A little after 2010, the three big American automakers were in an unofficial “horsepower war” with each other. With every new release of their respective muscle cars, it seemed that the horsepower rating skyrocketed to see who could make the most power, at least on paper. In 2010, Ford released the Shelby GT500 with a staggering 550 hp, but it was eventually outdone in 2011 when Chevrolet released their Camaro ZL1 with 580 horses.
Not to be outdone for too long, Ford answered back with their 662-horsepower GT500 in 2013, but ultimately, Dodge went for the gold in 2015. They threw their hat into the horsepower ring by coming out with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, which ended up pushing out 707 horsepower. And now you can buy one of those for about $40,000.
One hell of a Hellcat
When the Challenger Hellcat debuted in 2015, the horsepower figure was staggering, to say the least. At that time, only six other cars in the market produced more power and they were all exotics.
Needless to say, having a car that could push out that much power with a sticker price less than $70,000 was ground-breaking at the time. It was like a muscle car on steroids that lived at the gym and drank whey protein shakes during every meal.
And car reviewers loved it. Automobile Magazine noted that smoky burnouts only necessitated a stab at the throttle in first gear, while Jalopnik said that it only took partial throttle to get the car going sideways.
It’s tough to control all that power, but it was clear that Dodge had won the race, at least on paper.
A powerful powertrain
Here come the hard and fast facts of what you get when you hold the keys to a Dodge Challenger Hellcat. And yes, there’s more than one.
If you purchase a Hellcat, you’ll get a black key that unlocks up to 500 horsepower, but you also get a red key that unlocks the car’s full power potential.
Why two? So you can limit how much fun your friends and the local valet attendant get to have if you’re nice enough to them.
But we digress. The Challenger Hellcat is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 monster of an engine that squirts out the fabled 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of earth-shattering torque. If you can actually get the car to hook up on a launch, then you can expect 0 to 60 times of 3.6 seconds, according to Car and Driver.
If you bring the Hellcat to your local dragstrip, then it should be able to complete the quarter-mile in about 11.7 seconds. That’s far better than the BMW M3 that you were thinking about buying, isn’t it?
It’s a tire-burning bargain
When the Challenger Hellcat was new in 2015, it retailed for around $65,000. At least that’s what the MSRP was. As you can imagine, dealerships all over the nation were marking them up by almost twice the price, in some ridiculous cases.
However, in today’s current used market, you can now find 2015 and 2016 models for around $40,000 depending on their location and mileage. However, don’t expect a discount.
Not only is $40,000 a steal for what this car is capable of doing, but you can also use the money that you saved on a set of tires every few months. Trust us, you’ll probably need them.