3.6-liter V6 delivers up to 300 horsepower; the 5.7-liter “Hemi” V8’s 370 horses are unchanged; all-wheel-drive is available for all but the potent SRT8 Hellcat that brings a new supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 707 horsepower to play; all models use improved eight-speed automatic transmissions.
Although no longer a member of NASCAR’s various racing series, perhaps Dodge will puts its latest Charger back into some stock-oriented division with the National Hot Rod Assn. (NHRA)? Why? Because the NHRA confirmed that the new 2015 Charger SRT8 Hellcat can do the standing quarter-mile in 11 seconds flat and on street tires. Beyond the revised suspension, new wheels and more-aggressive body bits, the Hellcat’s most important part is under its hood. The “normal” 470-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi is plenty good, but for the Hellcat it has been replaced by a 6.2-liter V8 that’s augmented by a big ol’ supercharger. Final tallies of 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque mean the Charger SRT8 is the most powerful factory-built sedan and the fastest as well, topping out at 204 mph. The large 20-inch wheels with 15.4-inch Brembo brake rotors means it stops nearly as well as it accelerates, doing the zero-to-100-0-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. Those other engines carry over from before: the base 3.6-liter V6 still has 300 horsepower and it achieves 19 mpg in the city and 31 highway (up from 18/27). The 370-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 installed as standard equipment in the Charger R/T should drink less fuel than before, but final numbers are hard to come by. 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. Aside from the Hellcat engine, nearly everything on the outside has been changed or replaced, including the mean face with LED fog lamps, grille, hood and trunk. The interior sees a completely new steering wheel, dash, gauge cluster and better materials all around. For additional rumbling noises, you can select the Beats by Dr. Dre audio package. The Rap artist helped tune the optional 10-speaker sound system to complement the Charger’s interior and the musical tastes of its generally more youthful passengers.