Skip to main content

It happens to anything that overstays its welcome: jokes, dismissals, and a lack of appreciation. Such is the case for the recently discontinued Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Today, the “boat” is the butt of jokes and stereotypes, despite its contributions to the horsepower wars. Still, while the supercharged coupes defined a segment enough to garner jealousy, the Mopar muscle cars didn’t get much quicker from inception to discontinuation. 

Despite gaining horsepower and flared-fender gym muscles, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat didn’t get much faster from 2015 to 2023 

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat hit the streets in 2015 with a previously unheard-of 707 horsepower. It was instantly loved by the loyal and hated by the not. Better yet, the Challenger SRT Hellcat’s horsepower figures grew from 707 to 807 in eight years, on par with the difference between the fifth and sixth-generation Shelby GT500s. 

However, the extra power didn’t really move the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat much quicker than when it first debuted. 

Model0-60 mph¼ mile
2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat3.6 seconds11.7 seconds
2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody3.6 seconds11.8 seconds
2023 Challenger SRT Super Stock3.6 seconds11.4 seconds

When MotorTrend tested the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock (I know, not technically a Hellcat), the 807-horsepower testament to American excess hit sixty in just 3.6 seconds. 

A bright red 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat reflects on a salt flat.
A 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat | Stellantis

Sensing a trend here? Yes, it’s mighty impressive for a 4,441-lb lump to hike up its trousers and sprint to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds. However, that seemingly magical 3.6-second sprint means evaluators weren’t able to coax any extra speed out of the supercharged Dodge from 2015 to 2023.

The discontinued Challenger Hellcats preferred a diet of tires that kept it from getting much quicker

So, what’s the deal? Why didn’t the supercharged Mopars get any quicker in the better part of a decade? The answer resides in one of Carroll Shelby’s most quotable lines: “There is never enough horsepower… just not enough traction.”

Even with factory 315/40R18 R-compound Nitto NT05R drag radials, putting 807 horsepower through a driveshaft and down to the pavement is no easy feat. As a result, the 2023 SRT Super Stock and the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat eviscerate their tires with any lead-footed input.

Still, Dodge produced some of the most hilariously true-to-form muscle cars of the modern era. Fuel economy? Never heard of it. These cars were unapologetically Mopar, and fans loved them for it.