Life with no Hellcat? Dodge’s emblematic muscle car almost didn’t happen

Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Imagine life with no Hellcat.

It would be a quieter life, for sure. Dodge’s supercharged HEMI V8 engine churns out 707 maniacal horsepower and the guttural soundtrack to go with it, one that reverberates blue-collar passion off every surface it touches. There’s also the car alarms.

Thankfully, life sans-Hellcat isn’t one that we have to experience, as Dodge has probably pre-sold a few Chargers and Challengers by now. However, there was a time when the supercharged muscle car was down for the count, or at the very least on the ropes.

In 2011, as Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne worked fervently to keep his new company afloat, the American brand decided to halt development of the 6.2-liter V8 that would eventually power the Hellcat.

R&D resources were few and far between, but the SRT team would not be deterred.

According to Auto News, the team was scattered to focus on different projects, but continued to lobby, present, and probably plead with the bosses for four months. Eventually, the Chrysler product development committee changed its tune.

The 707-hp Charger hasn’t quite touched down in showrooms yet (the first models are expected to arrive in a few weeks), but it will undoubtedly prove the SRT team right: this car will sell, and sell quickly.

Few other cars exude the visceral, wide-eyed reaction that this car does, and all it takes is a single mention of the car’s name to generate massive amounts of hype (and potential dollar signs).

Hellcat.

Despite its massive power output, the Challenger Hellcat actually isn’t that greedy at the gas pump, provided you keep that right foot in check. The supercharged two-door reportedly earns 22 mpg on the highway.

Charger Hellcats should begin to show up at dealers in the first quarter of 2015.

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