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Dodge Charger Hellcat
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Overall: Dodge’s full-size four-door sedan is the textbook definition of aggressively American, especially when the SRT8 Hellcat’s 700-plus-horsepower engine is roaring. How does 204 mph sound?

Drivetrain: 3.6-liter V6 delivers up to 300 horsepower; the 5.7-liter “Hemi” V8’s 370 horses are unchanged; The SRT 392 has the “old” 6.4-liter V8 with nearly 500 horsepower; potent SRT8 Hellcat that brings a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 707 horsepower; all-wheel-drive an option with first two engines; all models use eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Those wishing for a be-winged version of its Charger to return to NASCAR’s various racing series will be continue to be disappointed for the 2016 season. But perhaps Dodge will put its latest Charger back into some stock-oriented division with the National Hot Rod Assn. (NHRA). Why? Because the NHRA confirmed that the Charger SRT8 Hellcat, introduced for 2015, can do the standing quarter-mile in 11 seconds flat and on street tires. Beyond the revised suspension, different wheels and more-aggressive body bits, the Hellcat’s most important part is under its hood. The “normal” 485-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi is plenty good and returns in the SRT 392 model. The Hellcat, however, gets a 6.2-liter V8 that’s augmented by a big ol’ supercharger. With 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, the Hellcat is the most powerful factory-built sedan and the fastest as well, topping out at a claimed 204 mph. The large 20-inch wheels with 15.4-inch Brembo-brand brake rotors means the car goes and stops, doing the zero-to-100-mph-to-zero test in a supercar-rivaling sub-13-second time. Amazingly, the Hellcat uses the same eight-speed automatic as the other engines, although bulked up to handle twice the power. The base 3.6-liter V6 still has 300 horsepower and it achieves 19 mpg in the city and 31 highway. There’s also a 370-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 installed as standard equipment in the Charger R/T. Both engines can be equipped with all-wheel-drive with its active transfer case with front-axle disconnect. To save fuel, the system unlocks the front wheels from the transfer case when they’re not needed and will automatically and seamlessly reconnect the front wheels when rear-tire slip is detected. The 5.7 also tries to temper the engine’s thirst for fuel by cutting off half the cylinders at idle and during low-load cruising. Prices on the SRT Hellcat have risen by more than $3,600 for 2016, although that’s partly balanced by standard navigation and much nicer leather seat coverings.

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