Search
The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
WATCH YOUR SPEED IN CHALLENGER SRT HELLCAT!

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Zero to 60 in the mid-3 second range and top speed at 199 mph. Impressed? You ought to be. The 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi SRT engine in the Dodge Challenger boasts robust acceleration, superb handling and steering feel. Our Widebody Hellcat test-drive version is all new for 2018.  

Step on the throttle and the V-8 engine blasts off 707 horsepower (yes, you read that right!) at 6000 rpm and 650 pounds-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. Mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission, the Challenger is equipped with a hydraulic power assist, rack-and-pinion steering, which is razor sharp. Front suspension is handled competently by an independent SLA with higher upper A arm while the rear gets a five-link independent system. Both ends have coil springs to improve ride quality and comfort. Bringing the speed demon to a halt are Brembo high-performance 15.4-inch front six-piston caliper and 13.8-inch rear four-piston caliper discs, both vented and slotted. To vary the driving experience, this version of the Challenger comes in street, sport, track and off modes. 

Walk around the rear-wheel-drive vehicle and the first element that will grab your attention are center air intake and dual heat extractors atop the aluminum hood. Rounded bi-functional and air-catcher HID headlights with the Hellcat logo convey a menacing look. The rear sports split LED-illuminated tail lamps with gloss black surround, satin-black spoiler and quad exhaust tips. The cabin is roomy and elegant with dual auto a/c, six-way power driver seat, power and flat-bottomed tilt/telescopic steering column, heated/cooled front seats with the SRT/Hellcat logo, 18-speaker Harman Kardon system, 7.5-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster, 8.4-inch UConnect for audio, phone and navigation controls, and a 60/40 rear seat.  

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, electronic stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, blind spot monitor and rear-cross path detection, rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard. 

Muscle-car aficionados, crave for that throaty exhaust growl (it is a Hemi!) as you turn on the ignition? Like to mash the pedals for a speed-demon-like takeoff? Then the Challenger Hellcat will fit the bill. To a T. 

CHALLENGER SRT HELLCAT
Tires: 275/40ZR20
Wheelbase: 116.2 inches
Length: 197.9 inches
Weight: 4,498 pounds
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
City: 13 mpg
Highway: 22 mpg
Base price: $63,795
Price as tested: $78,770
Web site: www.dodge.com

CALLING ALL DODGE DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com