Reports initially pointed to the Charger SRT Hellcat making its debut on August 16th, but Chrysler decided to catch us all off-guard by launching it at a small press conference on August 13th. There were not a whole lot of surprises from this debut, as the Charger Hellcat has the same 6.2-liter, HEMI V-8 as its Challenger cousin and similar aero bits, like the revised rear spoiler, hood scoop and hood-mounted air extractors. But there were a few bits of info that really stood out.
The really shocking parts of the reveal included the fact that the Charger Hellcat is actually faster than the Challenger in terms of top speed and quarter-mile time. The Charger Hellcat can run the quarter-mile in an NHRA-certified 11 seconds on street tires — 0.2 seconds faster than the Challenger — and tops out at 204 mph, which is 5 mph faster than the Challenger Hellcat. The top speed difference is because the Charger has 12 percent less aerodynamic drag than the Challenger Hellcat, and anyone who knows SRT products knows that their top speed is purely drag limited — no speed limiters here. The quarter mile difference, according to Tim Kuniskis, CEO of Dodge, is because the added weight of the Charger allows it to launch better off the line.
The Charger SRT Hellcat is, however, slightly slower to 60 mph than its two-door counterpart. The Challenger takes just 3.5 seconds to hit highway speeds, whereas the Charger SRT Hellcat takes 3.7 seconds. This is likely due to the torque-to-weight ratio difference between the two.
As expected, the Charger SRT Hellcat is only available with the and eight-speed, TorqueFlight automatic transmission. Unlike the Challenger, there is no manual-transmission available. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the Dodge has made it clear in the past that the there isn’t a case for adding a row-your-own option to the performance sedan.
Dodge will start selling the Charger SRT Hellcat in the first quarter of 2015 and a 2015 model — not a 2016 — and it has not revealed pricing just yet. A really nice side note is that Kuniskis addressed rumors that the Hellcat versions of the Charger and Challenger would be limited to 1,200 units by calling them untrue and that Dodge would build as many Hellcats it needs to satisfy demand.