For an automaker looking to grab a little attention, 600 horsepower isn’t a bad place to start.
Dodge on Tuesday pulled the covers off two versions of its Challenger SRT coupes for 2015, including a tire-murdering, supercharged Hellcat version with “600-plus” horsepower.
The announcement comes on the heels of Chrysler Group’s recent decision to consolidate the SRT and Dodge brands under the Dodge nameplate as its performance arm. Tuesday’s new coupes are the first products launched by the reorganized company.
The Hellcat is Chrysler’s first foray into supercharged engines in the company’s history. It’s also the most powerful motor the automaker has built. Using a 6.2-liter HEMI engine, the car makes at least 600 horsepower and 10,000 pound-feet of torque. Kidding about the torque, but Dodge hasn’t announced the real figure yet, so we’re left to our imaginations.
This power flows to the rear wheels via one of two transmissions. Customers can choose between an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, or (for the truly bold) a six-speed manual gearbox.
With all this power, Dodge knew serious stopping power would also be required. Thus, the Hellcat comes with 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece brake rotors with six-piston calipers up front.
Those looking for more reasonable power should consider the refreshed Challenger SRT. This model has the naturally-aspirated, 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 from the 2014 model, but horsepower jumps up 15 to 485 and torque rises to 475 pound-feet from 470 pound-feet.
A six-speed manual transmission will still be available, though the optional automatic gearbox now has eight forward gears instead of five.
Both the standard SRT model and the Hellcat version will come with four drive modes: Custom, Sport, Track and Default. The settings alter the horsepower, shift speeds and paddle shifters (on cars with automatic transmissions), traction control and suspension.
Although the outside of the cars remain largely unchanged (the taillights no longer run the width of the car), the interiors get a healthy upgrade in materials and quality. A seven-inch digital screen in the instrument panel is flanked by a pair of redesigned analog gauges.
In the dash, a new (standard) 8.4-inch touchscreen holds the Uconnect infotainment system, heated and ventilated front seats are standard, stitched leather lines the dashboard, and a flat-bottom steering wheel also holds a variety of controls for cruise control and infotainment.
Pricing for either model hasn’t been announced yet but the outgoing 2014 Challenger SRT started at $46,680. Dodge will begin building the 2015 Challenger models in the summer.