The Hellcat is a performance bargain, but most people still can't afford it.
The Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcat models are the epitome of performance bargains. For $64,295 and $66,295 respectively, the Challenger and Charger offer more horsepower than cars costing four times as much: 707 hp to be precise. The Hellcats may be bargains for their level of performance, but they still aren't affordable for the masses. Used models have sunk below $50,000, but we wanted to come up with five unique cheaper alternatives to a new Hellcat Challenger or Charger.
Our first alternative is the second generation Cadillac CTS-V, also known as the V2. The V2 was built from 2009 to 2015 in sedan, coupe and wagon bodystyles. Unfortunately the rarified wagon models carry a premium over the others. Although it doesn't match the Hellcat in power, the CTS-V is no slouch with a 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 producing 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. High mileage examples start at around $25,000 and top out at $60,000 for a low mileage wagon with a manual.
American muscle cars may have started the trend of stuffing big engines into ordinary family cars, but the Germans have become pretty good at it too. The F10 BMW M5 was built from 2012 to 2016, and has depreciated like most high-dollar German cars. Prices now range from $30,000 to $85,000 depending on year and mileage. For around half the price of a new Hellcat, it is possible to drive around in a BMW with an original price of around $100,000. The F10 M5 has a 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 with 553 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque going out to either a seven-speed dual-clutch or six-speed manual.
Before FCA started its quest to stuff the Hellcat engine into all of its cars, AMG wanted to build n fast version of every Mercedes car. We were astonished when we discovered AMG versions of the Mercedes CL for around half as much as a new Hellcat. The CL 63 has a 6.2-liter V8 engine with 518 hp and 462 lb-ft of torque going to a seven-speed automatic. For less than $40,000, we also found the CL 65 with the hand-built twin-turbo V12. This massive engine produces 604 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Good luck maintaining them if something goes wrong, but these cars would be incredible to own.
We've already offered up the Cadillac CTS-V as a great alternative for a Charger or Challenger Hellcat. Still, some people may prefer to have an old school muscle car badge instead of an "old man's car with a big engine." The fifth generation Camaro ZL1 was sold with the same 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 that was found in the CTS-V. It even produces a bit more power than the Cadillac (580 hp). The fifth generation ZL1 was sold from 2012 to 2015 in coupe and convertible bodystyles and can now be found starting at under $30,000.
The Jaguar XFR is the only British bruiser on our list. Like the other cheap alternatives, the Jag can't match the Hellcat on pure power. Still, the XFR uses a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 with 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Prices range between $25,000 and $45,000, which is pretty cheap for such a stunning car with so much power.