Hellcat Halted

Standard

Don’t panic—the production of the Dodge Hellcat Charger and Challenger was not halted due to a lack of sales. In fact, Dodge stated in its blog this week it’s no longer taking orders for the 707hp muscle car because it’s too behind on orders.

According to an article from Road and Track, about 2,200 cars have been delivered worldwide—which includes both the 2-door Challenger and the 4-door Charger. More than 9,000 orders have been placed in recent months for the extreme muscle cars.

Fiat Chrysler, which owns Dodge and the SRT division has warned potential customers that certain dealerships have been accepting deposits for the Hellcat without actually having permission from Dodge to do so. Dealerships have been allocated one Hellcat per month. Dealerships must also pay a fine if an unsold Hellcat sits on the lot for more than five days. There have been reports that some dealerships have accepted $5,000 non-refundable deposits on cars they cannot fulfill the order for.

It is unclear how long production will be halted, but one would assume that Dodge will take advantage of the increased demand and hold off on new orders until others have been filled. With demand so strong, and no new orders being taken, it will be interesting to see what will happen to the value of already delivered Hellcats.

The Hellcat Challenger comes with a reasonable base price of $59,995 and the 4-door Charger starts at $63,995. Both vehicles get their power from a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine that makes an astonishing 707hp. For the price, there may not be a better, more powerful car out there. A new Lamborghini Aventador packs 700hp and has a starting price of almost $500,000; although both cars offer different types of extremes.

The Charger wears the crown when it comes to the world of powerful sedans, which has been an increasingly popular market. The car holds a record-setting top speed for a sedan of a blistering fast 204 mph (yes, it’s been proven) and holds the record for the fastest quarter mile by a sedan at 11 seconds.

The Challenger has a top speed of a very fast 199 mph, a 0-60mph in the low three-second range and runs a 10.8 second quarter mile. Surprisingly, the car manages to get 22 mpg despite the massive power output.

To allow for easier daily driving, the Hellcat models come with two different key fobs. One key fob restricts the engines power output to “just” 500hp, while the second key will unleash all 707hp.

According to CNN, Challenger sales are up 60%, while Charger sales have increased 23% for January and February. This leads me to believe Dodge has won the battle of the revival of the muscle cars between Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet. Although successful, sales numbers for the Mustang and Camaro don’t come close to matching that of the Hellcat. Also consider the fact that the Hellcat models are the fastest production muscle cars in the world right now for a very reasonable price. Will Chevy and Ford catch up? Will the Hellcat model duo have any competition in the near future? Only time will tell.

Join the conversation on Twitter (@CarZachdotCom) and tell me which is your favorite, the Challenger, Mustang or the Camaro. Check out daily photos of super cars and muscle cars on by following CarZach on Instagram @carzachdotcom.

Send in your photos via Twitter, Instagram or email (Carzachdotcom@gmail.com) for a chance to be featured on our page.

Check out the 2015 Hellcat Challenger here

Check out the 2015 Hellcat Charger here

 

My Ride In A Pure American Beast

Standard

American muscle —there is simply nothing like it. It can’t be compared to super-cars and and they’re certainly no ordinary vehicle. Although some muscle cars can compete with super-cars on 0-60mph times, it is a totally different thrill. On a recent trip to Tennessee, I found myself sitting in the passenger seat of a very powerful 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 HEMI. This iconic vehicle can easily be considered the picture perfect muscle car.

IMG_3680

The SRT series is the most powerful series of vehicles that Dodge offers. Pop the hood in the Challenger, and the 6.4 Liter, V8, 392 cubic inch HEMI engine muscles out a huge 470hp with 470 lb.-ft of torque. As if all that standard power wasn’t enough, the owner of this Challenger added some extras, including a Modern Muscle 85mm ported throttle body, LMI CAI, 180 degree thermostat, speedlogix catch can and a Trinity Diablo sport tuner. Forget the stock 470hp, this baby has about 525hp and 525 lb.-ft of torque.

IMG_3684

For a vehicle weighing in at 4,170 pounds, this Challenger will reach 60mph in just 3.2 seconds. Yes, that is super-car status speed. Surprisingly, with all of this power, the car manages to get  14 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. And the owner of the car told me while driving with cruise control on, he’s gotten up to 26 mpg, which is outstanding for a V8.  In the beautifully crafted chrome fuel cap goes premium 91 octane fuel.  The engine is a beautiful beast. The perfectly clean engine reads HEMI and is beautifully crafted.

