The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is definitely the performance car of the moment. The fact that in the near future normal people could buy a 707-horsepower muscle machine straight from the factory for the relatively reasonable price of $59,995 just seems absurd. We drove it and found the Hellcat to be just as much of a beast as its numbers would suggest. Now, it's Jay Leno's turn behind the wheel in the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage.

This week's guest is Dodge President and CEO Tim Kuniskis, and he's there to drop all sorts of interesting factoids about the Hellcat. For example, its Pirelli P Zero tires retail at around $300 each, he says. That makes its smoky burnouts a rather expensive proposition. Kuniskis also talks about the genesis of the 2015 SRT project with a goal to get over some of the standard Challenger's weight and size disadvantages. The fix is a supercharged V8, massive brakes and other goodies to smooth over the stock versions more glaring shortcomings.

Jay appears to get a big kick out of the Hellcat. However, he can't seem to stop bringing up his desire to drive one with a six-speed manual. They obviously exist, but Kuniskis has an eight-speed automatic for Leno to try out. Of course, with any Hellcat video, there has to be at least one burnout. Despite the expensive tires, it seems like a law at this point, and Jay wouldn't want to break any rules.


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  • 39 Comments
      Finklestein
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'm a Mustang guy but I would totally buy this car if I had 60 G's to blow on a new car. I was actually very impressed with the infotainment system and all the app customization. Car is a straight up beast!
      Ben Hayat
      • 4 Months Ago
      "You can always get a new friend" :-)
      btulliani
      • 4 Months Ago
      Dodge built a winner! Great job Mopar!
      RedHotFuzz
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'm *so* buying one of these from a rich older guy a few years down the road for $30k. What a car!
        omgcool
        • 4 Months Ago
        @RedHotFuzz
        Good luck; Challengers have high resale values to begin with, and a Hellcat will only bring that higher. This car has a good shot at becoming a future classic, IMO.
      BipDBo
      • 4 Months Ago
      "its Pirelli P Zero tires retail at around $300 each" Prudence would suggest to get a pair or steelies and some cheaper, possibly used tires to swap on the rear just for doing some donuts and burnouts. Maybe even get some mid grade tires for every day commuting and save the nice tires for track day.
      Cool people
      • 4 Months Ago
      Jay, turns into a teenager when he gets in this Hellcat. Nice Dodge!
      Sergey R
      • 4 Months Ago
      Watch this video at 10:24. And never let that guy anywhere near your car! So true! :)
      ABB
      • 4 Months Ago
      I thought Tim came across as combative. Everything he said smacked of salesmanship. He debated Jay on the shade of Hemi orange and said he would want a manual transmission in every car but this one, of course. When talking about the car's 4,500-pound weight, he said, "You won't notice it." Sure. Some of Jay's guests who work for the manufacturers come across as genuine enthusiasts; Tim brought something else to the conversation that added nothing.
        theblackporsche
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ABB
        What was he supposed to say to those questions?
        Goatman
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ABB
        You've got to love that Jay knew it wasn't exactly the same as the 60's/70's Hemi Orange the minute he saw it. But you can't blame him, he's been told by the engineers that it's Hemi Orange, I'd be surprised if he's every really looked at the old 60's/70's cars.
          rwantinn
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Goatman
          He actually owns a classic Challenger. http://www.autonews.com/article/20130930/OEM/309309999/dodge-plans-100th-anniversary
        Suzq044
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ABB
        With that kind of power, you probably won't notice it. lol They were taking the moment to show off the tech of the 8spd. I wouldn't guilt them for that, this is essentially a promo-spot. I would be interested to know which one Jay buys.
        SYE
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ABB
        He came across as a smug Big 3 lifer. All those guys sell their soul to rise the ranks.
          disngaj
          • 4 Months Ago
          @SYE
          And to me, while sales is the ultimate goal for this type of showing of a new model, he came across as more knowledgeable than most and staying on-topic (while Jay, as usual, asks questions, but doesn't really listen to the answers, preferring to reminisce about "back in the day...").
        magiaone
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ABB
        Agreed - not to mention - he had nothing to do with the development of this vehicle. It was all set up in 2011/12 (even pricing) when Ralph was still in charge...............
      L1011
      • 4 Months Ago
      Maybe this isn't the best place to ask this, but the new Hellcat w/ 707hp and priced (before stealer, I mean dealer markup) is $59,995. How is Chevy's Z/28 at 505hp and north of $75,000 supposed to compete? Think Chevy will drop the price of the Z/28? (Probably not).
        Christopher Anderson
        • 4 Months Ago
        @L1011
        Those two are not competitors; this is Dodge's answer to the ZL1. This Z/28 is a pure track car, with all the expensive track bits to show for it. As one review said (I think it was here), Dodge clearly spent almost every penny of the price increase on the engine. This car is just meant to do burnouts (or sit in someone's collection).
        jtav2002
        • 4 Months Ago
        @L1011
        It doesn't compete, as mentioned above. Z28 is a pure road track car. This car is more in line with the ZL1 and what the GT500 was.
      WindsWilling
      • 4 Months Ago
      A shame they brought an automatic. Come on Tim. Come on. The auto is for elderly, or those with medical conditions who can't drive stick anymore (I know a few with leg issues). It just "belongs" to be in this car. Stupid dodge.
        theblackporsche
        • 4 Months Ago
        @WindsWilling
        That's a bit harsh. They bring you a 707hp car for $60K and they're stupid? Not everyone wants a MT.
          Bryan Rex
          • 4 Months Ago
          @theblackporsche
          Any true driving enthusiast does... He even admitted that he knew Jay would like the manual better, just a publicity stunt, trying to geta different reaction out of Jay.
        David Cross
        • 9 Days Ago
        @WindsWilling

        This coming from someone who has yet, if ever, to drive one.

      Christopher Anderson
      • 4 Months Ago
      "We wanted to do something about the bloated Challenger's weight problem, so we added a heavier engine, heavier brakes, a heavier trans, and heavier adjustable shocks. Adding a ton of power will fix that problem, right?" Dodge is the opposite of Colin Chapman. Even Chevy and Ford recognize that shedding weight and adding a little power make for the most fun (Z/28 and Boss 302, respectively). Granted both of those also make heavy-weight, over-powered versions, but neither claimed those were a way of getting over the base car's "weight problem."
        Goatman
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Christopher Anderson
        My guess is Chrysler doesn't think it could recoup the costs of a huge weight reduction on one model. At least with the development costs of Hellcat they can use the powertrain across 3 or 4 different vehicles and platforms.
        SpitterGuy
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Christopher Anderson
        As they said several times in the video, the car is bigger than the Mustang or Camaro because that's what people wanted. Besides, this is only a mid-cycle refresh and trying to lighten it would have been too big of an investment on an older platform like this.
          Christopher Anderson
          • 4 Months Ago
          @SpitterGuy
          I'm not sure I would say that was what the people wanted; it was just a matter of the platform Dodge had available to build on. I agree that weight saving would have been prohibitively expensive, but perhaps they should approach the purpose as "we wanted to make it faster," instead of "we wanted to do something about the weight problem," since they didn't address weight in any way, shape, or form.
        70_Barracuda
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Christopher Anderson


        Do 199 mph in a street car and you will be glad it has some weight to it. And Its made to be comfortable...not for 1 or 2, but for 3 or 4.

        David Cross
        • 9 Days Ago
        @Christopher Anderson

        And yet if it had been a chevy project, you would have been falling all over your self praising it !

      ABB
      • 4 Months Ago
      I did
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