Used Dodge Charger Hellcat: Performance Bargain or Money Pit?
The Dodge Charger Hellcat was a game changer when it was new, and now it’s a solid used prospect. However, with massive horsepower and torque figures on tap, those cars often live hard, tail-happy, high-revving lives. So, is a used Dodge Charger Hellcat a high-horsepower bonafide performance bargain or a money pit?
How much is an old Hellcat?
Calling the first model years of Dodge Hellcats “old” might be a bit of a misnomer. Considering the supercharged V8-powered muscle cars first hit the market as a 2015 offering, the vehicles aren’t really old. However, they still represent performance bargains when considering horsepower and top speed relative to average used car prices. According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), a used 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat with around 50,000 miles has a fair purchase price of about $49,000.
That puts it at around $15,000 shy of the Mopar’s original base amount of $64,990. Also, it’s one of the most affordable sedans in the world that will crack the 200-mph barrier to the tune of a claimed 204 mph. Better yet, considering the size of the old brute, you can take some of your more brave or foolish compatriots along for the unholy ride.
How powerful are used Dodge Charger Hellcats?
When properly maintained, even the oldest used Dodge Charger Hellcats should have most of their original 707-horsepower. Better yet, the latest Hellcats bump that horsepower figure to 717, and the Redeye variations produce a stratospheric 797 horsepower. In terms of horsepower in a used car, you’ll be hard-pressed to find similar for their average used prices.
However, many other cars can achieve Hellcat power figures with bolt-on parts and tunes. For instance, tuning companies offer twin-turbocharger kits for late model S550 Ford Mustang GTs that can swell power figures well north of 1,000 horsepower without compromising any OEM components. Of course, when choosing to add forced induction to a stock application, you run the risk of mechanical failures due to added stresses and heat.
Is a Hellcat Charger a good car?
A used Dodge Charger Hellcat could be a good car for enthusiasts looking to get some of the best bang for their buck without taking on a dedicated project car. However, savvy shoppers should assume that the supercharged sedans have had hard lives, perhaps even at tracks. Still, the use of strong, albeit heavy materials like a cast-iron engine block makes for a tough power plant. Of course, some of these vehicles have experienced recalls, like a 2015 faulty O-ring seal, but they are no more common than other performance vehicles.
Should you buy one?
As with any high-horsepower toy, a professional should thoroughly inspect a used Dodge Charger Hellcat before purchase. Many independent mechanic shops can perform an in-depth Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) to note any faults or hidden issues with a vehicle that you’re considering. Furthermore, performing a VIN lookup to uncover the vehicle’s insurance and maintenance history is a must, especially with a potentially high-risk option like a Hellcat.
Besides that, a used Dodge Charger Hellcat is a serious performance bargain for anyone who wants a slide-happy grocery getter or a potential drag strip regular. Better yet, with over 16 cubic feet of cargo volume and seating for five, it’s a practical sedan. Just make sure you budget for tires and fuel.
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