My Hellcat First Drive Review

Discussion in 'Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat' started by goingsolo2, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. goingsolo2

    goingsolo2 Beast will be back bigger and better than ever! Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member Hellcat Supporting Vendor

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    Car: 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat
    Color: Granite Crystal
    Interior: Laguna Sepia
    Options: Navigation, All-Season Tires, Laguna Sepia
    Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
    Deposit Left: 7/22/14
    VIN: 12/15/14
    Delivered: 2/5/15

    Here is my review of the Hellcat. I will add pictures and more information as I am able to take them and drive the car more.

    Exterior: Paint was flawless. I was worried based on some other Hellcat owners saying they had many paint flaws. I could not find any, thank goodness. The metal flake in the Granite Crystal is so beautiful in the sunlight, and the car actually looks closer to black at night. The black accents are spot on as well...they look fantastic with the Granite. The LED tail lights just look so badass and really give the car a polished look in the rear. As nice as the hood looks from the outside...it's even better looking from the drivers seat. You feel like you're in a race car...well, wait...you are in a race car LOL. Front splitter is really nice as well...checked to make sure there was no damage from transport, and there wasn't. This is definitely something to check when you pick up your car. My only suggestion is to get the windows tinted. For this particular color, I am going with 45% on side windows and 35% on the rear. Normally I would go darker, but I am staying with these percentages for the following reasons: 1) The Granite with the black wheels already gives the car the illusion of being darker and 2) I love seeing the hint of brown through the glass from the sepia interior.

    Interior: This is superior to the older SRT8's in every way. The Laguna leather looks and feels so beautiful...not to mention the intoxicating smell of it. The way the console is designed makes the driver feel separate from the passenger, as if the passenger is not even near you...similar to a cockpit. The technology on this car is very advanced, and it's going to take some time to even go through everything. The LED screens are bright and clear, along with having the option to display many different bits of information at the same time. I also like how the phone compartment is on the passenger side...it eliminates my desire to touch the phone while driving. Safety first! The carbon fiber look of the dash is very nice as well...I don't think it looks cheap at all. The steering wheel has a nice feel to it...far better than the older SRT8's. Floor mats are much improved and look really nice with the matching piping around the edge. It's actually hard not to look at your gauges and DIC while driving because there's just so much information there and the screens are so nice. The red start/stop button is a nice touch as well. It just makes you feel like you're driving something special. Also, the trunk has a ton of room. Mine did not come with a car cover, but I am using my old one for my past SRT8 on it.

    Stereo: Coming soon...too busy listening to the exhaust symphony and supercharger whine.

    Suspension: Street is great for everyday driving...not too stiff, not too soft. Steering is responsive overall, especially for a heavier car. I actually use track mode a lot, even daily driving it, because I love how tight the car feels. When you change to track mode, even while just idling, you can actually feel the car shift into the tighter suspension mode. It's night and day from Street. Sport seems to be a nice mix, but I just prefer my car stiffer. My custom mode is almost exact to track, except I put the traction control back on. It's just too cold around here now to not have it on. The car actually doesn't feel like a Challenger…it handles that well!

    Acceleration: Words can not describe….pure insanity! Hit it once just to get the car up in revs and was over 100mph VERY quickly. Do not do this in cold weather…tire spin throughout, and that was from 40mph. Learn this car or you will get hurt! Exhaust note is pure symphony…mixed with supercharger whine…almost erotic LOL! On the highway, you will be at 80mph without blinking an eye, so you have to keep a close eye on your speed. It does not feel like 80, but you'll be there.

    Braking: Best brakes I have ever used, hands down...stops in an instant...pedal is tight...light years better than previous SRT8. I will add more once I get to a track and use them on that surface at higher temperatures and more frequently.

    Transmission: The A8 is fantastic. Shifts are lightning fast and firm, especially in track mode. In Eco mode, they are still quick, but it shifts earlier saving on fuel economy. Sports raises the RPM shift point quite a bit, and track will really let the car rev. The paddle shifters are very responsive as well. I absolutely love them, especially because you can play with them and really hear that exhaust purr. Overall, lightning fast, very responsive, and super firm, especially in the more aggressive drive modes.

