Electric cars? Plug-ins? Hybrids? Hydrogen fuel cells?
Nah. The hottest thing in the automotive world may still be raw horsepower.
Dodge has told its dealer network to stop taking orders for the 2015 Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats, a pair of 700+-horsepower throwbacks that, the company says, it cannot make fast enough.
“Due to unprecedented demand for the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats, we are temporarily restricting orders while we validate current orders that are in the system,” a company spokesperson said Friday.
First unveiled last May, the Hellcats push 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque out of a 6.2 liter V-8 engine. These sleds are said to get from zero to 60 in 3.6 seconds, leaving a trail of hot rubber in their wake.
The base MSRP is $59,995.
Did Dodge underestimate consumer demand? Or fail to anticipate the impact of falling gas prices?
Maybe. The Hellcats get about 13 miles to the gallon in city driving, and a mere 21 on the highway.
Dodge announced last fall that it had received more than 5,000 pre-orders for the 2015 vehicles.
Shortly after, as the vehicles began shipping to dealerships, reports began appearing in the automotive press that demand for the Hellcats was so strong that dealers were getting premiums of up to $10,000 per vehicle over the sticker price.
Current reports suggest the total number of Hellcats ordered may be as high as 9,000. Dodge would not comment on the number sold, or the number on order.