by James Allen
The Charger SRT Hellcat sits atop the full-size sedan hierarchy in Dodge’s range courtesy of a massive supercharged V8. In fact, its top speed and power output outclass just about any sedan around and if sportscar performance in a spacious bodyshell is high on your list of priorities then this may well be the car for you.
The Hellcat receives minor changes for this model year, with a new choice of alloy wheels and updated infotainment system being the most noteworthy.
The SRT Hellcat offers a spacious interior with large and comfortable seats up front and space for three abreast in the rear pew. The quality of the cabin materials is only average and there are some hard plastics on the dashboard and door panels. The new infotainment system is a big improvement though and the controls and switchgear are well-placed around the driver.
The angled rear roofline does require you to duck as you step into the rear but once in there is ample legroom for even taller adults. The cargo area is very generous and should be adequate for most purposes. The rear seatbacks offer a split folding functionality as standard for longer and bulkier items.
The Hellcat packs a massive punch and the suspension has been firmed up over the lesser models in the range to make the most of this additional power. The steering does not impart much feel to the driver but the big sedan tackles long flowing bends with great composure and the brakes are up to the task of hauling this heavyweight up without fuss. The Hellcat’s large size does mean that it feels less at home around tight and windy roads though.
That sporty suspension does make for a very firm ride and the Hellcat is not the quietest sedan around, the tire noise and engine sounds intrude into the cabin at highway speeds.
The SRT Hellcat comes packed with a 707 hp supercharged 6.2-liter V8 which makes a serious 645 lb-ft of torque. That makes the Hellcat one of the most powerful American production cars ever built and at print the most powerful four-door sedan ever. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard and so is rear-wheel drive.
Stepping into the Hellcat requires a recalibration of your senses, 707 hp tends to do that. Despite having to deal with some serious wheel spin it blasts to 60 mph in under 4-seconds and the acceleration feels utterly relentless as the speeds rise. The immediate responses of the 8-speed transmission and that huge torque output make this Hellcat a supercar baiting four-door sleeper.
There may be a few four-wheel drive sedans that can beat it to 60mph but none will be around by the time it reaches its 204mph top speed.
Consumption figures are a claimed 13/22 mpg in combined city/highway driving which is commendable for the power on offer but will require serious commitment to achieve.
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat offers most of the features found in the rest of the Charger range and includes keyless go, an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone and Bluetooth integration, 6-speaker audio system and navigation. A leather interior, 3-mode adaptive damping and cruise control add to the luxury levels.
Safety systems are comprehensive and blind spot and cross path detection, brake assist, rear park assist, rearview camera, LED daytime running lights and a 4-mode electronic stability system are all standard fitment. A no cost Power Convenience Group adds power front seats and a power steering column.
A power sunroof, Harman Kardon 19-speaker audio system and various seat coverings are also available.
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat breaks with the modern trend of downsizing and instead packs a supercharged V8 under its hood to provide supercar rivalling performance.
It may not be the most refined four-door sedan around, with a hard ride and noisy cabin, but it handles well and offers a big-hearted V8 bellow that is addictive.
The standard specification levels are excellent too and there is more than enough space for five passengers and their luggage.