2018 Dodge Hellcat Concept

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The Challenger is a major salvo in the Horsepower Wars, offering muscle-car metal and seriously awesome engines. The 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 makes 485 hp and 475 lb-ft; choose either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. The aptly named Hellcat has a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 good for 707 hp and 650 lb-ft, with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. The automatic is faster, hitting 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, while the manual is more fun and still quick doing 0–60 in 3.9 seconds.

Attentive readers will know that we have already put not one, but two 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats through our typical barrage of tests—one equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the other an eight-speed automatic. For its second model year, Dodge left the powertrains untouched. This Challenger’s blown 6.2-liter V-8 still pushes the same tire-smoking 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Our test car had the optional ($2995) eight-speed automatic that can swap ratios in as little as 160 milliseconds. So why put this essentially unchanged, approximately two-and-a-quarter-ton beast through our tests again? To quote technical editor K.C. Colwell, “Because it’s a Hellcat.”

2018 Dodge Hellcat Release, Specs and Review

And because it’s a Hellcat, our Billet Silver Metallic test car attempted to make mincemeat of its rear tires at every opportunity. Seriously, this is a difficult car to launch on a sticky drag strip, let alone the public-road-like conditions on which we test. Its launch traction is easily overwhelmed by the engine’s massive amount of torque, despite our test car’s sinister-looking 14-spoke, 20-inch wheels being wrapped in a set of sticky 275/40 Pirelli P Zero summer tires, a $695 option. Good luck trying to launch a Hellcat riding on the standard all-season rubber. (Next year’s wide-body Hellcat ADR should pack more meat in its wheel wells.)

20 Photos of the 2018 Dodge Hellcat Concept

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