2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

Chrysler has a rich muscle car history, and a tradition of going a little more overboard than the competition. They did it back in the 50s with the 300-series Letter-cars and the first Hemis. They did it again in the mid-60s with the 426 Hemi “Elephant Motor”, and again in the late 60s with the wild eye-popping colors bearing bizarre names like “Plum Crazy” and “SubLime”. And while not nearly as sexy, in the 80s they were the first of the Big 3 to abandon rear-wheel-drive entirely, a move that may have saved the company…before these last two times it had to be saved. They did it again in the 90s with the audacious Viper with an 8-liter V10, for crying out loud! But, they did it again in the 2000s with the bold, totally retro-styled Dodge Challenger, and a whole new family of Hemi V8s. But even that wasn’t enough. They punched the 5.7 Hemi out to 6.2 liters, dropped on a supercharger and an intercooler, made some internal tweaks, and voila! 707 horsepower on the street! With a factory warranty, no less! These really are the best of times for horsepower junkies.

2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat INTERIOR

2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat ENGINE

SRT, Chrysler’s in-house performance blackworks, created the 707-horsepower, supercharged and intercooled 6.2 liter Hemi V8 for use in both the Dodge Challenger and its 4-door sibling the Dodge Charger, making the Charger the world’s most powerful production 4-door. Both cars are more straight-line acceleration monsters than track cars, and maintaining adequate traction is always a challenge with 707 hp on tap. The Hellcat twins come with two sets of keys, one black and one red. When using the black key, “only” 500 hp is available (accomplished by limiting the boost) to hooligan valets and parking lot attendants. The red key, however, unlocks the car’s full potential. Better have a good radar detector.

While similar in architecture and bore-centers to Chrysler’s other Gen-III Hemi V8s (5.7L, 6.1L and 6.4L), the 6.2-liter 707-horsepower Hellcat engine is a different cat altogether. Even the block is different. The cast iron Hellcat block (all modern Hemi blocks are cast iron) has thinker webbing and bulkheads and larger cooling passages to cope with the added stresses. The forged steel crank was induction-hardened, and the powder-forged steel connecting rods were literally cracked in two, to produce perfect-fitting rods and end caps. Forged aluminum pistons were designed to function at over 21,000 pounds of combustion pressure, and the 24mm wrist pins received a special diamond-hard coating to reduce friction. The massively-stiff iron block supports the rotating assembly with 5 main bearing caps and 20 bolts. The aluminum cylinder heads technically don’t have “hemispherical” combustion chambers, however, the enormous valves are angled in towards each other in classic Hemi fashion. Both the 2.14-inch intake valves and the 1.65-inch exhaust valves have hollow stems to reduce their reciprocating mass, and the exhaust valves are sodium-filled to help dissipate heat. It’s all fed by an IHI supercharger capable of pushing 30,000 liters per minute of air through the engine! Turning at 2.36 times crankshaft speed, it pumped 2.3 liters of air with each revolution, and consumed 80 horsepower just turning it. A 250-watt (1/3-horsepower) electric pump circulates liquid coolant through two air-to-water intercoolers located in the sides of the supercharger housing, and two special radiators located in the nose of the car. By keeping this coolant at around 100-degrees F, it could, in theory, cool the intake charge to around 140-degrees F. The whole thing is fed by a 1/2-inch fuel line! All of this goodness, and more, went into the Hellcat, and 707-horsepower was the result! And this isn’t some peaky, pesky, tempermental muscle car of yore. The 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat is totally drivable on a daily basis, easy to drive, in fact…as long as you don’t step into it. Then, it becomes a fierce beast. They are totally reliable, and the way Dodge built them, they’re pretty much bulletproof. And again if you keep your foot out of it, it may even get fairly decent mileage. Amazing times we live in. A car that would beat virtually anything from the 1960s and 70s, and yet be this livable as a daily driver. We’re living in the New Golden Age.

More new cars are coming equipped with synthetic oils today, for all the obvious reasons: It lubricates the engine better, keeps the engine cleaner, and lasts longer than traditional petroleum-based oils. But, the need is greatly magnified in a high performance engine like the Hellcat. A top-quality synthetic oil is cheap insurance for such an expensive engine.

2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat SPECIFICATIONS

Model designation
Body type
Drivetrain configuration
Engine type
Engine configuration
Block & Head material
Horsepower @ RPM
Torque @ RPM
Overall length
Overall width
Overall height
Curb weight
EPA city/highway mpg
Zero to 60 mph
Zero to 100 mph
Zero to 150 mph
Standing 1/4 mile
Top speed
Braking 70-0 mph
300-ft skidpad
2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat
5-passenger, 2-door coupe
Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Supercharged & intercooled V8
Pushrod-operated 16 valves
Water-cooled 90-degree V8
Cast iron block, aluminum heads
370ci / 6,166cc
707 hp @ 6,000 rpm
650 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
6-speed manual
8-speed automatic
116.2 in
197.5 in
75.7 in
55.7 in
4,469 lb / 2,031 kg
13/21 mpg
3.9 sec
8.1 sec
19.1 sec
11.9 sec @ 124 mph
199 mph
154 ft
0.91 g