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William Maley

Quick Drive: 2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

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Last fall, I had the chance to drive a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for a week and fell in love. It was basically an SRT Charger, minus a few items for just under $40,000. This fall, another high-performance Charger came in a week’s stay and it was packing more heat. 707 horsepower to be exact. Yes, I finally got my hands on a Hellcat. What was it like? It was fast, but you want more information than that.

  • That 707 horsepower figure comes courtesy from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. Torque is rated at 650 pound-feet.This is backed up by an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, then you’ll need to get the Challenger Hellcat.
  • Trying to explain just how fast the Charger Hellcat is difficult. This is a car that you need to drive or sit in to experience the ferocity of the V8 engine. The best way I can use to describe the Hellcat’s power delivery is engaging warp drive. Step on the accelerator and the supercharger whirrs into life and the V8 produces a roar very few vehicles can dream. Blink and you’ll be at an illegal speed before you know it.
  • Taking turns in the Hellcat is somewhat difficult because of the accelerator. You need to roll on it if you want to do it smoothly. If you step on the accelerator pedal like you would on a standard vehicle, the back will become very loose and the stability control will kick on to get the vehicle straightened out. This is especially important due to the tires fitted to Hellcat, a set of Pirelli P-Zeros. These tires need to be warmed up before they begin to bite the road.
  • The Hellcat will be a regular at the fuel pump with fuel economy figures of 13 City/22 Highway/16 Combined. I got about 14.3 mpg during my week in mostly city driving.
  • Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle. 
  • Bringing a 707 horsepower vehicle to a stop is no easy task, but a set of massive Brembo brakes is up to the task. It brings the Charger Hellcat to a quick halt.
  • The Charger Hellcat looks like your standard SRT Charger with a new front clip and lowered stance. There are some slight differences such as a new hood, 20-inch wheels finished in a dark bronze color, and the requisite Hellcat emblems on the front fenders.
  • Inside, the Hellcat isn’t that much different from the standard Charger aside from the speedometer going 200 mph. It would have been nice if Dodge could have done some sprucing of the interior to not make it feel so dank and dark. A little bit more color on the dash would not be a bad thing.
  • The front seats have extra bolstering to hold you in when you decide to let loose all 707 horsepower or take a turn a bit too fast.
  • As I mentioned in my Ram 1500 Quick Drive last week, the Charger’s UConnect system is beginning to show its age. The interface is still easy to use but is beginning to show signs of aging. Performance isn’t as snappy either as in previous FCA models. Hopefully, the 2017 model is able to get the updated UConnect system that debuted in the Pacifica.
  • The UConnect system in the Charger Hellcat does come with SRT Pages. This allows you to record 0-60, quarter-mile, and reaction times. It also allows you to change various performance settings such as gear changes, suspension, and whether you want the full 707 horsepower or 500. The last one pertains if you happen to have the red key.
  • In terms of pricing, the Charger Hellcat kicks off at $65,495. With options and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, our tester came to $72,820. Compared to other high-performance sedans, the Hellcat is quite the steal.
  • If it was my money on the line, I would go for the Charger R/T Scat Pack. I get most of the enjoyment of the Hellcat, minus the supercharger whine. But I would have a fair chunk of change that I could spend on hopping it up.
  • But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened.

Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger Hellcat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

(Author’s Note: That’s a wrap for the 2016 review season. We’ll be back with the first batch of 2017 model year vehicles after New Years. But I will be picking my favorite vehicles I drove this year. Expect to see that before the year comes to a close.)

Year: 2016
Make: Dodge
Model: Charger
Trim: SRT Hellcat
Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
Base Price: $65,945
As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)

Options:
Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00


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Great review.  Really hope they give you a Daytona 392 to try next year.  Hellcat brakes, tires, and suspension with the 6.4 for around 45k. 

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2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Where else are you going to get 707 horsepower for that price?

OEM, nowhere. But turbo a Camaro or Mustang and you can get there for well under 65k. I know once you get into the aftermarket it's a weird game to play but that's the only way to get 700hp for cheaper. Obviously you will not have a nice factory warranty. 

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Guest Orang Pendek

As I said $72k for a car?!?! 707hp or not  .....Prices for new cars have gotten crazy ridiculous.,but since one could go ahead and get a great lease/rent rate one one it makes it all better. 

 Since the masses have spoken I'll just be quiet now.

 

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21 hours ago, William Maley said:

Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle. 

This is why I adore greatly the Challenger....Scat pack or Hellcat.

Its a muscle car. A modern muscle car. It handles just as good, if not better than any modern sporty offering from any manufacturer today. 

Porsche 911 or Chevy Camaro or Corvette it is not...does it have to be though? When our roads are pretty much straight anyway?

Besides, it handles waaaaaay better than anything that came out in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s. Hell, it probably out handles any sports car that came out in the 1990s too. Minus a Ferrari or a Porsche 911...

Its a heavy car. Heavy cars are better cruisers. And muscle cars are certainly made for that as well...OK...muscle cars and the Charger/Challenger will never be able to out-cruise a behemoth 1959 Oldsmobile Super 88...I gather the Dodge brothers are probably one of the best cruisers around in 2016.

