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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, I am a relatively new Challenger owner (bought a 2016 R/T M6 about a year ago) and am loving every minute of ownership. Secretly (not really) I knew this base R/T acquired cheaply via CarMax was just a stepping stone to what I really want... a Hellcat. When the Challenger SRT8 arrived in 2008, I very nearly went out an bought one (I would have if I hadn't just bought a new car), I've been in love with the car ever since. The 2015 refresh was just more of a great thing.

My current R/T is "fast enough" but the wow factor has worn off a little (375hp is not really all that much to be fair) and I could imagine getting to 60 faster :) It's not a top speed thing, it's a torque thing... I want my guts flattened up against my spine :)

So I find myself at a bit of a crossroads and am wondering from people who own and live with Hellcats how life has been with them? Are you still grinning like an idiot a year later? :) I'm not really interested in racing (street or otherwise), this isn't really about taking down mustangs or corvettes or camaro's or anything, this purely about the driving pleasure. Youtube video's paint a pretty awesome picture, but a lot of those folks are either a) brand new owners or b) street racing or showing off mods :wink3:

The other alternative is a "something with n/a 392 in it" an srt 392, an r/t scat pack, etc.... but that super charger wine.....

I am firmly fixed on sticking with the manual transmission (though I understand the auto has a lot of pros). For those who may have switched, I am curious if that turned out to be the right choice for you?

Anyways, I'm looking forward to hearing from folks. I don't plan on doing anything until next spring earliest, but this is how I get that ball rolling :) By Christmas I'll know if Santa is making a second trip on Spring 2020 :grin2:
 

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First off if you don't get the ZF8 you'll be missing a big piece of what the hellcat is best at doing...living with a cat means becoming best friends with your favorite gas station and insurance company, the rest is "just push start"
 

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Don't drive one unless/until you are ready to make a change.
Iv'e had a 5.7, a 392, and now the HC. I would never want to go back, even as good as the 392 is, there is no comparison. Driven gently it gets gas mileage comparable to what my 392 got.
 

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Yes, a year later the grin is still there.
I knew it'd be a fun car, but didn't expect it to be that much fun, and also handle really well.

Even with my lead foot, the mileage is decent. Normally in the 20-21 range.
That insurance for an '18 is a little less than what my '14 Ram 1500 pickup costs was a nice surprise.
 

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Leave the stock rear tires on the Hellcat and it will scare the Hell out of you everytime you go WOT.

Slap a pair of 305 drag radials on the rear to keep it planted and it will impress you everytime you go WOT.

I put about 29K miles on my Challenger Hellcat over approx. 3 years and loved every minute of it.
 

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Get the Hellcat. You bought a R/T and was still itching for a Hellcat. Getting anything in between, you'll still long for the Hellcat and just spend more money trying to correct it. The heart wants what it wants...
 

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If you test drive any 392 flavor 6sp and then the Hellcat with the 6sp, you'll notice the difference immediately. The power is delivered very smoothly across the entire RPM range, which to me is the most impressive aspect of the engineering that went into a forced induction platform.


As others have already said, go with what you really want. Ultimately, it will be cheaper.
 

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I went from an R/T to a Scat Pack. Major difference in power. I would assume the same going from a Scat Pack to a Hellcat.

To me it boils down to budget. If you can reasonably afford a Hellcat, why would you not get one?

I was thinking of getting a used low mileage one, but because we were planning to move to a larger home soon, I axed that plan. Now my Scat Pack is paid off, we're in the house we wanted, and I can't foresee forking out the extra money now for a Hellcat.

I think they're worth it. If you can swing it do it. If the Scat Pack is more reasonable right now, do that instead. One thing is for sure, life is short, so don't put things on hold for too long.
 

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Like several have stated, don't drive one if you're really not ready to buy one. It will ruin you! Lol

They will cost more to own, so if your budget just isn't there for a HC, no sense walking around with a self induced limp. No sense in that.

When I had my '10 R/TC, I stayed away from driving a 392 car, as I knew that I would want that power.

When my '10 got totalled, I knew that I wanted another Challenger, so it was between a Scat Pack or a HC.

I weighed the purchase cost, and ownership cost of both, along with the fact that I would be retiring in the near future. For me, the most sensible pick was the SP.

Sensible to me meant being able to maintain ownership for the long term. Too many folks jump on a particular car, and then in a year or two say, "I really don't need or can't afford this toy "

I didn't test drive either car, I ordered a SP with the options that I wanted. It was the right move for me. Totally happy with it, and now that I'm retired, I drive It or I don't. It was an affordable toy that I can keep for as long as I want.

Don't know the OP's life situation, but just suggesting to go into this with clear head, and not just an emmotional purchase.

Emotions are good, but can bite you later, or sometimes sooner on a purchase like this.

Best of luck on your choice.
 

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I would love a Hellcat and might purchase one at some point. But considering I rarely ever get to go WOT with my 392 I'm not sure I see the payoff of having even more unused HP!! The speed limit never changes based on the HP under the hood but your cost of ownership certainly does!!

