2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Swagger, Heft and the Roots of the Hellcat
June 19, 2015
A lot can change in a decade. See our new long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. If you had said, back when it was new, that the platform underneath it would one day support cars with 707 horsepower and top speeds of 200 mph top speeds, you would've been called crazy.
But it has. And though the Hellcat is a very different car than our SRT8, you can sense its roots from the driver's seat. The tallish seat position, the view out the glass, the sense of heft; the Hellcat's drivability is vastly improved, but its character remains in our SRT8.
Much has changed, of course.
Our car has an instrument panel that could serve in a minivan. Its suspension and power steering pump are showing their age. It may have 425 horsepower, but its five-speed auto shifts lazily, neutering acceleration at low speeds. The difference in power between our SRT8 and the Hellcat roughly equals the output of the 3.6-liter V6 in the current Charger (a "one Pentastar delta," as Jay Kavanaugh called it). This is what a decade of car development looks like.
I really like our Charger. It has that large, muscular swagger I've come to associate with the fast versions of the LX platform cars. Also, it's red and loud, and it has a hood scoop and a wing. It's rad.
Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor @ 66,400 miles