An unexpected comparison I know, but I have owned a Ferrari F12 for some time and recently bought a Charger Hellcat.
I have been mightily impressed by the raw power and torque and the overall execution of the relatively modestly-priced Charger Hellcat. It seems to have bottomless amounts of power/torque, at pretty well any RPM, and surprisingly, it pulls strongly all the way to it 6200 RPM redline. That is coupled to a nicely-geared ZF automatic transmission, which works as well as any automatic ever made. It sounds good, at idle, part throttle, and flat out. And when you are “on it”, it does not feel like it is going to self-destruct … or kill you.
I liked the car so much, that I drove it exclusively for 3 winter weeks in a row, for a total of 2000 kms.
Then I decided it was time to take the F12 out for a quick spin.
Although the two cars have about the same hp. the Hellcat has about 40% more torque, but weighs about 15% (600 lbs) more.
Based on objective accelerometer tests I have done, the two cars pull equally strong G-forces in 3rd and 4th gears (not enough winter traction to test the Hellcat in 1st and 2nd). However, subjectively, the F12 surprised me by how much more ferocious and relentless it felt – and of course, it pulls all the way to a 8500 RPM redline, so the acceleration seems to go on forever.
Interestingly, although the F12 has considerably less torque, the F12 feels more like it is going to tear itself apart (in a good way – not flimsy), from the extraordinary power.
Obviously, while objectively very close, at least in those 2 gears, the combination of the sound from the V12 at 8000 RPM, the “feel” and the “fury” from that high-revving engine, deliver a very different subjective experience.
The other surprise is how much more traction the very sophisticated E-diff and F1-Trac on the Ferrari manage to find on the same roads, at the same temperatures, and using the exact same Pirelli winter tires. While traction is a serious issue on the Hellcat (not surprising), it is not an issue on the F12, even in winter. Remarkable technology indeed.
So in the end, I was relieved to discover that the F12 still delivers an unrivalled overall experience (a good thing since it costs 6 X more than the much-better-equipped Hellcat!), BUT the fact that the Hellcat can even be considered for such a comparison is a remarkable achievement for the other FIAT branch!
Very glad to have both – both are extraordinary cars.
What a great time/era for car nuts that we are living in!