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The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has blown its North American muscle car rivals into the weeds following the announcement of the astonishing full details of its hugely powerful V8 engine. 

With 527kW of power and 880Nm of torque on tap from its supercharged — a brand-first — 6.2-litre Hemi V8 engine, the SRT Challenger range-topper edges out the latest Shelby GT500 Ford Mustang and its 493kW punch. Even SRT’s own Viper V10 ‘only’ musters 476kW.

Of course, to get the engine to yield its full potential, you’ll need to choose the right key: the Hellcat comes with two. Choose the black key fob, and the loud pedal frees 500 horses (or 373kW) as part of the car’s PIN-operated Valet mode. Choose the red key fob, though, and strap yourself in for the full experience.

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According to SRT, the supercharged engine features a forged-steel crankshaft so well-engineered it can withstand firing pressures of 110 bar (1595 psi) – the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston, every two revolutions. 

This engine is matched up to a new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, with more than a hint of robustness to handle all that torque, or a six-speed manual gearbox. The Hellcat also comes with Custom, Sport and Track modes that adjust the shift speeds and suspension firmness.

The Hellcat sits on 20-inch forged-aluminium wheels finished in matte black, wrapped in P275/40 ZR20 Pirelli P Zero Nero tyres.

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Sales for the US begin in the third quarter of 2014. As CarAdvice has previously reported, Chrysler Jeep’s fast-growing Australian arm is investigating additional models for this market, and has not ruled out a right-hand drive version of the Challenger for local consumption at some point down the line. 

For now though, it’s a left-hand-drive only offering. 




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