This is why the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the last great muscle car

If there is anyone who shows any respect for his roots, it is… clever thing. It is quite surprising that the fundamentals of the brand have remained largely the same. The significance of Dodge and his contributions are often praised for how wild and nonsensical they seem, and we couldn’t agree more. “Mopar or no car” is a mantra in the world of muscle cars.

With the auto industry shifting to renewables, it’s companies like Dodge that are really embracing what internal combustion engines are. The sheer amounts of unadulterated drama and sense of occasion are likely to remain unparalleled and worth cherishing for years to come. With the Hellcat siblings literally turning environmentalists around and pushing the limits on emissions, it’s hard to accept that the end is near. But as they say, it’s not over until it’s over.

If we’re being brutally honest, the Dodge Challenger is our only recommendation for hardcore muscle car enthusiasts. Sure, it’s heavy and not as agile as its sports car rivals, but the Challenger is the most characterful of all modern muscle cars. With the Hellcat treatment, the Challenger is frankly in a league of its own. We’ve even gone so far as to call the Dodge Challenger Hellcat the last great muscle car. Since 2023, the Challenger SRT Hellcat will say goodbye, what better time to embrace a legend than now.

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The Dodge Challenger represents what a real muscle car is

Dodge Challenegr SRT Hellcat - Rear
Via Stellantis

Just as the pony car frenzy was starting to catch up, Dodge brought in the Challenger as a worthy contender for the Ford Mustang and its sibling, the Plymouth Barracuda. Since Chrysler had more say in Dodge’s economy, the brand decided to use the Chrysler E-body architecture. It didn’t take long for the Challenger to gain traction as it came with some of the more enticing engine choices of the time. Chief among the offerings was the rather expensive but hugely powerful 426 Hemi.

Fast forward a few decades, and the Challenger, which started out as a contender, is now the only offering that stays true to its lineage. For 2022, Dodge will offer the Challenger in a variety of trims, ranging from standard items to tire-shredding Hellcats. Like the four-seater Charger, the Challenger is offered in multiple versions, from the 300 horsepower Challenger SXT to the 797 horsepower Challenger Hellcat Redeye. Not to mention the special editions Mopar has been releasing lately. If you’re the kind of person looking for a reasonably sensible sports coupe, we’d recommend going for any European brand. However, if you prefer one of the native thoroughbreds, we recommend the Dodge Challenger as it represents what a true muscle car really is.

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Why the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the last of its kind?

2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye 2-door Notchback Coupe
Via: Stellantis

Let’s face it, the Mustang has transitioned into a mix between a sport and a muscle car, and Ford is currently milking its glorious heritage. The Camaro isn’t necessarily a true muscle car either. It’s no surprise that the lines between a muscle car and a sports car are blurring in today’s automotive jargon. But the fact is, if there’s one car we’d call real muscle, it’s the Hellcat, specifically the Challenger Hellcat.

We can disagree and call the Redeye the best out there. But hey! 707 horsepower is still a lot for something that acts like a boat. If you’re talking about Redeye V/s Demon V/s Hellcat, actually it’s pretty much numbers at this point; that is – if we put the technical differences aside. But more importantly, will the average Joe or Joanne tell the difference between a Hellcat, a Redeye or a Demon? Probably not. But will they notice a difference between the Challenger SRT 392 and the Hellcat? Of course they will. First, the latter has a 200+ horsepower advantage. Second, they won’t miss the intoxicating whine of the supercharger in the Hellcat. Very iconic and very Mopar.

Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye
Via Stellantis

The experience is enhanced by the involvement of the driver. As you can probably see, the combination of a screaming 6.2L supercharged three-pedal V8 is a dying breed. You could have ordered a Hellcat with a six-speed manual transmission, but 2022 Hellcats are only an eight-speed torque converter. Apparently this is a temporary measure and the six-speed manual should return with a revised calibration at some point.

With emissions taxing every other automaker, performance cars are taking a big hit with increasingly strict regulations. The amount of vapor that comes out of a supercharged 6.2L V8 with over 700 horsepower is far from acceptable. The reality is that since we may not see another Dodge V8 in years to come, it’s important to embrace the idea of ​​such iconic machines. Fortunately, there are enthusiasts on board, which is reflected in the sales figures for the Challenger, which surpasses the Mustang as America’s best-selling muscle car for the very first time.

Sources: Dodge

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