Test Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: highway to hell! (2023)

Dodge importer AEC Europe brings the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat to Germany, we drove it. The 727 hp muscle car combines good and evil in one body and, above all, offers a lot of car for good money. Our driving report shows how it fares on German roads.

"A car is only fast enough when you stand in front of it in the morning and are afraid to unlock it." That quote comes from rally legend Walter Röhrl and, although it was said many decades ago, applies one hundred percent to the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. As is well known, the hell cat draws all its power from a beast of eight cylinders: 6.2 liters in size and forced ventilation by an equally voluminous 2.4 liter compressor. However, the performance has increased again for the 2019 model year. In the meantime, it is an almost bizarre 727 hp and 890 Nm of torque that the HEMI in the "normal Hellcat" sends exclusively to the rear wheels via the 8-speed Torqueflite 8HP90 transmission from ZF.

Test Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: highway to hell! (1)

Supercar-level performance

It goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just over 3.5 seconds and the Challenger reaches a top speed of an equally frightening 320 km/h. Values ​​that only thoroughbred super sports cars could achieve a few years ago – so they can now be experienced with a muscle car. But let's always keep Walter Röhrl's quote in mind, because this car always requires a clear mind, two hands on the steering wheel and a lot, a lot of respect. If you want to be driven by the car and rest on all the modern helpers, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the wrong playmate for you. Front and rear, 305 Pirelli P Zeros in 20-inch format struggle for grip, and if they lose, the 890 Nm of torque are brought to the ground in the best stamped manner.

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Not just built for the straight

Even in regular Street mode, a bold gas burst at an intersection is enough to immortalize yourself on the road surface for a long time. But the left track width together with the tire print suggests less a muscle car than a full-fledged SUV. Such is the weight of the Challenger Hellcat. The two-door model tips the scales at more than 2,100 kilograms, which can be seen as quite exciting in terms of driving dynamics. At first we hesitantly dared to take bends at a higher speed, only to quickly realize: the big car masters them quite well! Of course, you shouldn't expect a 911 level, but in view of the dimensions and the full weight, it's remarkable what lateral dynamics the American bodybuilder has been trained for.

(Video) 2020 Dodge Challenger HELLCAT 727HP Review on AUTOBAHN (No Speed Limit) by AutoTopNL

Test Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: highway to hell! (3)

Challenger Hellcat: American Gran Tourer

Dodge itself was and is well aware of the obese American cruiser, the base of which has been in use since 2008. The current Challenger SRT Hellcat continues to build on a modified LX platform, which was created under the direction of Daimler-Chrysler and housed the Chrsyler 300, among other things. However, the Americans made a virtue out of necessity and so the Challenger now sees itself as an American Gran Tourer in muscle car dress. Overall, it lies much more firmly on the road than Mustang and Camaro, and with the widebody kit shown here, it comes standard with an adaptive Bilstein chassis including three driving modes, a pleasantly weighted electric steering system and an easily adjustable Brembo performance brake system with decent deceleration values.

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In the therapist's seat

Last but not least, the extremely comfortable SRT seating, which is suitable for cornering, allows you to endure longer in the Hellcat. As long as you practice self-control. 727 hp quickly act like a kind of self-therapy for more composure and calmness behind the wheel. Never before has the sentence: "You could if you wanted to" been more tangible than in this V8 car.

And then comes the empty and flat Autobahn and destroys all self-therapeutic efforts...

(Video) Richard Hammond in a Dodge hellcat irritating James May and Jeremy Clarkson Compilation || GT

Test Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: highway to hell! (5)

They still exist, the sections of track in Germany where hardly anyone is on the road, the surface is a little better than elsewhere and you can test them: the brutal, unrelenting and bestial violence of the Challenger SRT Hellcat. The flap system specially developed for the Hellcat by the German exhaust system expert NAP can be switched from loud to extremely bad at the push of a button, carefully selected the custom settings in the SRT menu and then take a deep breath. If you now give full chain, this car snaps forward with a vehemence that is reminiscent of a rocket launch. You are aware of the power from the previously studied data sheet - but not how suddenly and suddenly it occurs.

