Dodge has given its facelifted 2015 Challenger SRT a heavy dose of steroids with the introduction of the new Hellcat edition that bears the name of the new 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine with 600-plus horsepower, which is the highest of any regular production eight-cylinder unit to ever come from the Chrysler Group.
The 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat will be offered alongside the naturally-aspirated 2015 Challenger SRT in which the upgraded 6.4-liter (392 cu.in.) HEMI V8 gains 15hp and 5 lb-ft of torque over the previous model for a total output of 485hp and 475 lb-ft.
Both versions of the 2015 Challenger SRT can be had with an upgraded six-speed manual gearbox, or optionally and for the first time, the group’s new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.
The SRT models come with a new Driver Modes feature that allows the calibration of the horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering (Challenger SRT only), paddle shifters (automatic transmission only), traction and suspension via a button on the dash or through the touch screen menu.
The driver can either choose from three pre-configured settings – Sport, Track and Default, or enter the Custom menu that allows for individual settings.
· Custom – Allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance
· Sport – Delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the Default Mode
· Track – Delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces
· Default – Activates automatically when starting the vehicle
The Hellcat edition also brings to the table two key fobs, with the red unlocking the full horsepower and torque potential of the supercharged V8 and the black limiting the engine output. Furthermore, both Challenger SRT’s feature a Valet mode, which when activated, does the following:
· Engine is remapped to significantly reduce horsepower and torque; limited to 4,000 rpm
· Transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal
· Transmission will treat the manual shifter position the same as the drive position
· Traction, steering and suspension are set to their “Street” settings
· Steering-wheel paddle shifters are disabled
· Drive Mode functions are disabled
· Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is enabled to Full-on
· Launch Control is disabled
The base Challenger SRT rides on new 20-inch “Hyper Black” wheels wrapped in 245/45ZR20 front and rear tires, while the Hellcat edition gets 20-inch forged “Slingshot” wheels with a matte black finish (or optionally, Brass Monkey/dark bronze) finish in tires size P275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero Nero (front and rear).
The Hellcat also gets bigger brakes with 390-mm (15.4-inch) Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers that are optionally available on the 392 HEMI SRT model as part of the SRT Track Pack.
For both SRTs, Dodge developed new anti-lock braking system (ABS), ESC and traction control systems.
Up front, there’s a new vertical-split grille for the SRT and a plainer fascia for the Hellcat, which also gets dual air extractors on the hood, an Air Catcher inlet port that feeds ram-air directly into the engine air box through the driver-side parking lamp, a larger front splitter, fender badges, black sills and a taller rear spoiler.
Dodge said it will offer 11 exterior color for both SRTs: B5 Blue Pearl Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Pearl Coat, Ivory White Tri-Coat Pearl, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Phantom Black Tri-Coat Pearl, Pitch Black Clear Coat, Redline Tri-Coat Pearl, Sublime Metallic Pearl Coat and TorRed Clear Coat. In addition, the SRT 392 Twin offers full-body stripes available in Black Satin Gloss and Silver High Gloss.
Inside, both models feature the revised Challenger’s new dashboard with the standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen plus new sport seats and accent trims. The Hellcat also gets fixed gauges and digital graphics finished in a Dark Radar Red tone and different trim finishes.
Further details on performance and pricing are expected to be released before the new Challenger SRTs go on sale during the third quarter of the year.
By John Halas