Ok, fine. We’ll write about the Dodge Hellcat variants. I mean I suppose it is fairly significant when a major automaker unveils a 707 horsepower sedan and coupe. That’s 7.1414 (repeating) Toyota Prius Cs. But will it sway buyers from more expensive German super sedans?
I’ll admit, I want a new BMW M5. I have wanted one ever since the E39. I wouldn’t kick an E63 AMG Mercedes out of my garage either. However, according to Edmunds, the average price paid for a new M5 is $102,737. The average price of the latest E-Class E63 AMG S-Model rings in at even more. So I went looking for alternatives.
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If you want a big V8, you could save $30,000 – $40,000 and get a new Cadillac CTS-V. That gets you a 6.2L, 556-horsepower supercharged V8 which should do the trick. That’s as near as it makes no difference the same (or more) output than the Bimmer and Merc make. Ah, but its a heavy American barge right? Not really. At 4204 lbs. she isn’t a featherweight, but that’s the better part of 200lbs lighter the dynamic German duo above. And you get a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive standard. No fancy AWD systems that won’t let you do a burnout without pulling a fuse. Buy now and you’ll get the previous generation body-style, but an even prettier V is coming based on the new CTS, which is quite a looker.
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But what if you can’t swing $60K for a new super sedan? Well you can get a low mileage (under 50K) CTS-V in the mid $30K range. But you want something that hasn’t been molested by anyone trying to top their buddy by doing the longest burnout. Well keep an eye, and an ear, out for Dodge because they are doing some wonderful things. And I say that as a Ford guy.
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Drop another $20K and you can get into a new Charger SRT-8. You’ll have to make due with 470 horsepower from its 6.4L V8. That’s 70-100 less than the CTS-V, M5 and E63 but its less than half the price. But it lacks the German refinement and image you say? Perhaps, but Chrysler has improved over the years and I was fairly impressed at the last “expensive” Dodge/Jeep I sat in. Besides, if you are reading this, you like fast cars with big engines.
Oh yeah, big engines? That brings us back to the Hellcat. Say it with me, seven hundred and seven horsepower. Two hundred and four miles per hour. Egad. No manual transmission, but you can drop two doors and get a manual equipped Challenger Hellcat with the same output.
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Pricing hasn’t been released, but an educated guess is probably around $60K. Saying that it’s a lot of car for the money is an understatement. But there’s the image issue, will German car buyers really leave BMW, MB, and Audi for something like this Dodge? Chrysler, and its Italian masters, have done something truly ludicrous. They have built a halo car out of a sedan. Sure, they have the Viper, but its fanciful, the stuff of posters. It doesn’t necessarily give the average car buyer something attainable.
But this, this is different. the Hellcat is a gamble, but will likely see low production numbers so its not that much of a risk. We think it could work, but there will be a lot of folks to convince first. What do you say internet? No way you’d been seen in that American POS? Or heck yeah, I’ll take a red Hellcat. I’m in. Well writing doesn’t pay that well, so maybe in a few years when used Hellcats show up under $40K.