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Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat debuts with more than 600 hp

  • hellcat-876.jpg

    Dodge

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    Dodge

Following the debut of the updated 2015 Challenger lineup at the 2014 New York Auto Show last month, Dodge has now dropped the first details on the high-performance variant developed by the brand’s in-house tuner SRT: the 2015 Challenger SRT. We can confirm that the car will come in two flavors, one of which is nicknamed the Hellcat and powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8. The other comes with the previous Challenger SRT's 392 6.4-liter HEMI V-8.

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The 2015 Challenger SRT 392 makes do with 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque, while the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat is said to deliver more than 600 horsepower, making the latter the most powerful V-8-powered car ever launched by a Chrysler brand. Looking past the addition of its blower, the supercharged engine also benefits from strengthened internals and special materials optimized for superior thermal conductivity. It also gets a bright orange finish for its aluminum rocker covers. Final specifications will be announced closer to the market launch later this year.

Drive for both Challenger SRT variants is channeled to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or available TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters, plus a new limited-slip differential. As part of the 2015 Challenger update, the SRT variants also gain a new Drive Modes feature. This allows the driver to tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering (Challenger SRT only), paddle shifter response (automatic transmission only), traction and suspension. The driver can also choose from pre-configured modes including Sport, Track and a Default setting. Interestingly, the Challenger SRT Hellcat gets two individual keys: One in black for reduced output and another red one to unleash the full 600-plus-horsepower output. These is even a PIN-activated Valet mode for both variants that, among other things, limits power and access to the first gear.

The Challenger SRT duo also share the same visual updates as the regular 2015 Challenger, including front-end styling inspired by the iconic 1971 Challenger, such as the split grille. As a special touch, the aluminum hood gets an intake inspired by hood on the Viper launched in 1996. Other SRT-specific elements include the 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with available Pirelli P Zero tires, Brembo brakes, lowered suspension and the large splitter. The brakes are the biggest ever fitted to an SRT vehicle and feature two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers up front.

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Inside, owners will be treated with a driver-focused cabin and a few additional 1971 Challenger-inspired elements. Modern touches include the configurable 7-inch display in the main instrument cluster and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen in the center console. A new, trapezoidal shaped stamped aluminum center console provides the Challenger SRT’s interior with a fresh look, and is joined by leather-wrapped surfaces and a new media hub with an SD card slot, USB outlet and audio jack.

The Challenger SRT models also offer performance seats with large side bolsters for maximum lateral support in hard cornering. The seats can be covered in Nappa leather and Alcantara, and come with embroidered SRT logos. Finally, a redesigned SRT-branded heated steering wheel with a flat-bottom design is fitted.

Look for the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT duo to join the rest of the 2015 Challenger lineup in showrooms in the second half of the year. Production will take place at the same Brampton Assembly plant in Canada where all Challengers are currently built.