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Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the works

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:56:00 EST

In Autoblog's recent First Drive of the 2015 Challenger SRT with the 707-horsepower Hellcat V8 we found its engine to be as brutally powerful as the numbers would suggest, even if it wasn't the best handler. However, the muscle-car-styling just isn't right for some buyers that need four doors and proper rear seats to haul around the family. It appears that Dodge has their backs, though, because the Hellcat is very likely on its way into the Charger in the near future. Imagine the looks on your passengers' faces when you stomp down on the throttle.
According to Road and Track, when Dodge submitted the Hellcat for engine power certification to the Society of Automotive Engineers, the company included the Charger on the paperwork. That showed that the automaker wanted the engine checked out for the sedan, too. R&T reckons the 707-hp Charger would hit the road about a year from now, clearing the Challenger for a year of exclusivity with the powerplant.
When the Charger SRT Hellcat does hit the road, it may carry a very special accolade. Assuming nothing beats it in the meantime, it might be the world's highest horsepower production sedan. Think on that for a second. Even a Mercedes S65 AMG only has 621 horsepower, though a good bit more torque at 738 pound-feet to the Dodge's 650 lb-ft. So while the beastly engine is getting put into other models, where else would you like to see it? The Ram? Grand Cherokee? Let us know in Comments.

40+ cars that barely avoid the gas guzzler tax

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:59:00 EST



The Gas Guzzler schedule, with mpg ratings and charges that haven't changed since 1991, lays out which fuel-swillers owe what to Uncle Sam.
I started thinking about the "Gas Guzzler Tax" - considerably less well known as The Energy Tax Act of 1978 - when I was driving Dodge's new Challenger SRT Hellcat last week. Unsurprisingly for a car that can burn 1.5 gallons of gas per minute at max tilt, theoretically able to empty a full tank of premium in about 13 minutes, the Hellcat will be subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax schedule when it goes on sale.

MotorWeek proves '90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:31:00 EST

Oh, the heady days of 1993, back when the Clinton Presidency was just getting underway, and it seemed like every hot new rock band was coming out of Seattle. Sports cars in the US had finally shaken off the shackles that slowed them during the '70s and '80s, and you could buy any number of legitimately quick vehicles again. MotorWeek recently went digging into its archives to find this six-model test from 1993 showing off some of the best semi-affordable performance coupes that money could buy at the time, and it's priceless.
Featuring the 1994 model year Toyota Supra in twin-turbo guise and MY 1993 versions of the Porsche 968, Nissan 300ZX TT, Mazda RX-7, Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette LT-1, MotorWeek definitely covered all of the bases. One thing that might surprise younger readers is these cars' performance. The video only provides 0-60 acceleration times, but several of these vehicles would still be considered pretty potent today - over 20 years since going on sale. The Supra is especially impressive, hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. Even today, that's nothing to sneeze at.
Given their performance potential and still-attractive looks, it's amazing that some of these coupes are old enough to drink now. The progress of interior design and safety equipment in the intervening years is pretty shocking, though. In most of these models, having two airbags is touted as a big deal. Scroll down to watch a Throwback Thursday blast from the past about some of the '90s best sports cars.

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat [w/videos]

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:57:00 EST

Darrell Waltrip once said, "If the lion didn't bite the tamer every once in a while, it wouldn't be exciting." The sentiment behind that aphorism is causing my adrenal gland to wake up as Dodge and SRT drivers and engineers - somber-faced to a man - give me the track talk that will precede my driving the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT on the circuit at Portland International Raceway. PIR might not be Daytona, and the 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat might seem tame to a legend like ol' Jaws, but there's a not-small part of me that's thinking about how hard Dodge's fire-breathing kitty might bite.
Just a few hours previous, I'd gotten behind the wheel of the Hellcat for the first time, letting its hyperbole-spitting, supercharged V8 Hemi pull me yieldingly through Portland's morning commuter traffic. Lulled into a cocky certainty by the Challenger's good manners at low speed, I drove the throttle just a hair too deep, too fast when I ran on to the highway ramp. For just an instant the rear tires were utterly drenched in torque, and the back end of the big Dodge loosened up like a drift car on a wet track. Throttle steer lives at the fleeting whim of your right foot in this car.
It was no big thing to lay off the gas and pull the Hellcat back in line as I entered the highway, but the incident did get me to thinking: What will this car do to me on a road course?

Chop the top of your new Dodge Viper for $35,000

Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:31:00 EST

We have good news, and we have bad news. First, the good: It's now possible to get a brand-new Dodge Viper roadster, which is nice, considering we're in the dead of summer and many of us like wind-in-the-hair motoring. Now, the bad: This is not a factory option from the automaker, instead coming courtesy of an aftermarket company called Prefix Performance, and that means it's going to cost you some serious coin.
Called Medusa, this drop-top Viper was created without the knowledge or consent of Dodge, but that's probably fine because Prefix works with the automaker already for the final preparation of the American supercar, including paint. According to the company, the current, fifth-gen Viper was built with a convertible version in mind, so no chassis strengthening is required. From the looks of the somewhat grainy photos available, the conversion appears of very high quality.
Want one? Well, that means you're going to need to procure a Viper - Prefix has 10 units ready for transformation as it stands - and that's going to cost at the very least $102,485. Then, you'll need to write a check for an additional $35,000 for Prefix to surgically remove the car's roof. Thing is, for that kind of cash, a prospective owner could buy, among other very nice options, a Viper hardtop and a loaded Miata, or a Corvette Stingray convertible and several pockets full of change. Or, perhaps a new Viper hardtop and a used, first-gen Viper convertible?