IMG_3683

The exterior of the vehicle is very muscular and powerful looking. Sitting 4.8 inches off the ground and 57.1 inches tall, the Challenger could very easily be used as an every day driver. Personally, I love the black paint job with the dual stripe down the center. It helps give the car a mean look—much meaner than the Camaro (the Challenger’s main competition). From every angle, the vehicle looks powerful, but my favorite view is staring into the eyes (headlights) of the car head on. The SRT badge is displayed proudly on the front grille along side the name of the car. This adds a very intimidating look to the vehicle. The SRT8 badge is also displayed on the rear of the car on the small but good looking spoiler. The low profile tires hold simple but sleek 20 inch rims that again say SRT on one of the spokes. On the side of the vehicle, towards the front sits a 392 HEMI badge that perfectly pops out against the black paint.

IMG_3687

The interior of the vehicle is just as sleek as the outside. The leather seats are opulent and make for a very easy ride, even on the bumpiest of roads. Although, when “Sport” mode is engaged the ride changes. The owner of the car explained to me how the quiet, comfortable cabin becomes a bit more bumpy. But hey, who cares? It’s a 525hp beast! The 6-speed manual transmission is conquered with a sleek and sexy shifter knob. Perhaps, one the best looking features of the interior was the SRT logo stitched into the black leather bucket seats. It truly gave a voluptuous feel. On the passenger side dashboard “Challenger SRT” was displayed to make sure no one could possibly forget what kind of monster they’re in. The navigation screen was well placed and gave both a luxury and muscle car look.IMG_3679

The flat bottom leather steering wheel also displayed the SRT badge as did the instruments on the dashboard. It was a very simple and clean dashboard. It was not cluttered at all, giving great maneuverability for both the driver and passenger. The backseats had room to comfortably fit a full sized adult. One odd feature of the car is that only the passenger side seat folds to allow access to rear seats. The sounds system was absolutely  amazing,  and with 18 built-in speakers, the driver and passenger(s) could jam out pleasantly. Even better than the sound system was the mean muscled growl that came from the engine. At a stop the V8 let off a soft growl, and as soon as the gas was just topped, the V8 let loose a monstrous exhaust note from the dual chrome tipped pipes.

IMG_3668

After winding through the police filled suburban streets of Memphis, we entered an industrial zone. After some exploring, we found the perfect straight away to let out all 525hp. After a quick 180 the Challenger sat ready for launch. Keeping one foot on the brake, the revs built up and the growl of the engine was getting louder and louder. Now with one foot on the clutch and one foot flooring the gas, we rocketed to 60mph in just over 3 seconds. My body was blasted backwards against my seat, my eyes wide and my adrenaline pumping. The engine went from a growl to a musical roar that sounded as if a lion was marking its territory. The power from the RWD was surely felt upon take-off. After reaching about 100mph in what seemed like only 5 seconds, the monster was once again tamed and the roar went down to a growl. Only one word can be used to describe this experience and that is—wow.

Back on populated streets, the Challenger handled with ease. Although, the rear end of the vehicle did slide out, giving a nice drift with little effort. This SRT Challenger is one extremely powerful daily driver. In my opinion the Challenger wins over any model Camaro, and most Mustangs (aside from the Shelby GT500). Dodge has reinvented the muscle car for the modern day. This Challenger specifically, can outrun plenty of super-cars that carry price tags well over $200,000. In fact, the V10 Audi R8, is the only naturally aspirated exotic vehicle that can give this Challenger a run for its money. Of course the Challenger is not meant to be thrown around tight turns and remain flat like some other exotic cars, but it certainly does make it fun when the rear end slides out and the air is filled with smoke from the tires.

IMG_3675

At the end of the road, this custom 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 HEMI is one hell of a beast. At 525hp the term muscle car has a new meaning. There monstrous beast is ready to tear up the asphalt anywhere it goes.

A big thank you to the owner of the Challenger for giving me the opportunity to go for a trilling ride and being so informative about the car. It’s always awesome to meet another car enthusiast.

Be sure to subscribe to carzach.com! You can click the ‘follow’ button at the top left of the page, or subscribe via email located on the sidebar! Follow carzach.com on Twitter @CarZachdotCom, Top Gear America’s Adam Ferrara follows us, so you should too! Join the fun on Instagram and Pinterest at CarZachdotCom. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions!

A Thrilling Drive In An Audi R8

Standard

As an exotic car enthusiast who doesn’t own any exotic vehicles, it leaves me with a lot of hopeful dreams for the future. Last year, while on a vacation in Mexico I had an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the exclusive Audi R8. Here in the USA these high-performance vehicles rarely get the chance to have someone really put the pedal down and show off their power. Luckily, I was behind the wheel on a closed track and was able to reach speeds up to 100mph. It was a bit challenging to go over 100mph due to the lay-out of the course, which featured a very small straight away and a few different turns.

