The Dodge Charger Hellcat is too crazy for EuropeEurope gets its fair share of awesome cars, but there are a few that never make the crossing. One of these is the Dodge Charger Hellcat.
[SOUND] [MUSIC] We're lucky in Europe, we get all of the hot hatches. We get small, light sports cars. We even get manual diesel estates. We only really just got the muscle car. Ford's brought the Mustang over for us not to play with, but we don't really have anything that screams Lyrica. So I've come to America to find the most American of all the American cars. I've got myself a hell cap. [NOISE] It looks quite subtle, very American, obviously. It's also vast, roughly the size of an Audi A8, a car that you can quite happily get lost in the back of. Unless you know what you're looking for you won't really notice it in a car park. It will be an anonymous blob surrounded by other similar looking anonymous blobs. Until you turn it on you see the Hellcat's headline figures are, well, they're going to make some noise. It's got a 6.2 liter supercharged V8 that cranks out 707 horse power and 150 pounds foot. Now to put that into perspective. Well Audi SH plus gets around 600 horsepower and cost almost 100,000 pounds. Where as the hell cat cost around Around 52,000 pounds. So far as power per pound goes, it's a good deal. But what about its actual performance? Well, Dodge says it will crack 60 from rest in around 3.7 seconds and that its top speed is 204 miles an hour. For 52,000 pounds, Okay, you have my attention. The brakes are pretty beefy- the 15.4-inch six-pot Brembos fitted up front are apparently the biggest Dodge has ever fitted to a car, which is a good thing considering all of the power and speed this thing can do, and the fact that it weighs around 2 tonnes. Dodge has also fitted three adaptable spring-mode auto sport and track. Guess which one I'm in today. [NOISE] Now, being a typical Brit, it's time to do the typical Brit in an American car thing. So, the exterior design, it's a bit boring. It's kind of beefy but kind of not. The same goes for the interior. There's nice bits to it but the plastics are a bit nasty and the entertainment system, there's too many buttons to it. There are some cool bits like it'll show you how many horsepower and torques you're using You can press buttons to adjust the settings for your comfort, or the circuit. And that, that's kind of cool. However, being all british about things is pointless here, this is pure unadulterated muscle. It's a wantonly stupid thing with more power than a Ferrari 488, an Audi R8, Lamborghini Hurricane, and all those cars. In fact, it's approaching Ferrari F12 power, but it can seat five people and take their luggage. Now that all sounds pretty good to me. Now I always said that the perfect car never existed. You see, it'd have to do over 100 MPG, not to 62 in less than five seconds, fit a flat pack wardrobe in it, and look Incredible. Now the Hellcat doesn't look all that good and the MPG is absurdly bad. So how does it stack up? Well, I've talked about the look and the entertainment and all that, so let's just talk about the driving experience. If you drive it steady, it's actually quite flaccid. You can if you're careful with it drive it around town without any consequence you know what I'm doing is talk a bit we're not going hell for leather and it's ok but there is this big but much like get today wrong if you Just roll your foot onto the throttle a little bit more. You don't realize just how fast you're going. All of a sudden you look down, you're doing 80, 90, 100 miles an hour. It gathers pace quite subtly if you're not paying attention. However, if you are The power delivery is simply explosive. [SOUND] The [INAUDIBLE] simply can't handle the power because there's simply too much of it. Same goes for a corner. If you go in and put a little bit too much power down, it will just over-steer everywhere. All it wants to do is go sideways. And the good thing is, it's actually quite controllable. Because it's so big, you can kind of pin it and keep it nice and crossed off, and make lots of smoke, and have lots and lots and lots and lots of fun. With it. In track mode, the eight speed automatic gearbox is really aggressive. If you give it a little bit of go and then upshift, it jerks you forward. It feels properly beefy like you're actually doing a large amount of work. Which really, what the torque has got to deal with, you are. It's quite violent, it's quite visceral. It makes the car feel, well really quite aggressive. But It's not perfect. The suspension is a big softie. You feel the car roll into a bend it rolls so much great for the street fantastic for the street but on the circuit where we are not great. And then you put the breaks on and because this thing weighs So much. Because it's so heavy and it's so [UNKNOWN], it leans on its nose. And you feel the whole car pitch forward. And the [UNKNOWN] after awhile, there's not much there. But thankfully, they work. Because upfront, they are enormous. That said, I solely [UNKNOWN] they're made of Now the steering, apparently it's connected to the wheels, but I'm not entirely sure how because there's no real feel at all. When you turn it, the car also turns but I have literally no idea what the front wheels are doing. Kidding. I'm just kind of guiding myself by hope. It's a deeply, deeply flawed car. It's enormous, it's soft, it's spongy. It can't put its power down, and it's just so willfully stupid. But the noise and the power, I can't help but absolutely adore it. I should hate it. Easy. and it is terrible but it is also, because of its silliness. Fantastic. There is no European car truly like the health car, may simply can't be either. But Germans would panic about power delivery comforting interior qualities that we complain about in American cars. Voxel does something similar with the VXR8 I suppose but how many of those do you see around. Depressingly we just don't buy stuff like this. So lets run through the hell catcher with not very pretty the materials inside are pretty terrible the steering is inert at best the suspension is saggy and it can't put any of its power down. So objectively its awful, however its because of that last point because its so hilariously just a bit noisy as it is back and slide everywhere, well its the reason I really quite like it. [MUSIC]