Rumours are swirling about a Hellcat supercharger powered 6.2L Dodge Challenger for 2015, and a special SRT-8 spied this past week may be featuring that very engine
Dodge has been quietly chipping away at a new, top-end V8 engine for a little more than a year now. This supercharger equipped variant on their 6.2L HEMI V8, which has been given the moniker “Hellcat”, is expected to become the performance competitor to the Camaro ZL1 and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. This means that the new Hellcat engine, which should be slightly less powerful than the 640hp V10 engine currently gracing their top-end Viper.
Expectations place the Hellcat engine in the 560-600HP ballpark, which would put its HP numbers directly in line with the 580HP Camaro ZL1, but still well behind the overpowered 662HP Mustang GT500. However, for the Hellcat SRT-8 to become a true competitor to these vehicles, Dodge will have to find a way to lighten the vehicle and improve its track handling performance, and the tester vehicle spied this past week hints at such improvements.
Visible are what appear to be increased diameter brakes with upgraded performance calipers. Also, while difficult to see through the camouflage wrapping gracing the vehicle’s front end, there appear to be new active air intake cutouts on the front fascia–a necessity for a more air needy supercharger system. From behind, the vehicle is also sporting what is clearly a never before seen exhaust system–potentially a new dual-mode performance one–that was reported to have unbelievable volume and sound.
All of this points at some degree of confirmation towards Dodge’s intention to truly improve the Challenger as it moves in to its final years for this design. We’ll know much more early next year, as the Hellcat engine and Challenger vehicle featuring it are expected to be first displayed at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, which takes place in Detroit next January.