    Engine: Power is everywhere, all of the time. I haven't even depressed the throttle more than 40%, and it wants to launch like a rocket. This car does not know the meaning of slow. I will play more with it when it gets warmer...the car definitely loves the cold air, but the tires do not. I don't even know how anyone is driving in NY with the summer tires. I have the all-seasons, and they want to get loose all of the time. My last car was 630hp at the crank, and this one feels light years faster...it's just that good.

    A Few Words of Wisdom:

    1. This car is not for the faint of heart. It punches you in the face with power, and does not know the meaning of slow. It's fast, all the time, everywhere.

    2. I daily drive this car, and have come out of a high HP car before this. There is a definite learning curve with driving this car. Do not take this car right off the lot and mash the gas...you will end up in a ditch. The rear end wants to get loose real quick, especially in the cold weather. Unless you're an experienced driver, take the time to learn the car. Even experienced drivers should get used to it. There are three speeds- fast, insanely fast, and ludicrous speed. This car has them all!

    3. My salesman was very accurate in saying this to me before I left (and he races professionally)- "There are two things that will happen with this car. You'll either get in a lot of trouble, or get seriously hurt." He is not kidding. This is not the car to get your son or daughter as their first car. They will get hurt or hurt someone else. As much as this car can be driven daily on the street, it is still a race car.

    4. This is the first car that I would not do any power upgrades to. The first thing I would do is get stickier tires for the summer, tint the windows, and that's about it!

    5. Enjoy it! This is my dream car and I plan on driving it as much as I can. It's truly one of the reasons America is so great!

    I will add more as I put more miles on the car, and add pictures as I get a chance to take them. If anyone has any questions, feel free to post and I will be as helpful as I can.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     

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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
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  2. TOPDAWG

    TOPDAWG Gold Member

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    Nice review, but how is the A8?
     
  3. goingsolo2

    goingsolo2 Beast will be back bigger and better than ever! Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member Hellcat Supporting Vendor

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    Just added a section on the transmission. Thanks bud!
     
  4. FreightTrain

    FreightTrain Comfortably Numb

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    nice review!! don't forget splash guards!! she needs them!
     
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  5. Paladin06

    Paladin06 Have Guns Will Travel Staff Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice review except "Floor mats are much improved and look really nice with the matching piping around the edge." I did not get these in my car. Pictures please.
     
  6. solo7777

    solo7777 SRT Terminator Hellcat Car Club Western Regional President HCC Charter Member

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    Congrats. It is everything you have described and more. I just love how even when doing around 88 this morning on the freeway, it was still under 2K RPM. LOL.
     
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  7. goingsolo2

    goingsolo2 Beast will be back bigger and better than ever! Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member Hellcat Supporting Vendor

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  8. goingsolo2

    goingsolo2 Beast will be back bigger and better than ever! Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member Hellcat Supporting Vendor

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    First Cold Start:

    Unveiling:
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
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  9. ChallengerDad

    ChallengerDad SRT Hellcat Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice write up!
    Did the cover come with the car, or were they using the unveiling as a "teaser" to get you to buy one?
     
  10. Carnage

    Carnage SRT Hellcat Supercharged Moderator Staff Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC Charter Member

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    Great review!
     
  11. Paladin06

    Paladin06 Have Guns Will Travel Staff Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member

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    I see the trim is to match the interior. OK, I'm good.
     
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  12. goingsolo2

    goingsolo2 Beast will be back bigger and better than ever! Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member Hellcat Supporting Vendor

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    Hey,
    That was the salesman's personal cover. He covers all the Hellcats when they come in for the customers. I have my own at home:)
     
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  13. solo7777

    solo7777 SRT Terminator Hellcat Car Club Western Regional President HCC Charter Member

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    I wish my tor red came with red piping for the mats.:(
     
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  14. solo7777

    solo7777 SRT Terminator Hellcat Car Club Western Regional President HCC Charter Member

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    Sweet color. Man, you must have felt like a kid in the candy store!:D
     
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  15. HellCatN

    HellCatN Hellcat Member

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    Sweet ride brother congrats
     
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