2012 Dodge Charger R/t Plus Hemi Sunroof Nav Leather 8k Texas Direct Auto on 2040-cars
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Auto blogWed, 23 Oct 2013 14:28:00 EST
One of the prime complaints against the Dodge Challenger is that, even in SRT8 guise, its 470 horsepower is responsible for hauling over 4,200 pounds of vehicle. For comparison, the 420 hp in the Ford Mustang GT only has to deal with 3,618 lbs. Things only get worse from there, as the higher-performance variants of both the Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro are far more powerful than an SRT8 without adding on much heft.
So what is Chrysler to do? The correct answer is add a whole lot more grunt to its hefty two-door and even the odds. That's where the all-new Hellcat engine comes into play. We reported on this engine in May, and suggested that the Hellcat, a supercharged powerplant based on a 6.4-liter V8, would easily generate 500 to 570 hp and could likely arrive boasting more than 600 ponies.
Chrysler's ace in its sleeve has now been spied testing, with a number of Hellcat-equipped Challengers running the potent new engine both in more urbanized areas and under the sun of Death Valley. The hoods on these testers have been raised to accommodate the engine, and that camouflage over the fascias of these prototypes is there to hide a larger air intake. We also note what appears to be a new split grille under wraps. As for power output, our spies are now suggesting a Viper-equalling 640 hp from the Hellcat-equipped cars.
Dodge is just days away from unveiling refreshed versions of the Charger and Challenger at the 2014 New York Auto Show, models promising updated styling and new powertrain options. Depending on how you look at it, the company is either so confident in its forthcoming 2015 models that it's offering an interesting Double-Up lease deal on the current vehicles, or it's so eager to clear out existing stock that it's resorting to novel lease deals. In any case, what they present is an interesting scenario, one which allows buyers to get the existing model right now, and then trade up to the facelifted 2015 models in one year.
Starting April 17, when the refreshed cars debut through the end of August, buyers can lease a 2014 Charger or Challenger for one year and exchange it for a three-year lease on a 2015 model next year, with no additional money down and the same monthly payment. Customers can even switch vehicles when the new lease starts. If drivers want to buy the '15, they get $1,000 off the purchase price. To be eligible, both leases must use the same dealership and be financed through Chrysler Capital. The Double-Up deal excludes the SRT versions of both cars and Charger SE models.
To offset the flood of one-year-old models coming back to dealerships, Dodge has struck a deal with rental car agency Enterprise, which has agreed to buy them all. "One-year leases are highly unusual in the industry," said company spokesperson Ralph Kisiel, and the fleet sale deal is what makes it possible.
We love a good deal on high performance. It's what traditionally makes muscle cars so appealing - you get lots of speed, for not a lot of money. For 2015, Dodge has taken this to its logical extreme, offering its new 707-horsepower, supercharged, V8-powered Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat for just $59,900. For those wondering, that works out to just about $85 per horsepower, which when compared with a typical budget performance car, like the $24,995, 210-hp Volkswagen GTI ($119 per hp), demonstrates the Hellcat's astonishing value.
The information was revealed by a photo (click on the inset image to expand) taken at this week's Portland launch event (our man Seyth Miersma is just now on the ground and will have a full report on the madness that is the Hellcat soon) for the entire 2015 Challenger range, and reveals the Hellcat's price alongside its high-powered competitors from Ford and Chevrolet.
The discontinued 662-hp Mustang GT500 started at $56,000, while the 580-hp Camaro ZL1 starts off at $58K. Indeed, the only muscle car that outprices the Hellcat is the track-focused Camaro Z/28, a car that we're guessing could still wallop the Hellcat on the right piece of track, despite being down over 200 hp.