcat model differentiates itself from standard SRT Challengers via a unique hood and front fascia, along with badging which adorns the fenders denoting its boosted status. Chrysler engineers say that, due to the Hellcat’s high speed performance potential, they’ve spent 35 percent more time in the wind tunnel refining its aerodynamics, and that all the new bodywork components serve both form and function.
Production of the new Challenger SRT Hellcat is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2014 at the Brampton, Ontario factory, with pricing information announced closer to launch. Check out the pair of videos below to see the new Hellcat Challenger in motion, scope the press release for additional details, and keep an eye on the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat overview page
for updates as we have them.
Dodge Unleashes Most Powerful Challenger Ever
All-new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with 600-plus horsepower HEMI® Hellcat engine delivers unrivaled performance, race-inspired interior and new technologies geared toward the driving enthusiast
New 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat features the all-new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® – the most powerful V-8 engine Chrysler Group LLC has ever produced
New Challenger SRT’s standard 392 HEMI V8 delivers 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of peak torque
Segment-first TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions available on both new Dodge Challenger SRT models
Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine features new Pirelli tire technology with class-exclusive standard Y-Plus rated four-season tires to help handle extreme loads
Both 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT models ride on new, SRT-exclusive forged-aluminum wheels
New Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI Hellcat features the largest front-brake package ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle as standard equipment
All-new, driver-focused cockpit is designed for true performance enthusiasts with stunning style, premium materials, world-class craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology
Functional, performance-designed exterior maintains Challenger’s original muscle car heritage and key Dodge brand hallmark
May 20, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The newly consolidated Dodge and SRT brands are launching out of the gate at full throttle – introducing the new 600-plus horsepower 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine and its stablemate – the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT just one month after taking the wraps off the new Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker at the New York Auto Show.
Driven by the five SRT performance hallmarks, the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT and Challenger SRT with the Hellcat engine are re-designed and totally re-engineered to be the most true-to-form muscle coupes on the market with performance-enhancing technologies inside and out. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will feature the most powerful V-8 engine ever produced by Chrysler Group – the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8.
"The new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the ultimate performance muscle car," said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO – Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Dodge is the Mainstream Performance brand, and now combined with SRT, we are able to unleash a true GT car with an all-new driver-focused interior and the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission combined with the most powerful V-8 Chrysler has ever produced. The Challenger Hellcat has been released!"
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT coupes will be built at the Brampton (Ont.) Assembly plant. Production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2014.
For 2015, the Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine is propelled by the new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8. Its 600-plus horsepower rating will be the highest of any V-8 engine in Chrysler Group’s celebrated history. The all-new V-8 engine can be mated with an upgraded six-speed manual transmission or a beefy, new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic – the first such gearbox ever offered in the Dodge Challenger SRT’s time-honored segment.
This new HEMI® Hellcat engine is Dodge and SRT’s first application of V-8 supercharger technology, delivering the full brand experience with fresh potency.
The breakthrough supercharged engine features a forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces. The result is a crank so well-engineered it can withstand firing pressures of 110 bar (1,595 psi) – the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston, every two revolutions. And its unique, specially tuned crank damper has been tested to 13,000 rpm.
High-strength, forged-alloy pistons – developed using advanced telemetry measurement – are coupled to powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like-carbon-coated piston pins.
The new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 has premium-grade, heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads that are optimized for superior thermal conductivity. And its die-cast aluminum rocker covers are HEMI Orange.
In addition to the supercharged HEMI V-8 in the Challenger SRT Hellcat, the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT model also gets a power boost with upgrades to the 392 HEMI V-8. Horsepower climbs to 485 from 470, while peak torque jumps to 475 lb.-ft. from 470 lb.-ft.
The 392 also can be mated with a new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic or the proven six-speed manual transmission.
All-new Drive Modes tailor the driving experience to each individual driver
Whether its on-road or on-track, Challenger SRT owners can personalize their drive experience via the all-new Drive Modes feature. Drive Modes tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering (Challenger SRT only), paddle shifters (automatic transmission only), traction and suspension. Drive Modes are pre-configured for Sport, Track and Default settings, while the Custom setting lets the driver customize the drive experience to their favorite settings.
Custom – Allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance
Sport – Delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the Default Mode
Track – Delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces
Default – Activates automatically when starting the vehicle
The Drive Mode feature is controlled through the Uconnect system and may be accessed by performing any of the following:
Pushing the SRT button on the instrument panel switch bank
Selecting "Drive Modes" from the "SRT & Apps" menu
Selecting "Drive Modes" from within the Performance Pages menu
Unlocking the power
For the first time in Chrysler Group history, the all-new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine comes standard with two key fobs – red and black. The red key fob is the only key that can unlock the full horsepower and torque potential of the Challenger SRT Hellcat engine; while the black key fob limits the driver to a reduced engine output.
