“It’s a bit surreal to be here, sharing with you about my multiple days behind the wheel of one of the most-powerful production vehicles in the world. But it’s very much so true, and I’ve got the smile to prove it.”
2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat – Purveyor of Happiness
What can I tell you that you haven’t already heard about this monster of a machine? I mean, all you have to do is type h-e-l-l-c-a-t on YouTube and witness all kinds of ridiculous shenanigans like, burnouts, high-speed runs, donuts at Walmart parking lots, drag races, you name it, it’s there. So what can a simple Dad like me discover about a 707 horsepower that most haven’t?
Forget the Horsepower
Yes, it sounds silly, but it’s true. Your first couple of days behind the wheel will be filled with endless and selfish acts of speed and hooniganism; all which eventually come to an end due to the high probability of getting in trouble with law—or a tree.
For me, that’s when the Challenger really got interesting; when I calmed down, opted for the “tamer” traction control, gearbox and suspension settings. I simply relaxed and enjoyed the ride. At the touch of a few buttons, the Challenger Hellcat morphed into a comfortable land-missile with only 500 horsepower, which pampered me with cooled seats, heated steering wheel, and incredibly comfortable (and sexy looking) seats.
Funny enough, most people including myself would normally fuzz about having a premium sound system in a car like this, as it’s the engine that should be making all of the music, but the 18-speaker Harman Kardon excels at overpowering the exhaust note during long highway trips, making the ride more groovy and enjoyable. It takes a very powerful stereo to hush a supercharged HEMI, but this one does exactly that!
I know what you’re gonna say, it’s a coupe, not the Charger!
It all depends on what your family needs are. This time, it was only my 9 year son and I hanging out, so he was able to ride shotgun the entire time and it was perfect. That being said, there were a couple of times when he had to jump in the back to allow for another passenger, and the Challenger’s backseat proved to be more than spacious and comfortable for him.
Surprisingly, Dodge provided the Challenger’s backseat with its own AC vents, which made it extra comfy for him to ride in the back during hot days. Now, I say surprisingly, because there are many “family sedans” out there that don’t feature rear AC vents, so to see them on a speed demon coupe is a very pleasant surprise. The little things…
If road trips are your thing, then you’ll be pleased to know that I averaged an incredible 22.9 mpg over a 120 mile highway stint cruising at 75 mph, which is utterly mind-blowing.
Last but not least, the Challenger Hellcat’s trunk is big enough to fit three carry-on suitcases, plus a couple of weekend bags or backpacks. Or, you can do what I did, and fit a small bike, baseball gear and a bunch of camera equipment. At 16.2 cubit feet, the Challenger Hellcat leads its class in trunk space, and is only a couple of cubic feet shy from your average hatchback.
The Hellcat is about instant everything in many ways. Instant acceleration, instant braking, instant gratification, instant, instant, instant… But the one thing you don’t prepare yourself for, is instant stardom.
You will forever be approached by people at gas stations, wondering “how you like the car?” You’ll be given thumbs up at stop lights, but by far my favorite incident was a man that straight up asked: “Can I have your car, I really like it.” No silly man, you can’t have “my” car!
Paying over $70,000 dollars for a vehicle; any vehicle isn’t easy. It’s most likely the product of many years of hard work, or the result of busting your butt day in and day out at your current gig.
To make matters even worse, there are quite a few excellent vehicle options in that price bracket. A very athletic and stylish BMW M4, and Mercedes Benz C63 Coupe immediately come to mind. That being said, the Hellcat really lives in a different planet, not only performance wise but in how special it feels.
Ultimately, if you’re having to choose between any of the Hellcat models or any of its competitors, you’re doing something very right!
- Starts at: $62,495
- Price as tested: $70,970