Interior Color: Gray
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Options: Leather Seats
Number of Doors: 4
Exterior Color: Maroon
Bakersfield, California, United States
1948 Dodge Coronet limousine conversion done at the factory. $19,500 OBO. Leather interior, custom paint job. Beautiful car.
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.
As if driving the old Dodge Viper (not the fancy new SRT model) isn't intimidating enough, imagine trying to wrangle that V10 beast and then suddenly having the airbags deploy. Yikes. That's apparently what could happen to some 3,660 Viper models from the 2003 and 2004 model years, and as such, Chrysler has issued a recall.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the car's airbag control module may fail, causing the bags or seatbelt pre-tensioners to deploy without warning while the vehicle is in operation. That's a dangerous scenario in any car, let alone one offering insane horsepower a near-total paucity of safety nannies should things get squirrely.
Owners will be notified this month about the recall, though a remedy is not expected to be available until later this year. Scroll down for the full NHTSA statement.
Dodge buyers looking for that extra performance edge, take note: Mopar is bringing back the Scat Pack. Announced at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas today, the new Scat Packages will be available in three stages for the Challenger, Charger and Dart starting next spring.
Upgrades for the Charger and Challenger equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine include a
new cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust, as well as a remapped ECU. Upgrade to the Scat Package 2 and you get a new camshaft, and the Scat Package 3 tosses in ported and polished heads and hi-flow headers. Upgrades for the Dart GT with the smaller 2.4-liter, four-cylinder Tigershark engine with six-speed manual transmission start with a cold-air intake, short-throw shifter and upgraded brakes. The second stage kicks in a remapped ECU and cat-back exhaust, while the Scat Package 3 for the Dart gives you even bigger brakes, an adjustable suspension and sway bars front and rear.