Valet Mode is offered on both Challenger SRT and Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine. When Valet Mode is activated, the following vehicle configurations are enabled:
Engine is remapped to significantly reduce horsepower and torque; limited to 4,000 rpm
Transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal
Transmission will treat the manual shifter position the same as the drive position
Traction, steering and suspension are set to their "Street" settings
Steering-wheel paddle shifters are disabled
Drive Mode functions are disabled
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is enabled to Full-on
Launch Control is disabled
The driver can activate and deactivate Valet Mode with a four-digit PIN code they create.
Outstanding ride and handling
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT rides on new, SRT-exclusive "77" eight-spoke 20 x 9-inch forged-aluminum "Hyper Black" wheels. Standard 245/45ZR20 (front and rear) Goodyear RSA2 All-Season or available Goodyear F1 Supercar Three-Season tires deliver serious grip and handling.
Standard wheels on the Challenger SRT with the Hellcat engine are new SRT-exclusive "Slingshot" split-seven spoke 20 x 9.5-inch, lightweight forged-aluminum wheels with a matte black finish; available on the SRT 392 as part of the SRT Track Pack. New P275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero Nero tires (front and rear) provide all-season traction while the newest tire technology from Pirelli includes the class exclusive four-season tire that is Y-Plus rated to handle the extreme speeds. Pirelli P Zero tires are available for three-season performance driving.
Available on the Challenger SRT Hellcat are 20 x 9.5-inch, lightweight forged-aluminum wheels with a Brass Monkey/dark bronze finish.
Standard on the 2015 Challenger SRT with the Hellcat engine is the largest front-brake package ever offered in an SRT vehicle, featuring all-new 390-mm (15.4-inch) Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers for outstanding heat management/thermal capacity and longevity. This upgraded high-performance brake package is available on the 392 HEMI® SRT model as part of the SRT Track Pack.
New anti-lock braking system (ABS), ESC and traction control systems are uniquely tuned and configurable for specific tire and powertrain configurations.
Aggressive and functional exteriors
Dodge and SRT designers and engineers spent 35 percent more time in the Chrysler Group’s full-scale wind tunnel in Auburn Hills, Michigan, (compared with the previous-generation Dodge Challenger SRT) developing and further refining the aggressive and functional exteriors on the Challenger SRT and Challenger SRT Hellcat. The result is a re-engineered Challenger capable of maximum aerodynamic performance for spirited driving on the road or the race track.
At the front, new fascia designs and all-new vertical-split grille provide a menacing update of its 1971 inspiration. A larger, power-bulge aluminum hood features a dedicated "cold-air" intake – a visual styling cue from the first Viper coupe built in 1996.
The hood on the new Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine also includes dual air extractors to ensure effective removal of heat and reduced air turbulence in the engine compartment. The hood is standard in body color and is available in a Satin Black finish. Both models of the Challenger SRT feature all-aluminum hoods designed to reduce weight.
Another key design element on the Challenger SRT Hellcat is the exclusive Air Catcher inlet port, which feeds ram-air directly into the engine air box through the driver-side parking lamp.
All-new quad projector headlamps give a more detailed appearance, while a more aggressive brow "chops" the upper portion of the lamp design for an even more sinister attitude.
Integrated projector fog lamps on the Challenger 392 SRT are pushed to the lower corners to help accentuate the car’s width while illuminating the road. A new duck-bill fascia splitter helps improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
The Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine features a larger front splitter designed for optimal downforce to minimize lift.
From the side, the signature muscular proportions and large thruster rear-quarter panels stand out from the crowd, while fender and belt lines tie together at the front and rear of the car to create a sleeker appearance. Differentiating the Challenger SRT Hellcat from the rest of the Challenger lineup are its "SUPERCHARGED" fender badges. Black sills accentuate the proportions of the muscle coupe and have been tuned in the wind tunnel to improve aerodynamics.
Out back, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT recalls the historic 1971 model’s styling with a new split tail-lamp design and rear fascia. The tail lamps feature the new signature LED graphic with its smooth glow of light that can be seen from blocks away. A redesigned rear valance helps the 2015 Challenger SRT models look more planted on the ground. A unique, taller rear spoiler on the SRT Hellcat features a raised SRT logo.