Hellcat or Scat pack. More than enough power to out accelerate anything on the road including super cars. The Hellcat's 707 is for bragging rights, and only people with stick up their butts finding faults with 707 on a Mopar Hellcat will find faults with that. Cool cats from any walk of life will appreciate what it means to have 707 under the hood of a big, bad Dodge!

So there you have it.

Thanx Will.I.Am. for a wonderful and unbiased review of a Hellcat.

Too many people sometimes want to skew the awesomenous of these Mopars into a negative light for some reason.

21 hours ago, William Maley said:

But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened.

I said 707 is for bragging rights only...

Well...maybe not.

This might be an excellent and ONLY reason to spend 72 thousand on one!!!

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19 hours ago, Stew said:

Great review.  Really hope they give you a Daytona 392 to try next year.  Hellcat brakes, tires, and suspension with the 6.4 for around 45k. 

And I believe the hood is the Hellcat hood too?

Regardless...yeah, this trim too gets me all warm and fuzzy inside along with Hellcat and Scat pack

 

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2 hours ago, oldshurst442 said:

And I believe the hood is the Hellcat hood too?

Regardless...yeah, this trim too gets me all warm and fuzzy inside along with Hellcat and Scat pack

 

Yep and the Hellcat wheels too and in that new Destroyer Grey.........

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5 hours ago, Guest Orang Pendek said:

As I said $72k for a car?!?! 707hp or not  .....Prices for new cars have gotten crazy ridiculous.,but since one could go ahead and get a great lease/rent rate one one it makes it all better. 

 Since the masses have spoken I'll just be quiet now.

 

For people who can afford $72k for a car, it probably is a really sweet deal to get 707 horsepower. 

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23 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

For people who can afford $72k for a car, it probably is a really sweet deal to get 707 horsepower. 

Just because i can't afford it doesn't mean I won't lust after it.  Hellcats, Grand Sports, Orlando Bloom in his elf ears........

