Friday, January 23, 2015

Detroit Auto Show: The Dodge Challenger Hellcat - Officially Crazy

One of the most popular new cars at this year's Detroit Auto Show is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat:

Unfortunately, I don't really have a good picture of the Hellcat because so many people were crowded around it. But here's a nice front shot of a Challenger RT to remind you all of what they look like:

The Challenger Hellcat became instantly famous because it comes from the factory with a supercharged V8 engine that produces 707 horsepower and a tire-melting 650 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful mass production car in history. To put that into perspective, the cars that race at the highest level of NASCAR will be limited to 725 hp this year because last year's 850 horsepower limit was too much. Those are race cars traveling just over 200 mph with steel roll cages, HANS restraining devices, and some of the best drivers in the world clad in fire suits and helmets.

The Hellcat's 199-mph top speed comes with leather seats, air conditioning, satellite stereo, and a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty.

Stare into the maw of crazy:

It looks so innocent, doesn't it?

One of the things I can't help but love about the Hellcat is that it gulps so much air that they had to convert one of the headlights into an extra air intake just to keep up.

Look closely:

It's like a clever little tracheotomy for the front grill.

Honestly, in some ways I don't really know what to think about the Challenger Hellcat. I've always loved the look of Challengers, both the old ones from the 60s and 70s and the new ones. I had a great time blasting around the California coast a couple of years ago in one that had a mere 305-hp V6 engine. (Sunset in San Gregorio and A Fast Ride in Search of a Sunset.) Believe me, it seemed plenty zippy enough.

And yet ... I want. I want.

There's no rational reason for this car. But it's awesome. Maybe that's reason enough.

Final photo. Since I didn't manage to get a full-car photo of the Challenger Hellcat itself, here's a Challenger T/A concept car with a Hellcat engine in it:

It'd do nicely, in a pinch.

No comments:

Post a Comment