Hellcat engine supposed to arrive with just 600 hp originally

Hellcat Vs. Hellcat, Photo By Chris Mitchell Photography

It’s become clear that the mega horsepower cars we all know and love aren’t going away just yet. Electric cars are on the rise, but even some of those offerings pack plenty of oomph. The current king of gas-drinking, tire-slaying, noise-making goodness though, is the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat. They weren’t always destined to be the 707-horsepower monsters we know them as, however, as the Detroit Free Press recently found out.

When the internal team at Dodge was working on the Hellcat engine, the original power target was set at just 600 hp. That would’ve been enough to make the Hellcat-equipped cars the most powerful in the muscle car wars. Shortly after the Hellcat started coming together, Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] announced that its fifth-generation Mustang’s Shelby GT500 model was coming to market with over 600 hp—662 hp, to be exact.

The Dodge engineers got the green light to push for more, and they told the bosses that the new goal was 675 hp. According to Director of Advanced and SRT Powertrain Development Chris Cowland, the true goal was 700 hp. This was kept from the higher ups and even some members of the team working on other parts of the car.

That’s a smart move, because rumblings of a 700-hp machine would probably be shot down before they get rolling. The team delivered on its promise of 675 hp and then more than met its own internal goal of besting the 700-hp mark.

And that’s how the world now has a pair of Dodge vehicles that can meet or exceed 200 mph… and perhaps soon a Jeep Grand Cherokee as well.

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