There has been no shortage of hints from MoTown regarding the release of this powerful Chrysler. In the years leading up to the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), Chrysler had teased the media and auto enthusiasts alike with the release of what could be the baddest Mopar of them all. As tensions built and the NYIAS drew nearer and nearer, media outlets across the spectrum (this one included) made speculations to indicate that a Hellcat model would be unveiled. The NYIAS came and went and – you guessed it – no Hellcat. At the end of the NYIAS Chrysler had introduced a redesigned Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger but no Hellcat.
At last the Hellcat has been revealed and, as expected it will feature an ultra-powerful supercharged engine. The high-performance division of Chrysler is called the Street and Racing Technology Division or “SRT.” Alongside the Hellcat model of the 2015 Challenger, Chrysler also announced the return of the SRT 392 Challenger which comes equipped with a 6.4-liter (392-cubic inches) Hemi that produces 485-horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque. If you combine the reality of this car with the possibilities offered by Chrysler’s new “Scat Pack” option, which allows consumers to outfit their new car with their choice of Mopar high-performance parts, and you get a truly incredible ride that offers unlimited potential.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat will be powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi engine that will crank out more than 600-horsepower (no exact number has been released, as of yet). In addition to the 2.4-liter twin-scroll supercharger, the Hellcat also features a reinforced bottom-end and upgraded fuel injection system, as well. Believe it or not, the cast iron supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi engine (easily identified by its bright orange valve covers) will share only about 9-percent of its components with the naturally aspirated 6.4-liter Hemi found in the 392 SRT car. The Hellcat engine block is designed with unique water cooling jackets for optimum heat dissipation, a forged steel crankshaft with induction hardened surfaces to withstand extreme firing pressures of 1,595 psi. The forged steel crank turns in powder forged connecting rods with high-load capacity bushings, forged alloy pistons, and carbon coated wrist pins. The steel-alloy cylinder heads are designed with optimal thermal reductive tendencies, including sodium filled exhaust valves with hollow stems to withstand temperatures exceeding 1,472-degrees Fahrenheit. The state-of-the-art fuel injection system uses half-inch fuel lines, a variable rate in-tank fuel pump, and high-flow fuel injectors to ensure that the thirsty supercharged engine doesn’t run “lean.” The fuel injection system could theoretically drain the 18.5-gallon fuel tank in 13-minutes under full power. The blower is a twin-scroll sealed unit that boasts a final drive ration of 2.36:1 and a maximum speed of 14,600 rpms. It is equipped with internal charge coolers and an integrated electronic bypass valve to regulate boost pressure, keeping it to a maximum of 11.6-psi. Engine exhaust gases exit via a 2.75-inch exhaust system with a specially designed valve that aids in noise reduction.
The Hellcat will be offered with your choice of either a six-speed manual or TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed manual gear box is from the Viper super car but both are upgraded exclusively to handle the added torque of the supercharged engine. Automatic equipped cars feature paddle style shifters mounted on the steering wheel. Both the 392 SRT and the Hellcat will receive an updated limited-slip rear differential for 2015, in addition to new optional drive modes. Drivers will have the ability to choose between Sport, Comfort, and Track modes to adapt traction control, suspension settings, power steering levels, and transmission shift points according to driving conditions and driver capability. The Hellcat also receives two very special keys. The first key is red in color and allows the Hellcat to operate normally, unleashing the full 600 + horsepower. The second key is black and acts to reduce engine output during certain situations. It also offers a pin-activated mode that restricts valet parking attendants to first gear access and limited throttle capacity.
The rear-differential of the Hellcat model is specifically designed to withstand the demands of added torque and horsepower. It features 230-millimeter axle shafts, light weight housing construction, redesigned cooling fins, low viscosity fluid, and special bearings. The asymmetrical rear-differential provides unique bias-ratio tuning for improved on and off-throttle behavior. Newly designed drive shafts also contribute to the overall improved grip, stability, and steering response of the Hellcat.
The Hellcat rides on 20-inch forged aluminum wheels that measure 9.5-inches across. They are shod with 245/45 Goodyear tires but Pirelli P Zero rubber is also available. The Hellcat will offer the largest brakes ever on a Chrysler vehicle. The front rotors are Brembo 15.4-inch, cross-drilled and ventilated with six-piston calipers providing the clamping force.
The split front grille is inspired by the 1971 Challenger and the aluminum hood takes its cue from a version of the 1996 Viper. The Hellcat is equipped with a lowered suspension and larger splitter than other Challenger models, further adding to the car’s broad athletic stance and unmatched curb appeal.
Inside, the cabin is driver focused with a new trapezoidal shaped stamped aluminum center console, a 7-inch driver programmable display in the main instrument cluster, and a configurable 8.4-inch LCD touchscreen in the center console. Leather wrapped interior surfaces add an air of sophistication while the new media hub, with SD card clot, USB outlet, and audio jack, contribute to a more modern theme. The interior is spacious and luxuriously appointed with large well bolstered seats that can be covered in Nappa leather with Alcantara accents and embroidered SRT logos. A heated flat bottom steering wheel with SRT logo completes the package.
All Dodge Challengers are built at the Brampton Assembly Plant in Canada and the Hellcat is expected to follow suit. The Hellcat is expected to arrive in showrooms during the second half of the year.