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Auto blogWed, 10 Sep 2014 17:44:00 EST
We all hate the idea of the dreaded dealer markup when it comes to buying a highly anticipated new car. Take the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, for example. You might spend hours reading about its supercharged V8 and speccing the model just right in the configurator, but when it finally comes down to laying down the cash, the dealer adds thousands of dollars as a "market adjustment" on the muscle machine of your dreams. As it turns out, when the Hellcat starts hitting showrooms in the third quarter, Dodge is trying to make sure that's not the case.
Dealer orders for the much-hyped Hellcat recently started, but Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis has put some special caveats in place to ensure that the Hellcat makes it to the road quickly. The initial allocation is based on the number of Dodge products that a showroom has sold in the last 180 days, and a second allotment in December is based on the last 90 days of sales and 30-day turnover. "You sell a lot of Darts for me, Journeys for me, Durangos for me, I'm going to give you the rights to this one, too, because this is a halo of the brand," said Kuniskis to Automotive News.
Furthermore, how quickly the Hellcat sells is also going to decide whether showrooms get more of them. "If you want to market-adjust the car, that's your right. But if your days-on-lot goes above what the other guys that are selling them at MSRP is, they will end up earning the allocation because their days-on-lot will be lower," he said to Automotive News. Obviously, this doesn't prevent dealers from marking up the Challenger SRT, but the strategy certainly discourages it.
The 2014 New York Auto Show will be a big one for Dodge, as the brand has announced that refreshed versions of the 2015 Challenger and 2015 Charger will debut at the show. This is a particularly big deal for the two-door Challenger which, visually, has remained unchanged since is burst back onto the scene in 2008 and helped reignite the muscle car wars.
As a sort of hint, this announcement was accompanied by the picture you see above - the Super Bee logo in the Challenger's new instrument cluster. According to Dodge, the New York debut of a new "powertrain combination" - possibly with the high-output Hellcat V8 - will leave enthusiasts "abuzz."
As for the Charger, Dodge is promising a full redesign that should be a significant departure from the blunt, angry looks of the current model. At this point, there's no indication that the Challenger's new powertrain could be fitted to the Charger, although considering how mechanically similar these two vehicles have been, it doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility.
I can pinpoint the exact moment when I fell in love with this car. It was starting down a nearly straight entrance ramp at 15 miles per hour when I buried the throttle. In a moment, I was thrown back into my seat as the big SRT8's engine came to life with commensurate sound, fury and force, bringing me up to 75 mph in what felt like two blinks of an eye. This thing feels so much quicker than its 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque would lead you to believe. And mashing the right pedal never, ever gets old.
But beyond sheer speed, I found a whole lot to like about the Charger SRT8 during my week with the Pitch Black test car here in Detroit. And while the whole Super Bee kit isn't really my style, it's really easy to overlook those badges for a package that offers so much for so little.