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Car & Driver
October 2014
By: Steve Siler


There’s an insuppressible sense of buoyancy among Dodge folks of late. Certainly, it can’t be attributed to the Dart compact or the complete lack of a Dodge-brand entry in the hugely popular mid-size-sedan segment. It’s not even that the Viper sports car has been newly re-Dodged after wearing only an SRT badge in 2013–14. No, the smiles on the faces of the Dodge Boys folks are on account of one special thing, and its name is Hellcat.

By now, you’ve surely heard about Dodge’s prodigious supercharged Hellcat V-8—that it takes 80 horsepower just to run its supercharger, which can suck the air from a 10-by-13-foot room in one minute, and that its fuel injectors can fill a pint glass in six seconds. Oh, and that it produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, which turn the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat from a mere muscle car into a ballistic, five-seat supercar capable of hitting 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and passing the quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds at 126 mph, according to our first test, with a claimed top speed of 199 mph.

Full article available at link.
 

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Not a fan of the styling and I personally prefer the challenger hellcat..
Both fast as hell and awesome....

I used to like the bold styling of last years model. This new one is more aerodynamic ....I just don't like the looks as much.


Two thumbs up for sure and I bet it's a blast to drive...

Dodge gets a lot of credit even though putting the power to the ground without drag radials is less than ideal.

Chevy and ford are not even in the competition with this insane beast.

Chevy SS is a bit more balanced and closer to the 485 hp scat pack version for 39 grand...

The SHO is out in left field.

Mercedes with the E63 amg went to AWD to be able to get similar power to the ground....

This hellcats a 2015 general Lee from the factory...(dukes of Hazard)
 

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Much respect for Dodge having the cajones to keep that brand alive and breathing fire.
Pining for Pontiac... :(
Dodge - The last and only brand dedicated to thumbing its nose at being conventional and blending in. The question is, will it pay off in the long run and grow, or is Dodge just holding on to a forgotten era only to be ridiculed for their V8's to the point where they will soon find their moniker on a headstone?
 

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I am amused to see this recent return to calling American 'Pontiac GTO type' cars supercars.

The word supercar was actually *coined* to describe a "Pontiac GTO type" of vehicle. Though the word was coined by CAR LIFE, the rest of the press of the day immediately adopted it and quite consistently used the supercar word to describe the Pontiac GTO and its imitators well into the seventies.

Even by the early eighties Car Craft was still having "Supercar Showdowns" pitting '70 SS454s against Buick GS Stage Ones.

Somewhere around the time of the Porsche 959, magazines started using the supercar word to describe expensive European "GTs"

But maybe now we can cut to the chase and call the "GT" spade a spade.

Just call them "moneycar$"

http://elvisceralappeal.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html
 

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ZBsZ06: "Chevy SS is a bit more balanced and closer to the 485 hp scat pack version for 39 grand..."

It's funny that you mention that car. I saw the second one I've ever seen on the road this morning. It was black and it was cutting a car off that was to my right and just ahead of me, a real **** move. I saw the SS and didn't recognize it at first from a three-quarter rear view; I saw the bowtie so I thought it was a Cruze or a Malibu until I heard the exhaust. Otherwise, it looked like an economy car from that view. Are these cars selling well? If not, is Chevy offering rebates on the SS? The 2015s have to due out soon.
 

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Chrysler has a heritage of making the best engines in Detroit, but the worst cars attached to them.
I have to agree. But I can only imagine what an LT4 Chevy SS w/ magnetic suspension would have done against this.... oh well.
 

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Oh great! another Hellokitty review. :tired:
I see what you mean - this appears to be another one day 'gang bang' have-at-it presser where nobody measures anything really.

In the internet age, the magazines have lost much of the mojo they once had - spy photos obviously they shouldn't even bother with now.

But did we really learn any new facts from this?
 

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I am amused to see this recent return to calling American 'Pontiac GTO type' cars supercars.

The word supercar was actually *coined* to describe a "Pontiac GTO type" of vehicle. Though the word was coined by CAR LIFE, the rest of the press of the day immediately adopted it and quite consistently used the supercar word to describe the Pontiac GTO and its imitators well into the seventies.

Even by the early eighties Car Craft was still having "Supercar Showdowns" pitting '70 SS454s against Buick GS Stage Ones.

Somewhere around the time of the Porsche 959, magazines started using the supercar word to describe expensive European "GTs"

But maybe now we can cut to the chase and call the "GT" spade a spade.

Just call them "moneycar$"

http://elvisceralappeal.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html
Car Life was a goodie......


Interesting - said in a friendly way KingElvis.

Could you also then fit in the term "muscle car" to this explanation ?

My very shaky memory has it that - that came first ( perhaps morphed a bit - later ), and then the "super car" term came into being @ the tail end of the second ( or third if you prefer) coming of the muscle cars era.

Tryin' to remember the interplay between the two terms ( and I think some others in other areas ) and eh, @ least one other term more directly I cannot now remember .

Somehow associate "super car" with the rarer and seriously more serious Chevrolet, Plymouth and Dodge product while muscle car was more the term for certian end user groups only with regard to the next step down and then later bif engined Pony cars essentially.

Wasn't really about an all arounder - more about the strip I think ?
 

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I have to agree. But I can only imagine what an LT4 Chevy SS w/ magnetic suspension would have done against this.... oh well.
I would much rather see a ATS-V plus created with the LT4.
 

