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New Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – Auto Migration Service

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All American Dodge seems to be operating in a vacuum. While the automotive world has been involved in a major electric war for more than a decade and everything has to be greener, more economical and more efficient despite years of economic prosperity, Dodge is using one big V8 after another in very old models. In the case of the Charger, there’s also the fact that this is a ‘full-size sedan’, a dying breed. The Dodge Charger has been around since the 1960s and is traditionally a coupe, but was reintroduced as a sedan in 2005 after years of absence. The car was a sister model of the Chrysler 300C, which was also released in Europe.

The current generation of Charger appeared in 2010. Compared to its immediate predecessor, it has a completely new body, but the platform was allowed to remain. The Charger got a major facelift in 2015, but even that latest version is already seven years old. Like the regular SXT, the Dodge Charger competes in North America with other large sedans such as the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Altima, although the American has rear-wheel drive and sharper looks. Like the Hellcat, the Charger is the only hatchback in the muscle car world, so it has no competitors.

Hellcat since 2015

The Hellcat concept was born in 2015, primarily for the Challenger retro competition. Since then, the legendary name has already appeared not only on the Charger, but even on the Dodge SUV, Durango. In seven years, several changes were made and variations on the theme appeared, but the core remained the same: the incredibly powerful 6.2-liter Hemi-V8. In the Charger Hellcat Jailbreak the block now exceeds 800 hp, but we run a ‘normal’ Hellcat. That means 717 hp and 881 Nm. Yes: more than 700 hp, in a subtopper! This makes this classic American more powerful than any E63, RS6 or M5 and is more or less the same as a Ferrari F8 (720 hp).

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great charger

In total, Dodge currently offers no less than five different versions of the Charger V8. That starts with the 5.7 in the R/T, followed by the Scat Pack with a 6.4-liter Hemi with 485 horsepower. Surprisingly enough, compared to that car, the Hellcat has a smaller cylinder capacity. However, there is a powerful weapon: a large ‘supercharger’, or belt-driven compressor. It sits on top of the engine and forces the bonnet up, which is inevitable from the driver’s seat. At the touch of the start button, the machine springs to life with a piercing, powerful roar that rattles the windows. As always, the car is so loud that ‘our’ German-registered copy had to be fitted with a valve on the exhaust which makes it more polite at the touch of a button. Even if we forget that big engine for a while, driving a Dodge Charger takes time to get used to a European. At 5.11 meters, the car is longer than the BMW 5-series or Audi A6 and is also 2 meters wider, like the new Range Rover, for example. So its size is not exceptional, but it is large and is also emphasized by a relatively high seat, large seats and an unusually large steering wheel. It’s good that the powertrain behaves well in normal use, except for that sound. Normal acceleration is no problem at all and the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, known from other brands, shifts smoothly and quietly.

By the way, don’t think the car will be economical, because even with a very sensible right foot, 1 out of 8 seems unattainable. Now whining about fuel consumption is not very useful in this case, but we will do it. In addition to the high cost, this also means a very limited range. For 1 out of 5, the small 70 liter tank does not empty very quickly and that is very annoying. Knocking too, in a car that doesn’t show humility in any other way.

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Dodge Hellcat

Rear passengers are comfortable and the Charger has a large trunk. The interior shows that this model is old-fashioned and cheap, although the image quality is quite good. It’s all cute and cuddly, with big buttons and sturdy material. infotainment is still fast and modern. We know this system from stripped-down stablemate Fiat, although Dodge adds a whole load of Hellcat-specific elements to it. All possible temperatures are visible on the screen, there are timers for race time and ‘quarter mile’ functions, there is a launch control with adjustable speed and the car even has a ‘line lock’. That means the front wheels are locked, but the rear wheels are free to turn. That creates huge clouds of smoke and almost watery rear tires in no time, which seems to improve handling during drag racing.

Bilstein dampers

That sure can’t hurt, we’ll soon find out. The rear tires tend to lose grip and the rear tires quickly disengage, even with ESP on. That sounds scarier than it is, because the Charger doesn’t drive as scary as it looks. The breakout is easy to predict and can be easily absorbed with little steering movement. Those who sit on the right side of the grip limit can also go around corners with this device. Since 2020, the Hellcat has therefore been offered as standard as ‘Widebody’. It is recognizable by its large fender flares and wider tires compared to previous versions, but also adjustable power steering and Bilstein shock absorbers.

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In any case, almost everything can be changed, although we miss a common, quickly accessible button to set the strong things in one swoop. The car is comfortable, but it also allows you to play well. The brakes are up to the job and inspire confidence, which is great given the otherworldly acceleration. Only the size gets in the way during a good driving game, because the Dutch roads are too narrow for this beast. Even more often they are very short, because with so much power the end usually appears soon. Accelerator unleashes a mountain of archaic violence that cannot be described with a pen. The engine burbles, the supercharger roars and the car accelerates at a speed that makes the top of the 300 very believable. Interesting, but in the Netherlands the Hellcat is a captive animal. Those who love their driver’s license and don’t want to endanger others too much can enjoy it in just a few seconds. In that sense, it is not so bad that the car here is not available due to its CO2 emissions of almost 400 grams (!) per km. Those who register new will pay €115,000 per bpm and thus double the price in Germany.

However that’s also a shame, because the raw, pure violence of this incredible device will no longer exist in the future. The future is coming soon, because in 2023 Dodge will pull the plug on Hellcat production. The end of an age, an age we will secretly miss.

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