I’m about to ask you to read a little over 1,500 words, so I’ll keep this introduction brief. Prior to spending a week with this Redline Red Tri-Coat Pearl Challenger Hellcat, I had only driven one at Willow Springs for all of 5 laps. I had just gotten out of a Viper GT and before the Viper I had been in a Charger Hellcat.
I mention this because when I drove the Challenger Hellcat on the track, I didn’t think much of it, partially because of the Viper, and partially because I was mentally exhausted.
Oh what a difference an extended period of time with a car makes.
My week with the Challenger Hellcat was spent mostly in the usual LA driving conditions, and once I got used to the weight of the clutch, the car became like any other runabout. In fact I rather enjoyed running errands in it thanks to the tall gearing which made stop and go traffic much easier to tolerate. I’m constantly shifting in my M235i, but in the Hellcat, 1st and 2nd are really all one needs when the streets are clogged.
And then there’s the fact that if you want to, you can blow the doors off pretty much anything, and scare the shit out of other drivers around you. I delight in doing this, particularly when friends who aren’t particularly enthusiastic about automobiles are in the car with me.
If your car control is good enough (and I’m declaring that mine is), you can roam the city in Sport or Street mode, with the traction control off, and light the tires up whenever you feel like it. Every time you stop is an opportunity to leave your mark on the road, and I did so, repeatedly, and all without incident. Some passengers were delighted by my antics, some forced a smile through clenched teeth, but everyone agreed, the Challenger Hellcat is a car worth experiencing.