Why Dodge’s Hellcats should make the Germans very, very nervous

Welcome to Road Rave! No, that’s not the title to another new Mad Max movie, it’s Digital Trends latest feature, where we collect the most interesting story from the week’s automotive news and put our spin on it. So if you want to know what’s happening in the automotive world without having to wade through a bunch of stories, this is your one stop destination to know what-is-what!

Frankly, we couldn’t have picked a better week to start out, because Dodge has just provided some of the most exciting possible news with the introduction of its pants-crappingly insane SRT Charger Hellcat. Powered by the same 6.2-liter supercharged 707-horsepower HEMI motor as the SRT Challenger Hellcat, the Charger is the fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.

This would be an impressive enough achievement even without considering that, like the SRT Challenger, the Charger shouldn’t cost more than about $60,000. And that my friends should have ‘ze Germans quaking in their lederhosen.

Fitting revenge

Speaking of those Germans, the two SRT monsters are about the most fitting revenge possible for Chrysler. Remember, Chrysler used to be owned by Mercedes. In fact, the Charger and Challenger are both based on an old Mercedes E-Class platform. During the period of German domination Mercedes, and particularly its own insane performance division AMG, seemed set on preventing Chrysler outshine them.

This meant a series of unlovable cars based on outdated Mercedes tech … and we all know how that went. It appears, however, that America’s new Italian overlords at Fiat are a bit more gracious, or at least want to stick it to Germany just as badly as Chrysler does, because the new SRT Charger and Challenger seem firmly set on outshining their former masters.

Take for example the Mercedes E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC, not only does this $99,770 car have a much worse name than SRT Charger Hellcat, it also has 130 fewer horsepower and a top speed of just 186 mph. The SRT Charger? That will do 204.

Sure, the Mercedes will probably manage the sprint to 60 a little quicker. The E63 AMG can manage this in just 3.5 seconds, and while Dodge hasn’t released a time for the Charger yet, it is likely to be closer to 4.0. After all, a pair of tires can only do so much. Also, as Mercedes has access to German engineers and black magic the E63 AMG will almost certainly be quicker through the corners.

Related: See the incredible performance figures of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

The fact remains, however, the SRT Charger is not just faster and more exciting than the Mercedes, or for that matter any BMW or Audi, it will also be a good $40,000 cheaper, and – shockingly – better equipped to boot.

Seriously, every time I look at this thing I expect the national anthem to start playing.

What a resurgence

Other than sticking a thumb in the Germans eye, the two stunning SRT creations loudly show off something that has quietly been happening for some time: the resurgence of the Chrysler group.

With the Charger Hellcat, Challenger Hellcat and the return of the Viper, Dodge will have the most exciting performance lineup of any mainstream automaker. But it goes deeper than that.

Since its lowest ebb in 2008, the company has become an industry leader in areas from infotainment with its amazing Uconnect system, and advanced aerodynamics like those on the Ram 1500.

Chrysler also seems to be the first American automaker to have figured out how to consistently produce a great interior. Something that the Hellcat siblings show off in spades.

Not even the new Corvette Stingray, as amazing as it is, has the same sense of energy and excitement in its styling and personality as the twin Hellcats.

Fastback

Other than the pure raw excitement of the two Hellcats, these cars also breathe some life into the old glory of Detroit. In fact, these two cars mark an achievement that no American company has managed in nearly fifty years.

A domestic automaker is putting out versions of its everyday cars that lead the world in performance, and by their very existence bring excitement and energy to the brand. Now, if only Dodge can refresh the Viper with the same combination of juvenile excitement and technical competence, then they can give the Italians a run for their money, too.

Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.
Cars

Where are you going this weekend? These 5 off-road vehicles say 'anywhere'

The body-on-frame SUV is going extinct, but there are still several options for buyers looking to skip the asphalt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we've rounded up the best off-roaders currently available.
Cars

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.