Dodge Challenger Hellcat
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Dodge
Overview: Dodge’s Pony Car is out to steal some Mustang and Camaro thunder; after nearly a full season, they still have no answer for Hellcat with its 707 horsepower.

Drivetrain: Base V6 and optional 5.7- and 6.4-liter V8 engines return; 6.2-liter supercharged V8 for the Hellcat makes 707 horsepower and pushes the car to a claimed 199 mph; eight-speed automatic and six-speed manual are still available.

Three cheers for Detroit’s Big Three automakers who have proudly flaunted the good old days of tire-smoking performance. The Dodge Challenger is a prime example, helped after a significant update for 2015. The company relies on heritage (specifically the ’71 model) for inspiration. Externally, the hood and nose were changed, while more prominent rear quarter panels, a split-taillight design and integrated exhaust outlets are evident at the back. The interior has retro-influenced seat coverings plus a heated and ventilated leather-covered-sport-seat option. The dashboard, gauges, steering wheel and 8.4-inch touch-screen/backup camera were also new, as was the “high sill” floor console reminiscent of those found on Challengers of old. Although the base 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and 375-horsepower 5.7-liter “Hemi” V8 (standard with R/T trims) returned unaltered, the output of the 6.4-liter V8 was increased to 485 horses for 2015. This engine, a Challenger SRT mainstay, is also fundamental to the R/T Scatback and 392 Hemi Scatback Shaker models (referring to the engine-mounted hood scoop). The top-of-the-heap engine, which is exclusive to the limited-production Challenger SRT Hellcat – and its Charger sedan cousin – is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 rated at 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Ford and Chevy have nothing to match it. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in V6 Challengers, and optional on all V8s, which come standard with the six-speed manual. Challenger pricing begins at $28,000 for the base model, including destination charges. For 2016, the $61,000 Hellcat base price has risen to $65,200. Dodge says that part of that is covered by both navigation and leather seats being standard. Expect a shorter wait for your Hellcat, too.

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