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To Hell and Back in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

The most powerful factory muscle car ever also shows a practical side.

by on Jun.30, 2015

To Hell and back - Hell, Michigan, that is.

I’ve been to Hell and back. And with 707 horsepower under the hood it didn’t take me long to get there.

Hell, Michigan seemed like the appropriate place to take a spin in the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – not just because of the kindred name but because the little town is gateway to some of the best driving roads within a couple 100 miles of Detroit. While there are plenty of flat, wide roads in the Motor City to test the Hellcat’s 0 to 60 prowess, we wanted to see how it handled something a lot more demanding.

Muscle Up!

For those who’ve somehow missed the headlines, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – and its sibling, the Challenger SRT Hellcat – are the most powerful factory-built muscle cars ever to roll out of a Big Three assembly plant. They share a massive, 6.2-liter supercharged version of the familiar Hemi V-8 that makes a jaw-dropping 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.

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First Drive: 2015 Dodge Challenger

Redefining the muscle car.

by on Jul.22, 2014

At 707-hp, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat claims to be the most powerful muscle car ever to roll out of a Big 3 plant.

If you thought the golden age of muscle cars was gone and forgotten, Dodge has a big surprise coming for you next year — actually, a whole bunch of them.

After bringing back its retro-styled Challenger coupe in 2009, the Chrysler performance brand has made steady gains on the stalwarts of the modern muscle car era, the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. And for 2015, Challenger is getting not only a major design update, but a host of new variants including the new SRT Hellcat which, at a smoking 707 horsepower, is being billed as the most powerful factory- assembled muscle car ever.

We Give You the Muscle!

While modern muscle cars aren’t for everyone, models like the Challenger are gaining traction not only with the Baby Boomers who grew up listening to the squeal of rubber, but also younger buyers looking for something out of the ordinary.

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540 HP = No Waiting!

Spinning tires in the 2012 Roush RS3

by on Dec.23, 2011

Roush RS3 – it doesn’t stay stationary for long. All photos for this article by author Jason Sakurai.

We road test a lot of vehicles, and some are simply more inspiring than others. There are hybrids, econocars, family sedans, European luxury boats, and then there’s the 2012 Roush Stage 3 Mustang convertible.

Ford’s Mustang is a nice ride, no question about it, but when Jack Roush, of Roush-Fenway Racing fame, and one of the world’s leading automotive authorities, tweaks it, you get something positively evil, wicked, mean and nasty.

Your Inside Source!

The front engine/rear-wheel-drive configuration uses Ford’s 5.0L 4-valve DOHC TiVCT 412 HP Coyote engine. To that, Roush adds its R2300 supercharger with 10 PSI of boost.  What you wind up with is 540 readily available horses. Roush also includes a 3-year/36,000 mile powertrain warranty for those prone to excessive applications of the go pedal.

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First Drive: 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

A new take on the classic American muscle car.

by on Aug.10, 2011

The 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 gives a modern interpretation to the classic American muscle car.

So many things in life look better in hindsight.  You’d probably never be caught dead in the outfit you wore to the prom.  And remember the moves you mastered back in the disco days?  The same is true with the muscle cars of the ‘60s and ‘70s.  Those lumbering lumps of metal just wouldn’t cut it today.

Not without a dramatic update, anyway, as Dodge has done with two of its classic nameplates, the Charger and Challenger.  We were pleasantly surprised when we got a long weekend behind the wheel of the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8, discovering a remarkably modern take on the classic American muscle car that delivers not only gobs of power and a distinctive retro style but also the sort of ride, handling and braking one would expect in 2012.

When it comes to a muscle car, let’s face it, the most important thing really is muscle.  And the new Challenger SRT8 comes through.  Parent Chrysler has done a great job with the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 shared by all four of the new Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep SRT models.

The Inside Story!

Tip the throttle and you’ll be rewarded with neck-snapping acceleration and the sort of rumbling exhaust note that is, for muscle car fans the equivalent of popping an automotive Viagra.  As the kid in the next lane looks on in awe, the Hemi’s 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque will launch you to 60 in just 4.8 seconds.  And if you’re willing to risk a night in jail, keep your foot on the floor as you accelerate to a 180 mph top speed.

This is the sort of Motown metal that could even intimidate the gold-chain Ferrari crowd.

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First Drive: 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8

Thunder and lightning -- with a dash of elegance.

by on Jul.21, 2011

Chrysler takes the new 300 sedan up a performance peg with the launch of the 2012 300 SRT8.

Over the last couple of years, Chrysler has defied conventional wisdom and seemingly informed opinion by reviving its product line despite scarce resources.

The re-launch of its SRT performance line, marked by the debut of four revamped muscle cars represents the next step in creating an air of excitement around the company’s product line. And our first experience with the Chrysler 300 SRT8 certainly leaves an excellent impression both curbside and out on the highway.   (Click Here for more on the SRT story.)

Reviews You Can Trust!

For starters, Chrysler designers have tweaked the car’s exterior and the changes have enhanced what was already a strong and popular design. The 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 sits a half inch lower than non-SRT models – which only just went through their first complete redesign in seven years.  With such touches as new side sill cladding, the SRT8 edition gets a more aggressive and sporty appearance that’s accented by seven-spoke, 20-inch aluminum wheels.

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Chrysler Re-launching SRT Performance Brand

Redefining the muscle car for $4 gas.

by on Jul.15, 2011

Ralph Gilles with the Dodge Challenger SRT-8.

While fuel prices may be hovering near record levels, there’s plenty of demand for performance – or so Chrysler is betting as it readies the ambitious re-launch of its SRT brand.

The make is rolling out four new SRT models that have been equipped with a new 6.4-liter hemi-engine that delivers not only better performance but also markedly improved fuel economy compared to the old Chrysler 6.1-liter Hemi.

The engine in each of the cars has been equipped with cylinder de-activation technology that Chrysler claims can boost mileage by as much as 25%, while upgraded vehicle dynamics, performance-oriented brakes and race-inspired seats – as well as a new high-end sound system – should appeal to traditional muscle can fans.

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The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 produces 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque and can propel the SRT versions of the Dodge Challenger , Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 to top speeds of 175 mph. The SRT version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee with its 20-inch, highly stylized wheels – designed to show off the new Brembo brakes – tops out at “only” 165 miles per hour after the vehicle’s ground clearance was reduced by an inch to make the SRT SUV more aerodynamic.

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