US: Dodge uses Hellcat to shed common family image image

Have you really imagined that besides the massive Challenger, Dodge would really have anything up its sleeve for the passionate hot-rodder? Neither did we, but two examples of SRT Hellcat models made us change opinion.

The Chrysler Group brand (now called FCA US) was not long ago seen as a bland family hauler, especially since when Fiat took control in 2009 of the company it immediately spun its rugged and reliable Ram trucks into a separate brand. Dodges became the cars priced to sell, mainly to rental-car companies and drivers with spotty credit history. Even dealers say the Dodge cars became “ghost”-like characters, always in the shadow of their more-affluent Chrysler brethren. But little by little, especially since the reimagining of the Charger and Challenger cars, Dodge has surrounded itself with a muscle-car vibe.

This is an audacious bet, which could pay off big if the gas prices remain at the current level or drop even further, as Dodge is rebooting itself as a brand that can appeal guys in their 20s and 30s – and is backed by the brand’s performance heritage that goes back a century. With Charger, Challenger and the Durango SUV currently outselling their segment, the bet seems to have been won. And the icing on the cake is the 707 horse, 204 miles per hour and 11 seconds quarter-mile devouring Charger SRT Hellcat – billed as the fastest production sedan on the face of the planet.

Via Bloomberg