Race-inspired, high-performance interiors
Inside the 2015 Dodge Challenger is an all-new enthusiast-centric cockpit with world-class materials, execution and technology. Key elements are inspired by the interior of the 1971 Challenger.
The performance cockpit of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT carries an essence of the 1971 Challenger, in an artistic and more organically styled way.
The all-new cleanly executed instrument panel features a stamped aluminum bezel, which sets the tone for the driver’s display. For a high-tech look, an innovative 7-inch driver-selectable driver information display (DID) screen is centered in the gauge cluster and provides an almost infinitely customizable display. The all-new DID screen is flanked by new analog speedometer and tachometer gauges, which provide a heritage-inspired look with concave shapes and a hub-covered needle design, reminiscent of the "tic-toc-tach" gauges from the 1971 Challenger. For the Challenger SRT with the Hellcat engine, the fixed gauges and digital graphics are finished in a Dark Radar Red tone to make it even more unique.
Additionally, the dashboard’s center stack neatly houses the new standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen. New for 2015 drivers can select one of the many offered backgrounds to connect the digital look and feel with their chosen interior package.
A new, trapezoidal shaped stamped aluminum center console provides Challenger SRT’s interior with a fresh look. The aluminum trim gets one of two finishes, "Hectic Mesh" for the Challenger 392 SRT and "Dark Engine Turn" for the Challenger SRT Hellcat. The console also exudes craftsmanship and style with leather-wrapped surfaces and French-seamed accent stitching running from the back to the front. Employing a unique, elevated design, the all-new center console houses ergonomically located redundant button and knob controls for audio and climate functions. An all-new media hub with an SD card slot, USB outlet and audio jack is neatly housed inside the center console’s flocked armrest.
For those who opt for the segment-first TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, an all-new and class-exclusive electronic shifter with an all-new driver-oriented T-handle provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. For those who prefer having a third pedal, the precise and track-proven Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission is fitted with a throwback ball shifter.
A redesigned SRT-branded heated steering wheel features a flat bottom for the high-performance driver. Available paddle shifters (with automatic transmission) are located on the back of the upper spokes. The buttons to control the driver-configurable full-color thin-film transistor (TFT) display are large and illuminated. Buttons for Uconnect and phone access now reside along the bottom edge of the horizontal spokes. Optional adaptive cruise control is configured by buttons that are symmetrically opposite on the right hand side of the wheel. As before, the highly praised audio controls are still found on the back of the upper spokes. This new tilt-telescoping steering wheel also has a 360-degree heat element.
To make cruises more pleasurable, the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT features redesigned seats with improved cushioning and more comfortable contours. For improved comfort and convenience, new for 2015 are standard heated and ventilated front seats. The passenger seat also has an easy exit/entry function to provide access to the rear seat – this is controlled by a release handle on the top shoulder of the seat.
Challenger SRT offers performance seats with large side bolsters for maximum lateral support in hard cornering. The seats can be covered in Nappa leather/Alcantara material with embroidered SRT logos. Laguna premium leather, colored either sepia or black with embossed SRT logos, is available as part of an equipment package.
High-impact exterior colors
Many of the most memorable paint colors in automotive history have been found on the Challenger. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392 and SRT with the HEMI Hellcat will be available in 11 exterior colors: B5 Blue Pearl Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Pearl Coat, Ivory White Tri-Coat Pearl, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Phantom Black Tri-Coat Pearl, Pitch Black Clear Coat, Redline Tri-Coat Pearl, Sublime Metallic Pearl Coat and TorRed Clear Coat.
Twin, full-body stripes are available in Black Satin Gloss and Silver High Gloss on the SRT 392.
The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year as America‘s mainstream performance brand, celebrating its 100th anniversary on July 1, 2014. With the purification of the brand and consolidation with SRT, Dodge is getting back to its performance roots with every single model it offers. The consolidated Dodge and SRT brands will offer a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out within their own segments. Dodge will be the "mainstream performance" brand within the Chrysler showroom. SRT will be positioned as the "ultimate performance" halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.
From muscle cars to compact cars, minivans, crossovers and full-size SUVs, the Dodge brand’s full lineup of 2015 models deliver best-in-class horsepower, class-exclusive technology, unmatched capability and a slew of cool features, such as LED headlamps, Dodge signature racetrack tail lamps, dual exhaust, 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment centers and 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable gauge clusters, to name a few. For the 2015 model year, customers will be able to drive the new 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger, as well as the Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI Hellcat. The Dodge brand lineup also includes the 2015 Dodge Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey, including the new Crossroad model, and Dodge Viper SRT.