Remember a few weeks ago when we told you that Chrysler Group was quietly chipping away at a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine known as the Hellcat? Well, now we have more proof. We present to you a 2015 Dodge Challenger (presumably in SRT guise, look closely and you’ll see that the badging has been stripped off) with this new Hellcat engine under the hood as caught by our trigger-happy spy photographer.
Early power numbers are speculative, but rumors first suggested that the Hellcat would be rated in the ballpark of 640 horsepower. That’s on par with the 8.4-liter V-10 engine used in the all-new SRT Viper. However, it has been said that the next-generation Challenger would be more of a competitor to the Ford Shelby GT500 and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1/Z28 than it has in years past. New power projections rate the Hellcat in the neighborhood between 560 and 580 hp, which is much closer to the ZL1′s 580 hp rating but still is out of reach of the GT500′s 662 hp. A ZF-sourced eight-speed transmission is expected to be mated to this new Hellcat engine.
There also appears to be an upgraded brake package riding along with this 2015 Dodge Challenger prototype, as seen beneath the wheels. The next-gen Challenger’s 20-inch wheels cover big brake calipers and cross-drilled rotors, which is different than the smaller calipers and solid rotors currently serving the Challenger. While there’s some black wrapping on the front-end, if you look closely, it appears that the next-gen Challenger is covering some new air intakes. It’s also been suggested that the grille openings that you can see through the camo have been expanded ever-so-slightly. From behind, this Challenger mule is sporting a non-production exhaust system and the noise that escaped it was thunderous.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger is expected to bow at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January.