View Special Offers
I’m not sure if the proper description is “an embarrassment of riches” or just “spoiled rotten,” but I haven’t touched the long-term Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in about two months. Yup, the nice folks at FCA were kind enough to give me a 707 horsepower, fire-engine red, family sedan for a solid year, and I never even touch the dang thing. What’s wrong with me? It’s a long story, but the short version is that I’m pretty busy driving other stuff. Case in point: there’s currently an Aston Martin DB11 in my driveway. Last week I was involved in a nine-car sports sedan comparison test, and before that I was driving a Toyota Sequoia back from Utah. Before that…Colorado? Mercedes? Camaro? It all starts to blend together.
Don’t think for a second that the Hellcat sits idly around in the parking garage, pining for my return. Oh no! This sucker’s dance card is punched every night of the week. Even when I am around and supposed to be driving it, my inbox is awash with emails containing subject lines with the words “borrow,” “favor,” and “Hellcat.” That being said, there are some chronic askers. One of the people I’m talking about is usually the answer to my question, “Who has the Hellcat?” In their own words, here’s why they want the car so badly.
Why do I want to borrow Jonny’s Hellcat? There are many reasons—about 700 of them. Mainly, I want something that will gobble up miles as fast as it gobbles up fuel and rear tires. I will be driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Lake Tahoe and back for the holidays and need a fast sled that can hold luggage for two, snowboarding gear, and Christmas presents. Santa will be using his sleigh, so the next best thing has to be the Hellcat. It’s bright red and, like Santa’s sleigh, it brings joy to all with a quick stab of the throttle. Not only that, but it will also score me instant brownie points from my enthusiast friends back home. Is it weird that I’m not looking forward to Christmas presents when I’ll have a Hellcat and a company gas card for a week? That’s gotta be on lots of wish lists. –Robin Trajano, Associate Photographer
Why do I want to borrow the Hellcat? Because it’s a 700-horsepower sedan. What more reason does anyone need? The rush alone is reason enough. Every freeway on-ramp is an occasion, and every overtake is an opportunity to giggle like a three-year-old. The best thing about the Hellcat, though, is being able to share its goodness with others. It’s a big comfortable sedan that’s easy to get in and out of. I can scare any friend or family member, no problem. There’s no climbing over seats or falling down into a supercar. Just sit down, strap in, and feel the g’s. As I told the last friend I gave a ride, “It’s so dumb. I love it.” – Scott Evans, Associate Editor
I’m often given the Hellcat to take home when Jonny is away. I suspect Benson (our former road test editor, the man in charge of our fleet) believed I wouldn’t wear down the tires or accrue any speeding tickets. Guilty. My first burnout will probably be an accident. So giving me a 707-horsepower Red Rocket is something of a mismatch and a waste of perfectly good excessive horsepower. But to my amazement, the Hellcat as a daily driver totally works. It’s comfortable, it has a great entertainment system, and its sight lines are perfectly acceptable. Sometimes I forget I’m in such a hot car, but then I get a random thumbs up from some dude, and I know I’m rolling in the Hellcat. – Mike Royer, Art Director
There you have it folks. Whilst Hellcatting, Robin enjoys terrorizing large swaths of California, Scott likes terrorizing his friends and family, and Royer is just out there making friends. As a thought experiment, why would you most want to borrow the Hellcat? Let us know in the comments below.