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Dodge Challenger Hellcat (Muscle Kings Pt. 1)

January 30, 2015

The bailout of General Motors and Chrysler stained both company’s reputations but also began a renaissance in American car performance.  One look at the line up of either company reveals improved interiors, better styling, and more performance rear-wheel-drive monsters than we could have ever imagined a mere five years ago.

 

To prove this point, look no further than the Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Camaro Z28.  These are the kings of their respective line-ups and they offer far more than just straight-line speed at affordable prices.  In fact, they aren’t even very affordable.

 

 

 

Pondering a seventy-thousand dollar 200 mph muscle car seems like a parallel universe where accountants and shareholders don’t exist. Yet here are two.  The Z28 is a Chevrolet science project, turning the large and aging Camaro into an unapologetic track-destroyer.  The Challenger Hellcat goes for an even more impressive target by offering hyper-car levels of power at the cost of a large SUV.

 

707 horsepower didn’t exist in production cars ten years ago.  It’s still hard to find without visiting a tuner shop.  Yet on the short list of cars with seven-centuries of power you now find… Dodge.  We have officially entered another dimension.

 

Whoever approved the Z28 was equal parts genius and madman.  The poor bunker-like visibility remains, as does the plastic interior and low ceiling.  Then Chevrolet took a page from super-car makers by actually removing interior immenities while jacking up the price.  All of this was done in the name of the ultimate track Camaro, a part of the market no one even asked about.

 

This is a strange pairing in many ways, but these two cars seem to have sprung from the same restriction-free bender and made it all the way to the driveway in front of me.  I’m holding a red Dodge key fob, and a simple Chevy key.  Here.  Now.  And waiting.

 

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