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      -31%
      Ram P/U
      29,358
      33,769
      -13%
      29,358
      33,769
      -13%
      Cargo Van
      0
      0
      0%
      0
      0
        ProMaster Van
      1,771
      3,351
      -47%
      1,771
      3,351
      -47%
      ProMaster City
      910
      925
      -2%
      910
      925
      -2%
      RAM BRAND
      32,039
      38,045
      -16%
      32,039
      38,045
      -16%
      500
      454
      1,218
      -63%
      454
      1,218
      -63%
      500L
      104
      106
      -2%
      104
      106
      -2%
      500X
      488
      600
      -19%
      488
      600
      -19%
      Spider
      183
      240
      -24%
      183
      240
      -24%
      FIAT BRAND
      1,229
      2,164
      -43%
      1,229
      2,164
      -43%
      Giulia
      948
      70
      1254%
      948
      70
      1254%
      Alfa 4C 
      12
      38
      -68%
      12
      38
      -68%
      Stelvio
      688
      0
      New
      688
      0
      New
      ALFA ROMEO
      1,648
      108
      1426%
      1,648
      108
      1426%
      FCA US LLC
      132,803
      152,218
      -13%
      132,803
      152,218
      -13%
    • By William Maley
      I have been on record of not liking the 2.0L turbo-four Lexus uses in a number of their vehicles. Previous reviews have highlighted the horrendous turbo lag and power falling off a cliff after a certain point on the rpm band. But after spending a week with the 2017 Lexus GS 200t, I found that Lexus may have fixed one of the big issues with this engine.
      A quick refresher on the turbo 2.0L. The engine has ratings of 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission on offer. The engine feels quite punchy when the boost kicks in as it moves the 3,805 pound sedan without breaking a sweat. Another positive is how quiet and refined the engine is during acceleration and at cruise. There are a couple of downsides. As I mentioned in the RC 200t review, the engine does run out of steam at higher rpms which makes merging onto a freeway slightly tricky. The transmission programming in the ‘Normal’ drive mode leans heavily towards boosting fuel economy with rapid upshifts and slow downshifts. This was easily remedied by putting the GS into the ‘Sport’ drive mode. EPA fuel economy figures for the GS 200t at 22 City/32 Highway/26 Combined. I only averaged a very disappointing 19.2 mpg for the week. A lot of this can be attributed to the cold snap where the high temperature at the times was around 10 to 15 degrees. This meant I was running the vehicle at idle for a fair amount of time to warm it up. The GS 200t’s suspension provides a mostly smooth ride with only a couple of bumps making their way inside. Road and wind noise are almost nonexistent. I cannot really comment on the GS 200t’s handling as most of the roads were snow-covered during the week and the Michelin GreenX tires were more keen on spinning in the snow than actually getting the car moving. A set of all-seasons or snow tires would have done wonders for it. Reading through some other reviews, the consensus seems to be the GS shows little body roll and has decent steering weight. Lexus updated the GS’ styling back in 2016 with a revised front end, complete with a spindle grille and upside-down eyelash LED lighting. I’m usually not a fan of the standard insert for the spindle grille - like the mesh insert on the F-Sport. But I will admit the slat grille on this particular model works quite well. Other changes include new wheels (18-inches on our tester) and taillights. The interior hasn’t really changed since I last drove the GS back in 2013. In certain respects, this is ok. The design still holds up with the brushed-metal accents and textured black trim. Material quality is top notch as well with many surfaces being covered in soft-touch plastics and leather. Seating offers the right amount of support and comfort needed for long trips. The only downside is the large transmission tunnel that eats into rear legroom. The GS still uses the first-generation Lexus Enform infotainment system, complete with the joystick controller. The controller is a pain to use with an inconsistent feeling when using it to move around the system. At times, you’ll find yourself either overshooting or not selecting the function because of the vague feeling provided by the controller. This hurts an otherwise pretty good system with a modern design and large 12.3-inch screen with the ability of split-screen viewing. The base price of the 2017 GS 200t is $46,310. Our test vehicle came equipped with a few options such as navigation, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, power trunk, and 18-inch wheels that raised the price to a very reasonable $52,295. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the GS 200t, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Lexus
      Model: GS
      Trim: 200t
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve with Dual VVT-iW
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 241 @ 5,800
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,650-4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/26
      Curb Weight: 3,805 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $46,310
      As Tested Price: $52,295 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge and $1,730 Navigation Package Credit)
      Options:
      Navigation w/12.3-inch screen with Lexus Enform - $1,730.00
      Premium Package - $1,400.00
      Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System - $1,380.00
      18" All Season Tires - $905.00
      Intuitive Park Assist - $500.00
      Illuminated Door Sills - $425.00
      One-Touch Power Trunk - $400.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I have been on record of not liking the 2.0L turbo-four Lexus uses in a number of their vehicles. Previous reviews have highlighted the horrendous turbo lag and power falling off a cliff after a certain point on the rpm band. But after spending a week with the 2017 Lexus GS 200t, I found that Lexus may have fixed one of the big issues with this engine.
      A quick refresher on the turbo 2.0L. The engine has ratings of 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission on offer. The engine feels quite punchy when the boost kicks in as it moves the 3,805 pound sedan without breaking a sweat. Another positive is how quiet and refined the engine is during acceleration and at cruise. There are a couple of downsides. As I mentioned in the RC 200t review, the engine does run out of steam at higher rpms which makes merging onto a freeway slightly tricky. The transmission programming in the ‘Normal’ drive mode leans heavily towards boosting fuel economy with rapid upshifts and slow downshifts. This was easily remedied by putting the GS into the ‘Sport’ drive mode. EPA fuel economy figures for the GS 200t at 22 City/32 Highway/26 Combined. I only averaged a very disappointing 19.2 mpg for the week. A lot of this can be attributed to the cold snap where the high temperature at the times was around 10 to 15 degrees. This meant I was running the vehicle at idle for a fair amount of time to warm it up. The GS 200t’s suspension provides a mostly smooth ride with only a couple of bumps making their way inside. Road and wind noise are almost nonexistent. I cannot really comment on the GS 200t’s handling as most of the roads were snow-covered during the week and the Michelin GreenX tires were more keen on spinning in the snow than actually getting the car moving. A set of all-seasons or snow tires would have done wonders for it. Reading through some other reviews, the consensus seems to be the GS shows little body roll and has decent steering weight. Lexus updated the GS’ styling back in 2016 with a revised front end, complete with a spindle grille and upside-down eyelash LED lighting. I’m usually not a fan of the standard insert for the spindle grille - like the mesh insert on the F-Sport. But I will admit the slat grille on this particular model works quite well. Other changes include new wheels (18-inches on our tester) and taillights. The interior hasn’t really changed since I last drove the GS back in 2013. In certain respects, this is ok. The design still holds up with the brushed-metal accents and textured black trim. Material quality is top notch as well with many surfaces being covered in soft-touch plastics and leather. Seating offers the right amount of support and comfort needed for long trips. The only downside is the large transmission tunnel that eats into rear legroom. The GS still uses the first-generation Lexus Enform infotainment system, complete with the joystick controller. The controller is a pain to use with an inconsistent feeling when using it to move around the system. At times, you’ll find yourself either overshooting or not selecting the function because of the vague feeling provided by the controller. This hurts an otherwise pretty good system with a modern design and large 12.3-inch screen with the ability of split-screen viewing. The base price of the 2017 GS 200t is $46,310. Our test vehicle came equipped with a few options such as navigation, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, power trunk, and 18-inch wheels that raised the price to a very reasonable $52,295. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the GS 200t, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Lexus
      Model: GS
      Trim: 200t
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve with Dual VVT-iW
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 241 @ 5,800
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,650-4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/26
      Curb Weight: 3,805 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $46,310
      As Tested Price: $52,295 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge and $1,730 Navigation Package Credit)
      Options:
      Navigation w/12.3-inch screen with Lexus Enform - $1,730.00
      Premium Package - $1,400.00
      Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System - $1,380.00
      18" All Season Tires - $905.00
      Intuitive Park Assist - $500.00
      Illuminated Door Sills - $425.00
      One-Touch Power Trunk - $400.00
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