10.8 seconds. That’s how long it takes the new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat to cover one quarter of a mile from a stand still on street-legal drag tires, according to the NHRA. Let’s put that into perspective:
- Until 2008, all cars faster than 12 seconds needed a roll bar and a harness.
- The super exotic Ferrari F40, when new, ran it in 11.7.
- A 2007 Porsche Carrera Turbo ran it in 11.6 seconds.
- Everyone’s beloved McLaren F1 ran the quarter in 11.5 seconds.
- The new $320,000 Ferrari F12 Barlinetta does it in 11.0 seconds.
- The fastest Lamborghini Gallardo managed about 10.9 seconds.
Yes, many modified cars run faster than that, but if you want a factory stock car with air conditioning and warranty, you’re looking to spend significantly more than a hundred grand. Yes, the Hellcat is a muscle car whereas the cars listed above are sports cars that can corner as hard as they accelerate. Yes, street slicks, a sticky track, and overall ideal conditions do make a difference, so repeating those numbers at the local drag strip won’t be easy.
Still, 10.8 seconds, 707 horsepower, sixty-ish grand. In case you are still not convinced that we are living in the greatest automotive era of all time, this should erase all doubts. But the cool folks at Dodge think that despite its muscle car heritage, the Hellcat and other Challengers can hold their own on the road course, too. Dodge’s SRT team was so confident in the handling of their models that they let loons such as me loose on Portland International Raceway with their newest Challengers. And in heavy rain, too!
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