America’s strongest muscle car gets some modest updates for its new model year. And much like a good facelift, the 2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat looks subtly hotter without raising too many eyebrows.
Dodge’s approach seems to be reconciling a purist’s appreciation for heritage styling with a speed junkie’s desire for modern performance. Now drivers have the power and style of a race car in an everyday driver.
The 2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat doesn’t see any horsepower gains. Although, it’s still putting out 707 ponies with 650 lb-ft of torque. That’s an incredible amount of boost at the wheels! An upgrade to 20” alloy wheels does shave four pounds off each corner and provides marginally better performance.
Under the Hood
Its 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8 engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. And if you’re concerned about keeping the cat leashed, it sports tailored Brembo® braking technology which Dodge claims is “the biggest, most-capable brake system SRT has ever installed in a passenger car.”
Fans will surely appreciate the additional interior and exterior Hellcat badging. Not to mention, the illuminated red steering wheel logo and two new exterior colors, Destroyer Grey and Octane Red, are pretty snazzy too. Houndstooth cloth seats with an embossed “SRT Hellcat” logo now come standard, taking this ride from performance packed to pure luxury.
Classy Inside and Out
But the most recognizable upgrade probably comes in the Hellcat’s new infotainment system. Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration is primo. Practical and user-friendly, this updated version promises to offer faster loading and processing with improved graphics.
The cat boasts five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and over 125 customizable driving configurations. So you know owners can be comfortable taking this ultimate performer from street racing to the grocery store. A red key fob allows drivers to activate all 707 horsepower while a black key better suited for everyday driving offers limited engine output.
Car and Driver reassures us that in either option, “the Hellcat remains a handful.” Dodge can rest easy, as their reputation is upheld. Intention to create a car that exudes attitude, anger and beauty has been accomplished successfully.