How the Dodge Hellcat Engine Became a Reality
When engineers began working on the Hellcat engine, they knew they’d been tasked with creating one of the most powerful engines ever made. Now that the Hellcat engine’s become a widely appreciated icon, we’re going to take a trip down memory lane and explore how the engine came to be. When the Hellcat engine found its way under the hood of any Dodge vehicle, it was at the time considered to be the largest engine fitted to a muscle car and the largest in any other Dodge vehicle in history. The Hellcat had an interesting development, ranging from diamond-infused washers to extensive testing. Given how consumers responded to the engine, Dodge was encouraged to refine and better the technology over the years. This best-in-class V8 engine has seen plenty of mods, including a 1000-horsepower Hennessey Kit, and made it to Ward’s 10 Best Engines list. The first edition of the engine naturally made 707 horsepower and is the one currently housed under the hood of the 2020 Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Once engineers began working on making the most powerful Dodge engine ever, Ford began developing a Mustang engine with more than 600 horsepower, only thanks to speculation that Dodge was about to blow them out of the water. In response to Ford’s sloppy — and hurried — move, the Dodge engineers doubled down on their secrecy and built an even more powerful engine. “We built it because we could. We wanted to make a statement and move the brand forward,” said Chris Cowland, director of SRT powertrain development. The original 707-horsepower engine was equipped with a supercharged and was named after WWII’s Grumman F6F “Hellcat” fighter plane. As for the added supercharger, it incorporated boost-regulating features such as integral charge coolers and an electronic bypass valve.
The charge cooler function is integrated into the supercharger and its job is to provide optimal air cooling before combustion takes place, while the electronically-controlled exhaust valve makes for a pleasantly powerful sound. Initially implemented in the Dodge Challenger SRT for the 2015 model year, the engine and the car were both met with rave reviews and cemented the Challenger Hellcat as a worthy adversary for the Mustang and Camaro models. MotorTrend referred to the Challenger SRT Hellcat as the “ultra-mighty, simultaneously genre-defining and -smashing, muscular monster from Mopar” when singing its praises.
If 707 horsepower isn’t enough for the average daredevil, those who drive Challenger SRT Hellcat trims can enjoy massive upgrades that really take horsepower to the next level. Hennessey, the American tuning house that specializes in modifying cars, offers three different upgrades for the Dodge Challenger Hellcat: a standard HPE850 option, a supercharged HPE1000, and the HPE1000 Hellcat Redeye. As the most powerful of all three, the Hellcat Redeye modification offers an array of upgrades, inclusion of high performance components, and an insane 1035 horsepower and 948 lb-ft of torque. The Hellcat Redeye upgrade also includes a high-flow catalytic converter, a supercharger pulley and fuel injectors, and supercharger bypass valves.
These days, the Hellcat engine can be found under the hood of the Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Durango models. While the Dodge Durango Hellcat hasn’t hit the market just yet, you can experience everything that the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger have to offer at University Dodge. Schedule your test drive today and responsibly put the pedal to the metal right away! Follow University Dodge on social media and stay up to date with the latest Dodge news and offers.