Number of Cylinders: 8
Model: Other Pickups
Drive Type: rear
Number of Doors: 4
Middletown, Connecticut, United States
Chrysler's 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 was an absolute sensation from the very moment it was announced, and honestly, how could it not have been? Packing 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, its numbers immediately put every other production muscle car (and many supercars) to shame. Plus, we soon learned that would be wrapped in a package retailing for around $60,000 - a pittance compared to other vehicles offering similar grunt. However, the Hellcat almost never got the chance to rumble under the hood of the Challenger and Charger.
The Hellcat was initially proposed back in 2011, back when Fiat was deciding its future strategy for Chrysler Group, according to Automotive News. At the time, the company was just emerging from its bankruptcy doldrums, and an ultra-high-performance V8 wasn't exactly a must-have item. The program didn't move forward. However, SRT engineers kept fighting, according to AN, and four months later, they received the green light to pull the project off the shelf and continue developing the Hellcat. The muscle car world is certainly better for that decision.
The work of those engineers focused on taking Chrysler's standard 6.2-liter V8 and making it reliably handle all of the extra power from the supercharger. "It came down to micron levels of changes in the crank to be able to withstand the pressures of the engine," said Chris Cowland, director of advanced and SRT powertrain, to Automotive News. The changes amounted to switching out about 91 percent of the parts to make the Hellcat, including some quite minuscule alterations. For example, the washer holding the supercharger pulley is embedded with industrial diamonds to keep it from slipping.
Dodge has already shared all of the relevant information about its all-new 2013 Dart GT, but it wasn't until now that we've seen the car, live and in person. The slightly meaner front fascia and bigger wheels look great on the Dodge, and the red-on-black perforated seats are sporting in an aftermarket sort of way.
To recap: The Dart GT also gets a bit more power, using a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to make 184 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. A starting price of $20,995 will get you LED taillights, dual exhaust, an 8.4-inch touchscreen and a 7.0-inch TFT display.
Feel free to re-acquaint yourselves with the full Dodge Dart GT information in the press release below, or have a leisurely browse through our gallery of live images.
General Motors isn't the only automaker with ignition switch problems. Chrysler is fighting it too and is now announcing a recall of 695,957 examples worldwide of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans from the 2008-2010 model years, plus the 2009-2010 Dodge Journey.
According to a statement from Chrysler, the models have a bad wireless ignition node detent ring in the ignition switch, making it possible for drivers to appear to have the key in the "Run" position but for the spring not to fully engage. It can then slip back to the "Accessory" position and shut the car off. If this happens, the vehicle loses power steering, brake boost and the airbags.
There is some disparity about the number of vehicles affected under this recall. In its statement, Chrysler claims that it covers 525,206 vehicles in the US, 102,892 in Canada, 25,591 in Mexico and 42,268 elsewhere. However, the recall announcement posted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists an estimated 438,109 vehicles in the US. Chrysler spokesperson Nick Cappa told Autoblog via email that the reasoning for the different figures "will become clear at a later date."