DSC_5360

In 1997 Audi purchased the all ready highly regarded exotic car producer Lamborghini. Since then, Audi has put some of its excellent engineering into Lamborghini streetcars. In 2007, Lamborghini returned the favor and put some their engineering into the car that would now be known as the Audi R8. To date, more than 50,000 units have rolled off the production line as the vehicle continues to be a high selling, powerful exotic.

Today a 2014 Audi R8 will set a buyer back anywhere between $124,000-$173,000 (depending what on trim levels). The model I had the privilege of driving was the Audi R8 Base Coupe, which costs $124,000. The vehicle has a 4.2L V8 engine that muscles out 430hp. The car will rocket to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds. As the price increases, the more power becomes available such as the 5.2L V10 that boasts 550hp.

DSC_5363

Besides the sleek exterior, the interior is truly exquisite. The seats were a beautiful red leather and surprising very comfortable for an exotic. The dashboard was clean, well-lit and certainly made the driver know they were in an exclusive vehicle.  Visibility out the front windshield and two side windows was great and would definitely make for easy road driving. I did not have the opportunity to check out how the view out the back, as I did not need to reverse the car for any reason. The steering wheel was light and very easy to maneuver which allows the driver to make those quick turns. The vehicle was an automatic, but did have the option to use paddle shifters (I did not).

Starting up the car was truly music to my ears. The V8 had an extraordinary rumble that not only gets the drivers adrenaline pumping but would certainly let on-lookers know that this baby can go. With my seatbelt fastened and my silly racing helmet on I tapped the gas. Wow. The AWD instantly lurched the car forward. Having to watch out for my friend driving the Ferrari 360 Modena I nervously tapped the breaks and came to instant halt.

DSC_5364

With the go ahead, I put the pedal to the floor and launched onto the track. The V8 screamed as the car accelerated heading into the first ‘S’ curve. With no issue at all the car flew out of the curve and continued to annihilate the open pavement ahead. Through the tighter turns the R8 remained perfectly flat and never gave any sign of over or understeer. It seemed like the tires would never stop hugging the road on every turn.

DSC_5359

Soon enough, my three laps of heaven was over and I was told to slow down and pull over. The R8 handled like a true super-car should. The V8 let out beautiful music but was never too loud that it would be an annoyance to the driver or passenger (I could never get annoyed at that). What Audi had done was put forward their very best in engineering and Lamborghini provided the heart of the beast (the engine). It was an experience of a life time in a car that many only dream of sitting in. When the time comes to buy my first exotic, the R8 would be very high up on my list. It was a great car, with out of this world performance!

Enjoy the video below of my thrilling drive!

Be sure to follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom! As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions! Stay tuned   as some big features are to come such as a peek at the Ferrari 458 Speciale and a 500hp Dodge Challenger!

DSC_5374

A Red Horse Ready to Pounce!

Standard

IMG_0579Lets roll back to 1999 when the super car company Ferrari stopped production of the beloved 355 and brought to life the 360 Modena. The Modena went on to have a very successful  5 year model run with a production line of about 17,500 units! Ferrari made 3 different models of the 360- the 360 Modena, the Spider and the Challenge Stradale.

The 360 Modena and the 360 Modena Spider were identical except that the Spider was missing its roof. The Challenge Stradale was the most extreme model. This special edition model   was 242 pounds lighter with a bonus 25 horsepower making a total of 425hp, compared to the regular 400hp in the Modena. In the rear of the car lay a 3.6 liter V8 engine which gave off a pitch perfect exhaust note every time.

The super car was named in honor of Modena, Italy– the hometown of the late Mr. Enzo Ferrari. The number 360 represents the supercar’s 3.6 liter engine. The prancing horse is able to launch to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds, making it very difficult for others to catch up.

Unlike most exotics at the time, the 360’s interior was just as striking as the outside. The car’s plush leather seats made long distance rides more enjoyable. The Stradale was completely stripped down of everything except the AC, making this model better off for quick runs. If you’re looking for a car with good rear window visibility then you may want to research another car. All Modena models have a very limited view of what they leave behind in the dust. One of the most notable features on the horse was the F1-like paddle shifters that swiftly change gears in just milliseconds. And of course a manual 6 speed transmission was still available for the old school.

The whole fleet of Ferrari’s had a top speed of around 180mph (the Challenge went 189mph), which for the late 90’s was groundbreaking. At the time, one could become an exclusive Ferrari owner if they dropped around $155,000 on this high-end vehicle. If you just so happened to have an extra $34,000 lying around, then you could obtain the Challenge Stradale. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time at the pump, this car, or any Ferrari for that matter, is not for you… the car gets just 11mpg city and 16mpg highway. Yes, I know that’s enough to drive any Prius driver crazy!

Yes, this is me (below) driving a 360 Modena around the track at speeds over 100mph! Turn up your volume and listen to the music at the bottom of the page!

DSC_5338DSC_5332