The specs are in, and it turns out that the new Challenger Hellcat — that 707 horsepower beast that is the world’s new fastest muscle car — is much more economical than expected.
That’s right, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat earns an EPA highway fuel-economy rating of 22 miles per gallon on the highway, and 13 miles per gallon in the city. That’s 16 miles per gallon combined — a notable achievement, considering the amount of power the car generates. That figure relates to the Hellcat outfitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission. For cars equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the figure drops to 21 miles per gallon combined.
This gives the Hellcat yet one more thing to add to its list of accomplishments, despite the fact that the car itself is still brand new to the market. Not only are those fuel-economy figures impressive among its muscle car peers, but they also beat out many sports cars on the market that actually can’t generate nearly as much power.
“The new 2015 Dodge Challenger is the perfect street / strip muscle car,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO of the Dodge and SRT Brands in a press release. “As the fastest muscle car ever, the Challenger Hellcat can run 10-second ETs at the track, and then get 22 miles per gallon on the drive home. With a starting price of $59,995, there’s nothing else that even comes close.”
For comparison in the luxury/sports car market, Lamborghini’s Aventador Roadster generates a comparable 700 horsepower, but only gets 18 miles per gallon combined in fuel-economy, and comes with a price tag of more than $425,000. Chrysler’s vice president and head of engine, powertrain, and electrified propulsion systems engineering says that the latest EPA rating really sets the Hellcat apart as a total package.
“The collective benefits of the HEMI Hellcat engine and our newest TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission promise an extraordinarily rewarding ownership experience. If value is defined by the combination of price, performance, and fuel-economy, no car beats the Challenger SRT Hellcat,” he said.
So how does the Hellcat actually stack up to other cars in its class or segment, as opposed to astronomically expensive sports cars like the Aventador? When compared to two of the car’s closest competitors — namely, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Ford Mustang GT500 — the Hellcat still comes out on top. For a baseline, the Hellcat’s official specifications include 707 horsepower, a 10.8 second quarter-mile time and a starting price of roughly $60,000. That’s behind the power of a 6.2-liter V8 engine.
So how about the Chevy Camaro ZL1? Well, the 2015 Camaro ZL1 has a slight advantage over the Hellcat in terms of pricing, as it starts at $55,505. But it definitely can’t keep up in terms of power. Like the Hellcat, the ZL1 is equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, but this Camaro can only produce 580 horsepower. That’s impressive in its own right, but can’t hold up to the Hellcat. It also covers a quarter-mile in 12 seconds, a full 1.2 seconds slower.
Given those stats, the Hellcat definitely has a leg up, even with a slightly higher price. Does the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 fare any better? The stats from the 2013 model indicate that it does not.
The GT500 is powered by a 5.8-liter V8 engine that makes up to 662 horsepower, and covers a quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds. As far as pricing, Edmunds puts the total cash price in the $65,000 range, again giving the edge to the Hellcat.
For now, it looks like the Hellcat not only holds up against its competitors in the sports car arena, but also in the muscle car segment. The EPA ratings show that it won’t be completely unaffordable to drive either, making it more attractive to a wider audience. If Dodge and SRT can keep it up, competitors have a steep uphill fight on their hands.