Motor Trend’s Carlos Lago gets behind the wheel of the new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. He also puts it on a chassis dyno where it puts down some very consistent numbers over multiple runs….. the magic number, around 670rwhp. So, either the folks at Dodge have found a way to break the laws of physics with a miniscule 5% drivetrain loss through an automatic gearbox, or the Hellcat may be a little underrated, even at 707hp. But hey, I don’t think anyone will complain.
The Hellcat seems an outstanding machine. Enjoy the video!
It’s America’s birthday this week, and to celebrate Chrysler has released the glorious details on their new 6.2L supercharged Hellcat V8 engine. Commies run for cover!
In a stroke of PR genius, their previous release had said that the new engine would produce “at least 600hp,” but when they announced the real number it was a massive 707hp! This comes as a massively pleasant surprise from Chrysler as their product line has been a bit lacking in recent years compared to rivals from Ford and GM. But just as we thought the horsepower wars might be tapering off for a while, as focus turns to lighter weight, Chrysler launches their long-awaited counter-offensive, and it’s about damn time!
The SRT Viper, formerly known as the Dodge Viper, is the iconic American sports car for people looking to get more out life than a Mustang or a Corvette can offer.
Intended to be a modern incarnation of the legendary Shelby Cobra, the Viper was developed by Chrysler with the help of Carroll Shelby to try and decimate the Chevrolet Corvette in the early 1990s. Where the Corvette of the time had a 300hp V8, the Viper went for the jugular with a 400hp V10. That was just the beginning, and as you will see, things have gotten even crazier since.
But has the Viper become too crazy for the times? Those of you who follow the car industry will know that Viper sales are in the toilet, so much so that Chrysler has actually had to halt production and even pull its Vipers out of racing competition. The Viper could have a serious problem here, and its survival may well be on the chopping block as we speak. Having finally sampled a Viper for myself, I will will use my experience with the car to muse on why it is that the sales of this beast are struggling.
It may seem cold and heartless to us car enthusiasts, but sales are the end-all-be-all in the car industry, especially for low volume production cars such as this. Ferrari and Lamborghini no longer offer manual transmissions in their cars because, plainly, nobody bought them, and now the Viper may be facing a similar situation.
Of the muscle cars back in the 1960s-70s, I always find myself drawn to Mopars the most. Something about their cartoonish, yet badass nature. A bright green Challenger, a purple Plymouth Barracuda, and the roar of a 426 Hemi V8, that just defines the flavor of the era for me.
Back in 2008, Chrysler blessed the world with the reincarnation of the legendary Dodge Challenger. With its retro look, it seemed poised to reignite the muscle car wars with the Ford Mustang, and the soon-to-be-released Chevrolet Camaro. However, we are not in the 1960s anymore, and there are far more contenders than just the good old American boys these days.
My real question going into this drive was, where does the Challenger fit in today? Is it still a Muscle Car in the traditional sense, or has it adapted, like the Camaro SS has, to meet modern expectations of handling performance?
This Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale is one of just nine in the world. It is based on the Dodge Viper ACR-X, and shares the same 640hp 8.4L V10 engine. The TZ3 was built to commemorate Fiat Group’s purchase of Chrysler after the onset of the recent economic crisis.
In attendance for the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, this is the second TZ3 Stradale that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in person. It’s appearance is beyond striking, especially in this sky blue color. A Viper is a phenomenal performance machine, and now, with the addition of some Italian bodywork, it may well be one of the sweetest cars on Earth in the form of this Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale.
This is the fourth one I have seen cruising around, but the first one I have gotten solid photos of. It is a great looking car, very similar to the older Vipers in its appearance on the road. Enough so that it takes a sharp eye to distinguish one of these new ones from the scores of older Vipers running around during cruise nights. The LEDs give it away though. Enjoy the pics.
The TZ3 Stradale is a limited production model that is actually a Dodge Viper ACR in Alfa Romeo clothes. It was built to showcase a collaboration between Chrysler and Fiat as a kickoff for future models. Mechanically it is all Viper with the same 640hp V10 as the Viper ACR-X, but with the sort of performance that Viper achieved I don’t hear anyone complaining. The design, done by Zagato, are a clear nod back to the legendary Alfa TZ and TZ2 racing cars of old. Just nine of these TZ3 Stradales will be produced making this one of the more exotic cars in the world. While at Pebble Beach this past summer we were surprised by this car while looking at a lineup of Bugatti Veyrons. All of a sudden there was this earthshaking rumble and then this astonishing car rolled out of the parking deck. It is an incredible machine to behold, and I think this Italian-American collaboration is just right. I must also say that the TZ3 Stradale is among the best looking cars I’ve ever seen. More pictures of the car below. Continue reading Obscure Auto: Zagato Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale→
Back when I was a kid my first real “Dream Car” was the Viper GTS. There was something that was just so cool and awesome about it, and thats what matters when you’re a kid. Now as I’ve grown older, and have learned more about cars and driving, I realize how insane the Viper is as a car. I still love Vipers though, and they will always have a special place as my first automotive love, however my tastes have since gravitated to the more refined offerings from Europe. That said, seeing this new car brings me back to when I first saw the GTS. It’s shape is much more that of the original Viper than of the previous generation, and for me that is a major step in the right direction (not that I disliked the previous gen at all). The Magic seems to be returning, and this new Viper looks very promising in many ways. Continue reading Thoughts on the SRT Viper→