The world is transitioning! Now, it's all about electric cars. In a year or so, even the muscle car manufacturer Dodge is set to release a Charger that is fueled by a battery charger. Quite fittingly named, one might say, but also a clear milestone in the 123-year history of the American car company.
To celebrate the end of a roughly sixty-year era of muscle cars, Dodge has now released what they call "Last Call Special Editions." This includes the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and SRT Demon in a variety of special editions. A delightful way to wrap things up as we look towards the future.
When November is at its darkest, what do you do? Well, you borrow a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in the Ida Zetterström Edition from Peter Larsson at KW Auto, of course. The opportunity to test drive one of the world's very last modern muscle cars is not to be missed.
Let's address the elephant in the room. How well does a Hellcat from 2023 align with the classic muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s? Well, I claim quite well. The car still rattles (or perhaps screams) that performance, with a certain focus on acceleration, is at focus. The sound, too. Controlled revving with accompanying rumble in tunnels has rarely been more enjoyable.
The interior is as it is. Sometimes stuck. Just like in the sixties. That function where you can "tap" the window switch, and the side window goes all the way up by itself... No. You have to press the button as the window travels up. The traction control system - before I disengage it - is not an orgy of smooth transitions. It becomes quite a brutal rear-axle hop with a heavy right foot. Fake carbonfiber doesn't make anyone happy either, and there are a few more things to comment on. But complaints don't lift anyone's spirits, and the overall impression far outweighs any potential minor flaws.
Consider just the driving experience. When the Hellcat stretches out over the asphalt of Norrortsleden north of Stockholm, rumbling through the tunnels, I feel like a prince. No worries in the world reach either heart or mind. All 717 horsepower and brutal torque make the car shoot off like a bullet over the cold autumn asphalt, but some caution with the right foot must be observed to prevent unintentional (or intentional?) burnouts.
For those who want to reach highway speeds quickly, the Hellcat delivers 0–100 km/h in anything but modest three and a half seconds, or the quarter-mile in 11.2 and a bit more time with autumn leaves and two degrees Celsius to consider. There's no need to rush in the Hellcat's driver's seat. There are quite a few tests of the car's acceleration capacity after highly voluntary and seemingly pointless braking where the Brembo brakes get a taste of a little heat.
Think about the immature behaviors that some cars encourage!
On one point, this Dodge differs from its ancestors born in the 1960s or 1970s. Fuel consumption. Sure, the car invites playful behavior. But it is undoubtedly possible to have a lot of fun without the V8 guzzling more than just over 1.5 liters per mile. Tell that to someone who owns a 1970 Challenger with a tuned 440 and similar power figures. It's probably possible to tune the old V8 for better fuel economy, but it won't be a walk in the park. If you take the Hellcat on the Autobahn at its top speed of 320 km/h, however, you can expect a slightly thirstier engine.
Finally, there is actually one more thing that past and present muscle cars do not fully share, at least not entirely. The modern muscle car's integrity in winter weather. The Hellcat can be equipped with, as absurd as it may sound, heated rear window, heated seats, and heated steering wheel. Nice options that keep winter at a respectful distance."
Find your dreamcar at www.kwauto.com
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