Fans of American muscle, rejoice: Dodge just unveiled the 2015 Challenger SRT – which comes with an optional Hellcat engine – and the power is beyond impressive. So impressive, in fact, that it’s the most powerful Challenger in the history of the car, and it’s not even close.
The Challenger is all about muscle, so we’ll start there. The base Challenger SRT is equipped with the same engine as the standard Challenger: a 392 HEMI V-8. But SRT has worked its magic, and bumped the horsepower from 470 to 485, and the torque from 470 to 475 lb.-ft.
But it’s the Hellcat that steals the show. The Challenger SRT Hellcat comes with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 that currently stands as the most powerful V-8 in the history of Chrysler Motor Group. While horsepower specs have not yet been released, the car easily eclipses 600 ponies. Both the base SRT and the Hellcat can be had with an improved 6-speed manual gearbox, or a brand new, innovative TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic. And, just to keep things interesting, the Hellcat comes with two keys: one that unlocks the power fully, and one that does not.
But the Challenger SRT goes beyond the engine. It features four drive modes (default, track, sport, and custom), so that drivers can achieve the perfect feel, and the right level of performance.
20-inch forged aluminum wheels come on both SRT trims, and 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece brake calipers make this the best braking Challenger to ever meet the street.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an SRT if it didn’t also get a substantial aesthetic upgrade, and the Challenger certainly does. The fascia and grille are a throwback to the 1971 Challenger, a taller spoiler, and an Air Catcher inlet (for the Hellcat model) are just some of the many aesthetic changes that make the car not only more aggressive looking, but better performing.
On the inside, the Challenger SRT once again harkens back to the 1971 model. It’s retro, yet modern, and has many of Dodge’s most high-end features, including an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen.
On the whole, SRT has completely transformed the Challenger. The Challenger didn’t need that, per se, but it sure is welcome.
Photo Credit: Chrysler