The 717 horsepower Dodge Hellcat has become the baby of Dodge’s Supercharged lineup

Dodge has always been the odd one out among the big three. Since its inception, the Dodge brothers have sought to break the status quo and set fire to the rules of the game. Even though Dodge is about to give us the very first EV Muscle car, the big pushrod V-8 is still around. The Hellcat, in particular, was the first factory Muscle car to pass the 700 horsepower mark and was verging on absurd when it came out in 2014. That said, the Hellcat spawned other, even more powerful cars and it’s crazy when you consider that the 717-horsepower Hellcat is the baby of Dodge’s supercharged lineup.

An engine name cool enough to put on a car

If you’re a MOPAR fan, you probably know that Hellcat is actually the name of the engine. Until 2015, the most powerful version of the Challenger and Charger models was the SRT8, which was later renamed the SRT 392. The Hellcat engine was based on the 6.4-liter (392) Hemi V-8, 90 percent of which was replaced. The engine was bled to 6.2 liters, received forged internals and a 2.4-liter IHI, twin-scroll supercharger generating 11.6 psi (0.8 bar).

The engine was actually put on the dyno at 669 horsepower at the rear wheel and 606 pound-feet, which after adjusting for drivetrain loss comes out to be more than the Hellcat’s initial rating of 707 horsepower (520 kilowatts) and 650 pound-feet (881 nm). In 2018, those numbers went up to 717 horsepower (527 kilowatts) and 656 pound-feet (890 Nm). In 2019, the Widebody package was introduced for both the Challenger and Charger models.

Then came the demon

For the 2018 model year, Dodge released the SRT Demon. Based on the Challenger Hellcat, it received a larger 2.7 liter supercharger and became 98 kg lighter. With 100-octane fuel, the SRT Demon produced 840 horsepower (626 kilowatts) and 770 pound-feet (1,044 Nm). The SRT Demon was designed with one goal in mind: to dominate the dragstrip. With a time of 2.3 seconds to 60 mph (97 km/h) and 9.65 seconds at over 140 mph (225 km/h) for the quarter mile, the Demon was the fastest non-electric works car. It could also do a wheelie.

We can’t talk about the Dodge SRT Demon without mentioning the Demon Crate. It costs $1 and offers a plethora of parts and accessories specifically designed to transform the Demon from a streetcar into a nine-second drag beast. It comes with a Powertrain Control Module (PCM) from Dodge’s Direct Connection program, skinny front tires, a high-flow air filter, a high-octane fuel change bank, and more.

The Hellcat Redeye

After the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was discontinued, Dodge introduced the Hellcat Redeye. Unlike the Demon, which was based solely on the Challenger Hellcat, both the Challenger and Charger received the Redeye treatment. The Hellcat Redeye essentially got the Demon engine, which was limited in this case due to a smaller hood air intake. It was rated at 797 horsepower (594 kilowatts) and 707 pound-feet (959 Nm).

Several components of the powertrain have been strengthened, including the Torqueflite (ZF), an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Redeye also got more track-focused suspension compared to the standard Hellcat. The Charger and Challenger Hellcat Redeye models came exclusively with the widebody package, which added 3.3 and 3.5 inches (83.8 and 88.9 mm) of width, respectively. The widebody package also included 11×20-inch forged wheels, Bilstein adaptive suspension, upgraded Brembo brakes and stiffer sway bars, just to name a few.

Time for a jailbreak

In late 2021, Dodge introduced a special edition of the already special Hellcat Redeye called the Jailbreak. The model was introduced as part of Dodge’s “Never lift” campaign, which also brings back the Direct Connection performance program. The Jailbreak Package offers a variety of special colors and costs only $995. More importantly, it adds 10 horsepower to the Hellcat Redeye, bringing the supercharged V-8 back to Demon power levels (on pump gas). The Jailbreak Package is offered on both the Challenger and Charger Hellcat Redeye models.

What’s next?

Despite Dodge preparing to unveil the first EV Muscle car and beat the Hellcat as we know it, the supercharged V-8 will still be around. While the final Hellcat is expected to be officially unveiled later this month at Dodge’s Speed ​​Week, we now know it will be a farewell to the current platform that has been in use for more than a decade. According to the latest reports, Dodge will continue to offer high-performance, supercharged V-8 models alongside its EV Muscle car, but on an all-new platform, likely supplied by Stellantis.

The story of the Dodge Hellcat started in 2015, which is a long time in car time. Seven years later, this dinosaur of a V-8, along with the aging Mercedes platform dating back to the W211 E-Class, is still a sought-after package, and we owe it to the Hellcat. That said, the Challenger and by extension the Charger are Muscle cars to the bone. While later iterations have become slightly more refined and even more track focused, it’s the “base” version that stayed true to its American Muscle Car roots.

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