If I just didn't care - ok. But I do. So far the 392 is the pick for me. So far ….
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to everyone who replied, this is exactly what I was hoping for (a nice mix of opinions and experiences)

First off if you don't get the ZF8 you'll be missing a big piece of what the hellcat is best at doing...living with a cat means becoming best friends with your favorite gas station and insurance company, the rest is "just push start"
I do have some friends who own powerful cars (a couple of vettes, a camaro here and there and a spot of 'stang) who've said similar things. Folks who otherwise love the stick, but for their purpose bought rocket-mobiles want max performance all the time. So I get the 8spd is an awesome experience (even the reviewers have nothing but great things to say). I think, when it gets to that point, I'll have to test drive both and see where the heart goes. For this kind of car, the pull towards the manual is strong (with the complete understanding that I may sacrifice some of that "max performance") but I'll let the experience do the talking :) Thanks!

Get the Hellcat. You bought a R/T and was still itching for a Hellcat. Getting anything in between, you'll still long for the Hellcat and just spend more money trying to correct it. The heart wants what it wants...
I bought a cheap base R/T to see if I could live with a Challenger. It was a lot easier for me to dive into a mid twenties-something thousand car for a year or two (and get out if it didn't work out) then going with a new 392 or HC (or even a used one, which would be twice the investment). So the first phase is more or less going as planned :) If I had bought the SXT, I'd have some buyer remorse...

Now that I know I can live with "Challenger" as a car, I feel a lot more comfortable taking that next step.

Like several have stated, don't drive one if you're really not ready to buy one. It will ruin you! Lol

They will cost more to own, so if your budget just isn't there for a HC, no sense walking around with a self induced limp. No sense in that.

When I had my '10 R/TC, I stayed away from driving a 392 car, as I knew that I would want that power.

When my '10 got totalled, I knew that I wanted another Challenger, so it was between a Scat Pack or a HC.

I weighed the purchase cost, and ownership cost of both, along with the fact that I would be retiring in the near future. For me, the most sensible pick was the SP.

Sensible to me meant being able to maintain ownership for the long term. Too many folks jump on a particular car, and then in a year or two say, "I really don't need or can't afford this toy "

I didn't test drive either car, I ordered a SP with the options that I wanted. It was the right move for me. Totally happy with it, and now that I'm retired, I drive It or I don't. It was an affordable toy that I can keep for as long as I want.

Don't know the OP's life situation, but just suggesting to go into this with clear head, and not just an emmotional purchase.

Emotions are good, but can bite you later, or sometimes sooner on a purchase like this.

Best of luck on your choice.
Yes... I know not even to look at anything with a for sale sign, I've blocked it from carmax and autotrader, google has been instructed to redirect any request to 1980 used pintos in rust... lol.

In all seriousness, I don't intend to test drive until I'm actually ready to buy something. That's how I did it with my Challenger last year (had been in the market for over year prior).
@19johned53 - That's some very sound advice, truly. One of the reasons I started this thread was to get the thinking aligned. It was easy to plunk down some cash for a baby R/T, but a used HC (or a new SRT) get's into more serious money that's harder to walk away from easily. I do see this as a toy (in a way) but one that still costs a lot of money :) I want to be happy (as happy as is possible) but not to the point of ruination :laugh2:
 

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I started out with a 2016 scat pack, after 6 months of owning it (it was a blast to drive) i knew that i wanted to step up to the hellcat. I haven't regretted it at all. I ended up with a 2016 Hellcat with a few more options than my scatpack had. If the hellcat didn't exist i would have the scat pack and do all of the hp upgrades.
 

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I started out with a 2016 scat pack, after 6 months of owning it (it was a blast to drive) i knew that i wanted to step up to the hellcat. I haven't regretted it at all. I ended up with a 2016 Hellcat with a few more options than my scatpack had. If the hellcat didn't exist i would have the scat pack and do all of the hp upgrades.
I spent about the same time in my SP before queuing up an Autotrader alert and beginning my search. The limitations of upgrades to the 6.4L, without pistons, etc, made a big difference in how I wanted to approach more power.
 

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I used to hate automatic transmissions, and still do for the most part, as I didn't like the insertion loss, weight, or dirrect connection to the rear end. I also hated that I couldn't choose what gear I wanted. But then I learned about the ZF8, it's better than a traditional auto, a DCT, and even superior to the Tremec 6MT. It's the only trans I want now after driving SRT mopars with both auto and manual at Bondurant for the day.

Anyone who balks at the ZF8 instantly doesn't understand how it is superior to everything else out there.
This video should help.

As for me, I love the hellcat, but it's pretty much useless for the street. Even with the black key at 500hp, traction is an issue. Plus the SP is about 200bls lighter.

The car I want is the SPWB.
 

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I started with the 2011 RT, then 2012 SRT, 2015 SRT, 2016 Hellcat and now 2019 Redeye. If you get the Hellcat you will wonder why you didn’t get it in the first place. I loved it everyday. Driving it never gets old. I would find any excuse or reason to drive it. 38 months and 34,000 miles before I upgraded and that’s being retired. Would have been about 60,000 miles if I used it as a daily driver.
 

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But...there's no "Man Pedal" >:) (Never got my manhood from a pedal, but...OK)

A Guy
 
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