Dodge Challenger Hellcat Vs. Ford Mustang Dark Horse: Old-School Takes on Next-Gen
The modern muscle car segment is narrowing; Dodge announced it would discontinue the Challenger and Charger after the 2023 model year. However, potential owners can snag the keys to a new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat for one last model year. Still, the Ford Mustang will live into its seventh generation and even boasts an all-new performance namesake. So how does the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse stack up against the hilarious hero of Mopar maniacs, the Challenger SRT Hellcat?
Is the Dark Horse Mustang supercharged?
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse is the range-topping option in the new seventh-generation (S650) Mustang lineup. However, the Dark Horse does without a supercharger, instead producing its power from a naturally aspirated 5.0L V8, not unlike the lower-trim GT and GT Premium.
However, before fans write the upcoming Dark Horse Mustang off and wait for an inevitable supercharged Shelby, the new Ford model has a couple of claims to fame. First, it’s the most powerful naturally aspirated 5.0L Coyote-powered Mustang that Ford has ever produced. Further, it’s one of only two N/A Mustangs with at least 100 horsepower per liter of displacement, an attribute it shares with the supercharged Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
How much horsepower does the 2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcat produce?
The last model year of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat produces a stratospheric 717 horsepower courtesy of a supercharged 6.2L V8. As a result, the swan song Hellcat out-muscles the upcoming 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse by 217 shrieking ponies.
Moreover, the gulf between Hellcat and Mustang grows with the Hellcat Redeye. A 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye produces 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of driveshaft-snapping torque. However, the Redeye was no quicker to 60 mph in Car and Driver’s testing due to the traction limitations of the model.
Why is the Hellcat so fast?
The reason the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is so fast boils down to outright power and torque. It’s a tall order to overcome 4,415 lbs of girth, but the Mopar brute does it. As a result, a Challenger Hellcat will sprint to 60 mph in around 3.6 seconds.
Moreover, depending on its tires, track surface, and conditions, the Hellcat will smash a sub-12-second quarter mile. Still, it stands to reason that the 500-horsepower 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse will sprint to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds, given the post-facelift S550 Ford Mustang GT’s 3.9-second time with the 10-speed automatic transmission.
How much does a new Dodge Challenger Hellcat cost?
The outgoing Dodge Challenger Hellcat starts at around $69,340, making it the most affordable 700-horsepower production car on the market. However, the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse, despite being the top-of-the-line Blue Oval brawler for 2024, starts at around $57,970.
While the Hellcat is faster and more powerful than the new Mustang Dark Horse, it’s also larger in every metric. Moreover, the Mopar muscle coupe will be discontinued after this year. Would you rock the outgoing Dodge model or the new Mustang Dark Horse? Tell us in the comments below!