Will Dodge limit 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat to 1,200 units?

Sun, 20 Jul 2014 15:00:00 EST

With over 700 horsepower on tap and a price tag barely over $60k, Dodge appears on paper to have a winner on its hands with the new Challenger SRT Hellcat. But if you want to get your hands on one, you may have to act quicker than this most powerful of muscle cars covers the quarter-mile.
That's because, according to our compatriots over at Edmunds, Dodge may limit production - in the first year, at least - to just 1,200 units. That would amount to barely a quarter of the Challengers that Dodge moves each month, and would also mean only one Hellcat for every two Dodge dealers in the US - which could lead to some serious contention over which stores and which customers can get their hands on the ultimate Challenger.
Reached for comment, SRT spokesman Dan Reid told Autoblog that "there is no plan to limit production of the Challenger Hellcat," echoing the words of Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis who told Edmunds: "We don't know what the market demand is." Which doesn't mean that it won't restrict production, but doesn't mean that it will, either. It just hasn't decided yet - or announced any such decision, at any rate - over what will be the final allocation strategy for what could be a game-changing muscle car. That is, at least, until new versions of the Mustang and Camaro come along in pursuit of Dodge's bragging rights...

1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express in Generation Gap showdown with 1933 Ford Pickup

Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:45:00 EST

Auto enthusiasts love a good debate, whether it's Mustang versus Camaro or Ferrari against Lamborghini. But how about a battle between two very different vintages of classic pickup trucks? In this case, the fight is between a 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express and a 1933 Ford Model 46 truck with a flathead V8.
The shootout comes courtesy of the internet series Generation Gap, and its concept is super-simple. One guy prefers classics, and the other likes newer rides. They choose a category, pick two vehicles and put them head to head. In this case, neither is exactly modern, though. The Ford is more than old enough to receive Social Security checks, and the Dodge is hardly a young whippersnapper.
Other than both being pickups, these two models were made to serve very different functions. The Li'l Red Express was basically the progenitor of today's muscle trucks, with a big V8 that made it one of the quickest new models in its day (admittedly, 1979 was a rough time for automotive performance). On the other hand, the '33 Ford was just meant to work, with little pretense for anything else. One of the hosts describes it as "the simplest, most difficult" vehicle he's driven because of the tricky double clutchwork necessary to shift gears. Scroll down to watch the video and try to decide which of these two American classics you would rather have in your garage.

2015 Ford Mustang vs. Camaro and Challenger [w/poll]

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:59:00 EST

The horsepower wars are tightening among the Detroit Three, as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger are getting bigger, more powerful, and yes, more fuel efficient.
That came into sharper focus this week as more information was revealed about the most insane Challenger ever - the 707-horsepower Hellcat - followed quickly by Ford's in-depth showcase of the 2015 Mustang in Dearborn.
It's shaping up to be a golden age for enthusiasts, and what's under the hood is becoming more important than ever.

2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:57:00 EST

Watchers of the auto industry will notice a theme among the formerly bankrupted American automakers, General Motors and Chrysler. There are the post-bankruptcy vehicles, and the pre-bankruptcy vehicles. The former, in the case of Chrysler, include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as the 200 and 300. For GM, there's the Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Impala and Buick Encore, among others. These vehicles have the freshest styling, with sharp exteriors and well-crafted interiors, as well as advanced powertrains and well-sorted chassis.
As for the pre-bankruptcy vehicles, they tend to be easy to spot. Most suffer from inferior driving dynamics, cheaper interiors, poorer fuel economy and often homely looks (we know, there were some decent cars before the bankruptcy, but they were pretty heavily outweighed by the bad ones). Think late, last-generation Chevrolet Impala or Chrysler 200. Increasingly, though, we're seeing vehicles that split the balance between pre- and post-bankruptcy. Vehicles like the Dodge Journey.
The Journey debuted in 2007 as a 2008 model year vehicle, meaning it should fall into the latter category. But heavily breathed upon in 2011, it now enjoys a new, 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, a big, critically acclaimed touchscreen display and in the case of today's tester, a new-for-2014 Crossroad spec.

Chevy Corvette Stingray defeating rivals where it matters most

Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:45:00 EST

Everything is coming up roses for the award-winning Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, as new data from the North American Dealers Association dissected by GM Authority reveals that America's sports car is handily outselling two of its more expensive rivals.
Through June of 2014, the NADA notes that the Corvette has rung up 17,744 sales, handily besting the Porsche 911 and positively spanking the SRT Viper. Of course, you're sitting there thinking, "Corvette is outselling the much more expensive Porsche and Viper. Sky blue, water wet." But what's impressive here is just how thoroughly the Chevrolet is beating its two rivals, with this data serving as a testament to just how popular the seventh-generation sports car has become.
So far this year, Porsche has managed to move 5,169 911s, according to NADA. Considering that the base model starts at nearly $15,000 more than the most heavily optioned Stingray, and that Porsche owners have a vast, expensive options catalogue to select from, Stuttgart's sales are still plenty impressive in relation to the nearly 18,000 Corvettes sold.