"Dodge has finally introduced its 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat, outfitted with Chrysler Group's most powerful V8 engine ever.
The Challenger Hellcat's front end design features a Viper-esque hood scoop that was revealed in spy shots. The front end has been modified with larger air intakes in order to feed the required amount of air to the supercharger, while the rear end brings independent taillights and other tweaks that were revealed earlier this year on the standard Challenger.
That Viper connection likely isn't an accident as the Hellcat promises to rival the total power offered by Chrysler's flagship model, which will be returned to the Dodge brand after a brief stint under the separate SRT banner.
"We have a situation where, you know -- we may have a situation -- where the flagship car is not the most powerful car in our arsenal ... how do we explain that to ourselves? So we have an internal horsepower race as well as an external one," SRT CEO Ralph Gilles revealed in an interview published in the April issue of Hot Rod Magazine.
The 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat HEMI does not officially take the power crown from the Viper, unless Dodge's promise of "600 plus" horsepower actually equates to more than 640 ponies. Interestingly, the announcement omits a torque rating for the all-new engine, though earlier rumors have pointed to approximately 600 lb-ft of twist. Those figures put the coupe behind the Ford Shelby GT500 and just ahead of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Owners can prevent guests in the driver seat from unleashing the Hellcat's full potential, which can only be unlocked with one of the two included key fobs. Valet mode remaps the engine to significantly reduce output and establish a 4,000 rpm redline, while the transmission shifts early and locks out first gear.
The company has not forgotten about the existing Challenger SRT package with the 392 HEMI, which has been retuned for 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque.
Production for the Challenger SRT and its Hellcat stablemate is expected to begin in the third quarter of the year. Pricing and launch dates have not yet been revealed."