When it comes to making and selling cars, there are a lot of problems that you can have. One of the best problems that you can have is for so many people to want to buy your cars that you can’t keep up with demand. For Dodge, it sounds like they have just that kind of problem because new orders for Hellcats have been temporarily put on hold.
In a statement to Motor Authority, a representative from the company said that “due to unprecedented demand for the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats, we are temporarily restricting orders while we validate current orders that are in the system.”
With a redesigned Ford Mustang and its new independent rear suspension officially on sale, and the next generation Chevrolet Camaro set to be unveiled soon, you would think that the largely unchanged appearance of the Dodge Challenger would make it nearly impossible to sell. You would also probably think that a ridiculously powerful version that’s infamous for extravagant dealer markups would be even harder to sell.
After all, while the Challenger has received a number of updates over the years, it hasn’t received a major redesign since its debut in 2008. A 707 horsepower version looked good for impressing journalists, but would people actually put their money where their mouth was? Did the buzz surrounding the announcement of the Challenger Hellcat actually lead to sales of Challenger Hellcats? Apparently so.
Perhaps even more surprising is that the Charger Hellcat was included in the same order-stop. Adding ludicrous amounts of power to the two-door Challenger makes a lot more sense than doing the same to the Charger. Yes, the Charger is a rear-wheel drive sports sedan, and yes, it’s offered in SRT8 trim, but part of the reason that people buy the Charger over the Challenger is that the extra rear doors add practicality. Even with a full back seat and four doors, it’s hard to see a 707 horsepower sedan as practical.
The thing about the Hellcat twins is that they don’t make sense. There is no way that someone could sit down with an Excel spreadsheet, make a pros and cons list, and somehow come to the decision that it’s a sensible decision to buy a 700 horsepower car. Anyone who buys a Hellcat buys one because it’s awesome. The Hellcat twins connect with people on a primal level that transcends logic and sensibility. They want a Hellcat because they want one, and once they’ve decided that, who cares what the spreadsheet says?
With more and more consumers treating cars like appliances, the easy money is going to be in basic commuter cars. Making a case for a car that doesn’t even pretend to be a logical choice and instead sells itself just on how awesome it is, will only grow more difficult. The fact that Dodge was able to get the Challenger Hellcat to production, much less the Charger Hellcat, is amazing. The fact that the Hellcat twins have proven so popular that there are more orders than Dodge can possibly build is even more amazing. Hopefully Dodge’s success in this segment will encourage more companies to take risks and build awesome cars just for the sake of being awesome.
For the people who want basic commuter transportation, self-driving cars are getting closer to production every year and offer the potential for a completely uninvolved driving experience. Maybe as those cars find their way onto dealers’ lots, we’ll see even more cars made for the human driver that are awesome for the sake of being awesome. After all, if all of your commuting is taken care of, and you’re only going to drive yourself on weekends, who wouldn’t want something like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat?
Dodge should be commended for taking the risks that it did, but sales are the ultimate commendation, and it looks like the Hellcat twins are selling incredibly well. Congratulations, Dodge. That’s awesome.
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