Few cars have been designed for a single purpose quite like the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Big and brawny, it was born to live on the drag strip. So could a ten-year-old Shelby GT500 really out-drag it?
The short answer, as this video reveals, is an evident “yes.”
Captured at Mission Raceway Park in the Canadian province of British Columbia, this showdown took place between a new Hellcat and a circa-2008 Shelby GT500 Mustang.
On paper, it should have been an easy win for the Mopar muscle. Where the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 boasts 707 horsepower (527 kW) and 650 lb-ft (881 Nm) of torque, the Shelby version of the fifth-gen Mustang (and not the more potent KR version) packed a smaller 5.4-liter engine – still supercharged and with eight cylinders – producing 500 hp (373 kW) and 480 lb-ft (651 Nm) of torque.
No contest, right? Well, we don’t know if the Shelby was modified or not. (It shows no such outwards signs that we can see, right down to the stock alloys.) But as is often the case, the big difference may have come down to the drivers – especially since both these machines channel their muscle down to the track surface through six-speed Tremec manual transmissions (where the more potent Challenger Demon used an eight-speed automatic). And judging the shifts just right can make or break a drag racer’s run.
Whatever the reason, the numbers speak for themselves. The Shelby ran down the strip in 10:87 at 126.26 miles per hour (203.2 km/h), and the Challenger lagged behind, running through the traps in 11:30 at 121.19 mph (195 km/h). In other drivers’ hands, the results may have turned out differently. But as these drag racers aptly demonstrated, power’s only as good as what you can do with it.