When we take a look at the muscle car market today, it is hard to find a vehicle that will beat the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. This model has a pretty strange history but finally, after more than 20 years of being missing from the market, Challenger had been released back in 2007. We can agree that it was not a best seller or even the best muscle car out there, but it certainly managed to keep people interested in it thanks to its modern-retro styling and very impressive engine lineup.
However, this can’t really continue for much longer, especially now when the all-new Mustang and Camaro are out. In order to compete with these new cars, we are certain that Dodge will release an entirely new Challenger in the near future which will not only be based on a new platform, but it will share some of its components with certain Maserati and Alfa Romeo products. Something like is expected to happen for 2018 or slightly later model and while we are waiting for it to come we will talk more about the currently available top of the line model.
At launch, besides the usual trim levels, latest model also included SRT Hellcat version. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will act as the top of the range product, and when we take a look at the features, we are getting it is quite clear why. This model will be the most powerful and the fastest Challenger out there but it will also cost quite a bit more than the others. This one is expected to cost around $62,500 for a base model with a manual transmission while the automatic will set you back for another $3,000.
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Review
The platform the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is based uses a lot of high strength steel and aluminum allowing to stay competitive; it also features a fully upgraded suspension system as standard. There are three options, and you can choose between Track, Sport and Street modes which are self-explanatory. One of the things that we really liked about the new version is that it comes with decent weight savings allowing it to offer improved performances and better handling.
The engine that will power the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is a well-known 6.2 liter supercharged V8 from the ongoing model. Good old 6.2 liter V8 pumps out incredible 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque and even there were reports that 2018 version will receive upgrades allowing this unit to push more than 750 hp we think that these updates will come with a new generation in the next few years.
The other option for future would be to work with Maserati in adapting their 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 for the North American market. In this case, the car would weigh around 100 pounds less than with the V8 while developing nearly just as much power. This engine currently makes in the Maserati cars up to 530 horsepower and 524 lb-ft of torque but it would likely be tunable to more than 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque with ease. Both of these would probably come with a heavy-duty 8-speed automatic which would drive the rear wheels only via a limited slip differential. A manual transmission will be offered as a base, and we like the fact that monster like this includes manual transmission.
There is no doubt that the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is one performance oriented vehicle and with the setup it brings it will run 1/4 mile in about 11.9 seconds with exit speed of 124 mph. If you opt for automatic transmission, expect slightly better quarter mile results. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is done in 3.9 seconds, 0 to 100 in 8.1 seconds and 0-150 in 19.1 sec. Top speed is about 199 mph, you can count that it is slightly above 200 mph which is just insane, this is one of the reasons we really love it.
Regarding design, the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will retain shape and size of its predecessor. Compared to the previous generation model, it does come slightly smaller than the current car, but it is more aggressive. Top and bottom grilles are huge and when combined with a little bit longer hood that covers the top part of the headlights it looks intimidating. SRT and Hellcat badges are subtle but still visible and in combination with hood scope most people will immediately recognize Hellcat version. If you choose one of the crazy colors that are offered you will be easily noticed anywhere you go.
Inside the cabin of 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, we do not expect to see any revolutionary upgrades. There should be enough room for up to four people, and the layout will come identical to what previous year model offered. High-quality materials are used for seats that bring Alcantara seating surfaces and leather sides that will hug you in any corner. SRT badges are visible on both steering wheel and seats while smaller badges are noticeable on air condition vents and similar.
Center console offers large touchscreen that will give you access to various setups where you can change settings for engine, suspension, handling and more. You can track info about the trip and get details about navigation on this display that also allows you to control audio and connectivity systems in car. Manual option brings gear shifter knob in the middle while automatic offers paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Retro design of the exterior is continued in interior with analog instruments for speed and engine RPMs. There is also a smaller display between these two gauges giving you most important info right in the line of sight.
Some people thought that it would be called the Barracuda, and this is not out of the question just yet, at least not for the next generation. No matter what happens with next generation, we hope that Hellcat model will be one of those that will be in the lineup.