Seat Time – 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

September 1st, 2016 at 8:00pm

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

John McElroy
Vehicle: 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Price: $64,000+

Final Impression:

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

What a beast! It’d been a couple of years since I’d been in a Hellcat and I had forgotten just how big this car is. While the Mustang and Camaro have slimmed-down and lost weight the Challenger still sits on the same platform that dates back to the DaimlerChrysler days. That puts it about 750 pounds heavier than the pony cars it competes against.

That means this is a car that’s best suited for straight-line speed, not for tossing side to side as you zip through the twisty bits. And with 707 hp on tap you get up to speed mighty quick, even hauling that much weight around.

The Challenger Hellcat is a lot more comfortable than the Mustang or Camaro. It has a surprisingly supple suspension and seats that are comfortably cushy. Three kids will easily fit in the back seat, whereas practically no one can fit in the back seats of the other two cars. In other words, the Challenger Hellcat is perfect for a family of five with the need for speed.

The Hellcat can be loud as you row it through the gears. But once you slip it into fifth or sixth it cruises quietly, making this the kind of muscle car that you could live with every day.

Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine produces 707 ho

But you better be prepared to make frequent stops at your favorite filling stations. It’s rated at 16 mpg overall but I never got close to that number. The best I could manage, even driving with a light foot, was 14 mpg. And if you really want to step into it, it’ll easily drop below 11. That’s one reason why this car comes with a $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

I suspect anyone seriously interested in buying this car is not worried about the fuel economy or attracted to the big back seat. They’re attracted to the well proportioned styling, the bragging rights that 707 hp bring, and the visceral feeling you get in your gut when you fire this beast up.

The Challenger Hellcat comes with a price tag just over $64,000. It’s kind of a bargain for what it is. And even more amazing is that it holds its value better than most other cars.

It’s hard to imagine that today’s modern muscle car era is going to be around forever. And while I wouldn’t exactly call the Challenger Hellcat a dinosaur, if this is the kind of car you aspire to own you better buy one before it goes extinct.

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

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