Best Products of 2015: Cars

Dodge's 707 hp Charger did donuts around the competition in 2015

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

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2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Despite the rise of high-tech hybrids, electric vehicles, and even self-driving cars, it’s still fun to see an automaker take an old-fashioned beast of a V8 to its limits. And Dodge’s 707-horsepower Charger and Challenger Hellcats definitely hit the redline. The duo’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8s burn as much rubber as they do gasoline.

The Charger Hellcat is the highlight of the two, transplanting the power and capability of its two-door sibling into a sedan, giving us America’s only four-door muscle car. Its masterfully crafted supercharged engine delivers 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, routed to the rear by way of a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. A 3.5-second 0-to-60 time and 204 mph top speed more than vouch for the performance its aggressive styling suggests.

Boatloads of horsepower are exciting, but the Charger astonishingly has the handling capabilities to keep all that grunt on the track. Sure, there are cars that can lap a circuit faster and neater, but few will do it with as much fun or ferocity. The marriage between tried-and-true engineering like hydraulic steering with modern innovations like push-button suspension settings, make it feel old-school but not dated. Throw in the fact that the $62,000 car has a full back seat and a trunk when you need a car instead of a toy, and you’ve got the makings of a winner. Now hand us that red key…

Runners up

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

2015-volkswagen-golf-r

With its subdued yet attractive styling, its utility, and its sporty feel, Volkswagen’s Golf is already a “go-to” car an almost every category. Tack on the R badge, and a 292 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that will ram it to 60 in under 5 seconds, and the Swiss Army Knife of cars gets even better. All this goodness comes in a $36,595 package with enough room for the dog, the groceries, and enough room in the glovebox for plenty of tickets.

2015 Mclaren 650S Spider

2015-mclaren-650s-spider

McLaren has always been an industry leader in racing technology, and this showcase of its capabilities makes for one of the finest and most technically advanced supercars we’ve ever driven. With a mid-mounted 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 providing 641 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, the 650S can fling you from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds – faster than your brain can think to regret the decision.

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