Chances are you’ve heard about horsepower. Every car commercial mentions it.
But what does it mean when Chrysler says that its new Dodge Challenger SRT has 707 horsepower? The car company says the car’s optional Hellcat V8 engine makes it “the most powerful muscle car ever built.”
Generally speaking, the more horsepower your car has, the faster it goes. (One horsepower is enough to move 550 pounds one foot in one second. The actual performance is influenced by several variables, including the engine’s bore, stroke, intake and exhaust design.)
The news about 707 horsepower came as a bit of a surprise for auto industry experts. The Chrysler had hinted that the car would have horsepower of more than 600. But this is much more.
“I thought we’d reached the point of ridiculous horsepower numbers when the Corvette ZR1 hit in 2009 with 638 horsepower,” Karl Brauer, senior director at the automotive Web site KBB.com, said recently. “Clearly I was off, as the horsepower wars appear to have only just begun.”
The company hasn’t said what speeds it can reach, but car bloggers estimate this muscle car needs 3.5 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph and reaches a top speed of 202 mph.
Of course, Chrysler says its “most powerful muscle car ever” claim applies when it builds the car — not when a Challenger has been modified by home mechanics.
In order to access the Hellcat’s full horsepower, drivers will need a special red key.
Chrysler says the new Challenger SRT will arrive in dealerships during the third quarter of this year. The company has not released the car’s price or fuel economy, but it is expected to fall between $55,000 and $72,000.
The announcement came a day after Chrysler Group reported its June 2014 U.S. sales increased 9 percent from last year, with new-vehicle sales hitting 171,086, which is the best June sales since 2007.
Here is a video showcase of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.