Dodge Challenger Hellcat

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The all-new Driver Information Display screen in the Challenger

Cruising down the scenic roads along the Columbia River near Portland, Oregon can be a real treat, especially while driving a Dodge Challenger Hellcat with its mean-sounding engine roaring through the twists and turns of this pristine wilderness road.

A few months back, Chrysler invited a few journalist to test drive the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat, along with its entire Challenger lineup. The Challenger Hellcat was a blast to drive, and delivers so much power that it is almost scary to drive. And after our not-so-mellow morning cruise along the river, we were invited to test the Hellcat’s limits by driving laps around Portland International Raceway, trying hard to keep the car in a straight line. But the real fun was just driving the Hellcat around town and watching on-lookers gaze at the car with its loud rumble and gentle supercharger whine emitting from the beast of a car that is the Hellcat. And the specs are quite impressive.

The car is powered by a 6.2-liter HEMI V-8, which puts out a mind-blowing 707 horsepower, with a top speed of 199 mph and a quarter mile time of 11.2 seconds. In its manual form, the engine is mated to a modified, Viper-sourced six-speed manual transmission, which receives a unique 258-mm heavy-duty clutch in order to handle the Hellcats insane power. But for those who want a bit of a daily driver, Hellcat gets a new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, which gets beefed up to handle the 650 lb.-ft. of torque delivered by the supercharged HEMI. Both transmission variants impressive to drive, the 6-speed shifted effortlessly into each gate and the automatic switched between gears nearly undetected. And one more thing about Hellcats astounding power: at full throttle, the car will burn 1.5 gallons of fuel a minute, which means that punching the Hellcat will empty its entire fuel tank in under 13 minutes at full power!

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Inside the cabin, the 70’s inspired interior offers a tight cockpit feel with soft-touch materials and aggressively bolstered seats to keep the driver in place while whipping around corners. And rear passenger space is plentiful with 33.1 inches of rear leg room. There is also plenty of technology to satisfy any modern muscle car enthusiast. Its 8.4-inch Uconnect system allows drivers to effortlessly connect to their streaming radio apps via Uconnect Access Via Mobile, but the fun part actually comes from what Dodge calls Performance Pages. Turned on, drivers can view driving statistics and receive feedback on their driving, such as top speeds, quarter mile and 0-60 mph times.

So Dodge offers a Challenger fit for budget-minded drivers looking for a easy-driving and fuel efficient (30mpg highway) daily driver to gearheads looking to burn some serious rubber (and fuel) on the track. Starting at $26,995, Challenger SXT with its 3.6-liter Pentastar offers an ample 305 horsepower, while the aforementioned Hellcat starts at a mere $59,995.

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