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Is that including the $15,000 dealer markup..........if you can find one. A friend of mine bought a Challenger Hellcat, and it only had a $20,000 markup. It was the only one that dealer was allotted and he bought it without seeing it first.

The irony of it is that that they have a 2013 Viper in the showroom that has been there for over a year, brand new, with a $40,000 discount, and it's still there. It is a gorgeous car!

When is a "bargain" not a bargain?"bargain"


This thing is a screaming bargain.
 

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Car Life was a goodie......


Interesting - said in a friendly way KingElvis.

Could you also then fit in the term "muscle car" to this explanation ?

My very shaky memory has it that - that came first ( perhaps morphed a bit - later ), and then the "super car" term came into being @ the tail end of the second ( or third if you prefer) coming of the muscle cars era.

Tryin' to remember the interplay between the two terms ( and I think some others in other areas ) and eh, @ least one other term more directly I cannot now remember .

Somehow associate "super car" with the rarer and seriously more serious Chevrolet, Plymouth and Dodge product while muscle car was more the term for certian end user groups only with regard to the next step down and then later bif engined Pony cars essentially.

Wasn't really about an all arounder - more about the strip I think ?
If you click on the elvisceral appeal blog I lay out a nearly month by month progression.

But suffice it to sum up thusly: The supercar word was coined in the May '65 Car Life as a term of distinction for a set of American cars with a 12:1 Lbs/HP level or less. In the same issue we get tests of the GTO of course, but also the 'Street Wedge' 426 Dodge, a 442 and a Buick Gran Sport '400.' Interesting to note that they include on the list a car I've never seen a magazine test for: The mythical (?) 350hp 327cid '65 Chevelle. They also list the new 396cid Chevrolet, which barely made it under the bar. The '65 427 Ford on the list had been tested in an earlier CL issue.

Here's a grab of the May 65 CL article


Note that in this article there was a sense of supercar being a "1%" car that a very savvy consumer could put together by carefully ordering the right 'trailer towing packages.'
The concept of the super/muscle car being a pre-packaged car with loads of 'image' baked in was inchohate at this point.

Huntington had published several articles in CL starting with a '58 Chevy Delray and then a '60 348 police special. These were just reports on cars regular people ordered - not supplied to the press by Chevy. These guys had figured out that if you just ordered the heavy duty stuff (the famous sintered metallic brake linings and 15" wheels) and no 'dreamboat' fluff, , you could have a factory fifteen second Chevy - and this years before the debut of the Super Sport. Interestingly, there were other words seen around this summer of '65 period including "super compact" which would presumably toss out the 427 Ford and replace it with a 271hp 289 Mustang.

This summer '65 article is also by Roger Huntington. He likely coined or at least joined other staffers in coining the supercar word at Car Life.



In my elvisceral appeal blog I search Googlebooks for mentions of 'musclecar' and don't find anything legit until the September '65 Popular Science in which Jan P. Norbye (the "Detroit Report" scribe who was the spy photo gatekeeper there) mentions that Chrysler will make a Street Hemi Coronet to compete with "the 'musclecars' from GM."


But maybe even more fascinating is that the first use of the 'musclecar' word by anyone other than Jan P. Norbye comes in the print ad announcing the debut of the Chevelle SS396 that appeared in the November '65 issues of C&D and MT. Remember this would have been in the pipe late summer '65 for an issue that hit the stands in October.




The 'supercar' word gained more currency than musclecar - even among competitors to CL. This cover from C&D is particularly damning to the cause of 'moneycar' revisionists because it uses the word supercar specifically NOT in reference to a Lamborghini (still front engine then) tested in the same issue. In fact in the test of the Lambo, there is a line something like "The Lamborghini is fast - it accelerates much like one our American supercars."

 

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Entertaining and satisfying as a UFC fight. If nothing else I'm still glad that in 2015 cars like this are available because we all know the doom and gloom forecasts since the oil embargo in the 70's and rising CAFE requirements.
 

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Just wanted to show the first page of the SS396 2 pager. Notice here, as with text in the original Lemans GTO and Skylark GS ads, we get an overt rejection of the 'dumb American car.' From the beginning of the supercar history there was this "we're not one of those OTHER dumb American straight line cars" - even though that's maybe the one cliche still applied to the 'musclecar' genre.



I had developed a theory early on, based somewhat on this ad, that 'musclecar' was a pejorative put down - notice in the SS396 the word musclecar is mentioned within the context of skepticism

I then had the opportunity to speak with a writer from the era, Martin L Schorr, editor of "Hi Performance Cars" (later known simply as CARS).

I asked Marty Schorr if there was a sense of supercar being good and musclecar being bad (he had used both words in one review of a 4spd 390 '66 Cyclone) - but he assured me that he considered them interchangeable and musclecar was never a put-down in his mind or others - as he remembered.

BTW, Marty did remember 'ponycar' being a term of distinction - of course not all ponies are super ponies. There's an Oct '70 CARS issue that seems to distinguish between supercars and super PONYcars. Especially with 327 Chevy IIs or 340 Darts, it's almost more effort than its worth to separate out 'mid sized' supercars from super compacts - especially considering that the '64 GM a bodies were indeed 'compact' to BOP, if not Chevy, and that the ponies were just compacts with sexier bodies.
 
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