Test Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: highway to hell! (6)

In the eye of the storm

The eight-cylinder spits more than angrily in the lower speed range along the long straight, in the next moment it is the insane whimpering of the compressor that acoustically gains the upper hand. For a moment, it's as if the six-two were to take another deep breath in the engine compartment and linger in the eye of the storm, only to hurl itself violently into the glaringly noisy hurricane the next moment. The soundscape of the SRT Hellcat, which was converted to local standards and homologated by AEC Europe, is indeed unique; frightening and eerily beautiful at the same time. In keeping with the power of the sound, the front end of the car rises skyward during such an orgy of acceleration, the straight line must always be driven in slight correction mode and in the corner of your eye you just have time to keep an eye on the analogue speedometer. Although in miles per hour, kilometers per hour can also be shown in the center display: 120, 190, 250 km/h - it's enormous how this machine goes forward!

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(Video) 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (Manual) - WR TV POV Test Drive

Decimal places are secondary

The question of consumption does not arise with such speed-intoxicated unreasonableness, but back in everyday life in accordance with the German Road Traffic Act. If you don't always have a lead foot in the direction of hell, you can get by with 16 to 18 liters of premium petrol. We find it quite amusing that the current consumption display has no decimal places. The tank meanwhile holds around 70 liters of fuel and if you really pull your belt on the motorway all the time (speed 130, end), you can also drive around with 10 liters in stages.

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SRT Hellcat with numerous details

On the other hand, the Challenger SRT Hellcat has other very interesting features to offer. The driver-side air scoop on the hood, for example, is not a fake, but an active part of the air intake. The so-called Cool Air Intake is, among other things, responsible for the fact that a further increase in performance of the Hellcat became possible in the first place. Of course, the air supply continues to work via the inner eye of the left headlight. Hellcat logos can be found on pretty much every relevant performance component and if you look into the engine room and wonder why the cast-iron engine block is painted orange - it's HEMI orange. So the color that the first Challengers wore on the block from 1969.

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Keys and software limit performance

Another special feature are the two keys that are part of the factory delivery. One red, the other black, both have a fixed maximum power. 727 hp are therefore only possible with the hell red key, whereby the power can be limited manually to the 500 hp of the black door opener. Anyone who likes to have their Challenger SRT Hellcat parked by someone else can limit the engine output to around 300 hp in valet mode. In addition, the maximum speed is then limited to 4,000 rpm. Speaking of horsepower, the SRT menu only shows 717 hp. So how do we get to the 727 hp? The answer: Dodge's specifications refer to American SAE PS, whereas the performance specification in Europe is based on DIN PS.

(Video) Dodge Challenger SRT HELLCAT: The LAST Great Muscle Car | 4K

Test Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: highway to hell! (10)


There are many fast cars, now also with more than 700 hp. But unlike Lamborghini, Ferrari or McLaren, this performance is still not expected in an American muscle car like a Dodge Challenger. The power development of the 6.2 liter eight-cylinder is elemental, the soundscape, thanks to the additional AEC Europe / NAP conversion, overpowering and the suitability for everyday use of the full four-seater is unrestricted at the same time. Of course, consumption should never be ignored. But one thing is certain: For just under 90,000 euros there is currently nowhere else to buy a performance car in this country than the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)

Technical specifications*

  • Model:Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody
  • Motor:8-cylinder V engine, supercharged, 6,166 cc
  • Perfomance:727 hp (535 kW) at 6,000 rpm
  • Torque:890 Nm at 4,000 rpm
  • Drive:Rear-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Consumption:14,7 l S/100 km
  • Acceleration (0 – 100 km/h): ca. 3,5 sec
  • Top speed:320 km/h
  • Dimensions (L/W/H):5,02m/1,92m/1,42m
  • Weight:Hier. 2.100 kg
  • Basic price:92,500 Euro (UVP AEC Europe)

*Manufacturer information



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