Could Dodge’s rumored ‘Hellcat’ V8 outshine the Viper’s V10?

dodge hellcat v8 engine rumors 2014 challenger srt

Chrysler seems to think giving engines cool names will imbue them with special powers.

First came the fuel-efficient “Hurricane” four-cylinder and now, at the other end of the spectrum, we have the “Hellcat”.

The company is rumored to be preparing a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 for use in the next Dodge Challenger SRT. While the company hasn’t even confirmed the hellacious engine’s existence, reports suggest its power output will be in the 580 to 640 horsepower range.

Note that last figure matches the power rating of the SRT Viper’s 8.4-liter V10. Could it be that a hot-rodded version of the Challenger will rival the near-supercar Viper in grunt?

SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles hinted at this possibility in an interview with Hot Rod, when the magazine suggested Chrysler was losing to Ford and Chevrolet in the Detroit horsepower war.

“We have a situation where, you know – we may have a situation – where the flagship car is not the most powerful car in our arsenal; how do we explain that to ourselves?” He said there is an “internal horsepower race” going on at Chrysler.

In the same comment, Gilles said SRT will focus on “usable horsepower” and improving vehicles’ power-to-weight ratios, presumably as an alternative to increasing horsepower for its own sake.

While SRT could probably extract more power from the Viper’s V10 (perhaps by giving it a supercharger of its own), it’s admittedly hard to see where it can go from here.

A more powerful Viper would be faster, but pushing the car further into supercar territory would require a level of refinement to rival that of Ferrari or Porsche, and to keep minimally-trained owners from killing themselves.

So as SRT seeks to improve the Viper, other factors will become as important – if not more important – than increasing horsepower.

As for a Hellcat-powered Challenger producing as much grunt as a Viper, keep in mind that there’s already one Detroit muscle car that’s accomplished that feat. The outgoing Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang has 662 hp, courtesy of a 5.8-liter supercharged V8.

The GT500 has always been more about top speed than handling, but a two-seat sports car like the Viper has to excel at both.

Maybe SRT has decided to give its super sports car more than just a venomous bite, while giving enthusiasts another high-horsepower model to drool over.

Cars

Six advanced tech features that make off-road driving easy

It wasn’t too long ago that driving off-road required serious skills and a lot of equipment. Thanks to technology, any family crossover SUV can hit the trail today and have a good chance of coming back in one piece.
Cars

The recently revealed McLaren GT is a road trip-ready supercar

This is the first-ever McLaren built exclusively for the road and not the racetrack.
Cars

Tesla’s recent Model S fires prompt the company to update its battery software

Following three Model S incidents where the cars caught fire while parked, Tesla has started pushing out an update for Model S and Model X batteries to improve their safety. The company is still investigating the cause of the fires.
Cars

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra keeps an eye on the road even if you’re not looking

Hyundai has again updated the Elantra, one of its most popular and most affordable models. For the 2020 model year, the Elantra receives standard driving aids like lane-keeping assist and forward collision warning.
Product Review

The 2019 Ford Mustang GT 350 finally has the grip to (almost) tame its V8

Four years after its debut, the standard GT350 finally gets the suspension and tire package it always needed. While evolutionary rather than revolutionary, Ford’s update takes the Shelby’s track prowess and fun factor to a new level.
Cars

Lamborghini’s ST-X will likely spawn a super-Urus with the soul of a race car

Lamborghini is taking the Urus racing in 2020. The racing version will be lighter than the production model it's based on, and we expect it will be a good deal quicker. It is also trickling into a performance version of the Urus.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz fires its first salvo in the luxury electrification war

The EQC is Mercedes-Benz's answer to the Tesla threat, bringing performance, tech features, and luxury to the growing electric SUV segment. We headed to Norway, the electric car capital of the world, to get a taste of it.
Cars

Volvo’s new app walks you through what to do after an accident

Volvo's Accident Advisor sends information on what to do after an accident directly to a driver's smartphone. Drivers can also use it to notify their insurance companies and find a repair shop.
Cars

Aston Martin will revive James Bond’s DB5 at a price only Goldfinger can afford

Aston Martin will build 25 new versions of the DB5 from the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, complete with gadgets. These "continuation cars" will cost millions of dollars, but won't be road legal.
Cars

Hyundai wants to make sure you’re seeing the outside world, not inhaling it

Hyundai is developing an intelligent air purification system for its cars that continuously monitors the quality of the air inside the cabin, and cleans it when it detects the presence of harmful particulates.
Cars

Nissan claims its upgraded ProPilot system enables hands-off highway driving

Nissan is launching a new version of its ProPilot Assist system that's much smarter than the current version. It can handle acceleration, braking, and steering on highways, while using a camera to ensure the driver doesn't fall asleep.
Cars

2020 GMC Sierra sees a bunch of updates, including adaptive cruise

GMC announced updates to its 2020 GMC Sierra pickup truck, including much-needed adaptive cruise control, a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine option, improved towing cameras, and expanded availability of the 10-speed automatic transmission.
Home Theater

Why you can’t buy Car Thing, Spotify’s first hardware device

Spotify created a voice-activated, in-car device that lets you listen to music and podcasts. But Car Thing, as it is known, is not for sale. Instead, it will be used to gather data from a limited set of customers.
Cars

Car designers can predict your future desires. This is how they do it

Automakers employ small armies of designers, and they’re relentless about asking consumers what they want. So, how do you get from the voice of the customer to the designer’s pen, and why does it go wrong so often?