As an automotive writer, blogger, and owner of Gargling Gas – a site dedicated to the more aggressive cars and cultures – my ears obviously pricked up when I heard rumour of a 707-hp muscle car being given the nod. In an age of whining eco-warriors, eco-boxes and strict emission control, this was music to my ears, especially as all this horsepower was being hammered out by a giant supercharged 6.2-L V8 Hemi.
Okay, so the Dodge Hellcat’s monstrous power plant had to adhere to emissions, but as someone who fears the days of massive horse power generated by massive engines are quickly being replaced by smaller hybrid/turbo technology, it’s refreshing to hear an American legend has stepped up and injected their current SRT8 muscle with something a little more potent than those cliché steroids.
The first pictures I witnessed of Dodge’s monster showed it in an aptly bright green. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was the same as its little SRT8 brother in the same way a Big Mac tastes the same as a lightly seasoned and seared fillet steak. It is worth noting that The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is now easily available with sites such as 51st State opening the gates to import the model.
From a distance, the SRT Hellcat could be mistaken for the SRT8 model, as the Richter-scale damaging power is hidden within the belly of the beast. The one fantastic and obvious giveaway to a Hellcat (apart from the noise it creates if running) is the RAM air hole neatly positioned within the Challenger’s front lights. Using “angel eye” lights made popular by BMW, the Hellcat still retains its sidelights as air is helplessly gulped into its supercharger.
As for the Lambo green… were they taunting the Italians over the fact their muscle car boasted more horses than their Aventador? Were they having a dig at the eco-warriors painting such a mechanical behemoth green? I’d like to think so.
The Hellcat also comes in red, but I think the green is perfect and hails back to 70s and the days muscle cars ruled supreme.
I haven’t mentioned I’m a UK-based writer yet as all this talk of muscle and horsepower would seem ludicrous and incongruously placed on our small and winding country roads.
After a little research and interest (obsession) on the Hellcat it seems the UK petrolheads are all falling for its looks and are pining to experience the Jolly Green Giant’s punch.
When I hear people laugh at UK muscle car owners, always dropping the “mpg” debate, I do wonder if they include the Chelsea tractor owners, the supercharged Range Rovers, Porsche Cayennes and other heavy and petrol-guzzling 4x4s families buy to carry their 2.4 children – obesity in children is on the rise, but this is ridiculous.
With petrol prices tumbling in the UK and a machine available with 707-hp whilst offering similar mpg (22) as a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, why wouldn’t a serious petrolhead put in an order? What other car offers this much power for such a low price compared to its supercar rivals?
Even the infamous Ram 1500/2500 pickups are finding themselves in colder and damper climes. Thanks to Chrysler’s diesel Pentastar V6 power plants and 8-speed transmissions, the efficient torque and solid mpg figures are attracting customers across the pond.
No more massive V8s and leaf spring suspension; the current Ram 1500/2500s boast adjustable air suspension, touch screen technology and stylish interiors, workhorses going under the guise of a luxury hauler.
So is big always better?
Of course it is.