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Discussion Starter #1
So i've been thinking about upgrading my 09 SRT sometime next year to a Hellcat but had a few questions as i haven't driven the newer generation of challengers at all. Has the steering feel been improved over the 1st gen? Mine has the giant 4 spoke wheel and for a sports car, it honestly steers like a big cushy land yacht, rather than a sports car.(super light with limited road feel, and the wheel being so large only makes it feel even more so that way. I think really thats my only real complaint about the car as otherwise its been an amazing car, but i want something more. With the hellcat, would I be better off with the A8 or is the manual just as much fun to drive? My current SRT is a 6-speed and as much as i like driving stick, I almost feel like without the auto, those 700 ponies will be somewhat wasted. Anyone who's made a switch from a 6.1 to either a new SRT or hellcat care to chime in with their opinions?
 

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Just an FYI they are both HEAVY cars. If ypu want tight suspension you are going to have to upgrade.

Is imagine the Hellcat would come with pretty good suspension over the 09 srt.

I have an 09 RT charger I dropped about 3k into the suspension. Lowered the car and beefed up sways. You don't even notice its a 4000 lb car.



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Discussion Starter #3
oh I know its a heavy car and it will never go around a corner like a miata or something. I'm not trying to kid myself into thinking its going to be a track monster on anything but a drag strip. Just curious if the new generation of challengers has the same overboosted steering feel that the older ones have.
 

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I think it would depend on what year you were looking at. New hellcats have adjustable gas suspension.

But really, even the oem suspension can be improved upon.

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If you are a true stick driver you will always regret it. It's not how fast you go it's the ride, the experience and if it's not a stick in a performance car I won't own it. What would you do if you bought a Hellcat and regret it. I did that once to appease (lost man points) the mrs and lasted only long enough to dump (lost $$$$) and replace it, never again and to piss me of she never even drove it. I knew it was a mistake and learned the hard way. You may do as you wish but think long and hard first.
 

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If you are a true stick driver you will always regret it. It's not how fast you go it's the ride, the experience and if it's not a stick in a performance car I won't own it. What would you do if you bought a Hellcat and regret it. I did that once to appease (lost man points) the mrs and lasted only long enough to dump (lost $$$$) and replace it, never again and to piss me of she never even drove it. I knew it was a mistake and learned the hard way. You may do as you wish but think long and hard first.
You never raced drag have you.. Your manual will lose 10 times out of 10 to an auto.

But I agree, I do love my manual firebird.. ;)

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You never raced drag have you.. Your manual will lose 10 times out of 10 to an auto.

But I agree, I do love my manual firebird.. ;)

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When I was in high school mid 70's, you drove a stick period, those who drove an auto were called a non politically correct name.
Well in the good old days it was stick to stick and it was your skills, not only the car that counted. It was a different time.
Yes, I've have drag raced, in the mid 80's I raced a pro stock Camaro with a Lenco transmission so it was a blend, you had a clutch and just grabbed the different shifters as you went down the track. I had a very wealthy friend who owned the car and had a machine shop so I just had to get my NHRA license to drive that car.
We want all over the country and he raced in the Gator Nationals and other tracks all the way out to California. He raced many of the big name drivers of the day and holds speed records that are still listed online as I recently looked on a who's who in racing. Me, I did Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ when I had the opportunity.
That was the good old days. I'm content with my car having all the guts and don't need to get to point B faster than the next guy, I don't take my car to the track and most here never will either.
Plus who street races here? You're out of your mind if you do. Unless you have large cash on the line who gives a crap who is faster? Money talks and that is a track only proposition.
 

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The Hellcat's 6 speed manual is a close-ratio unit from the Viper, with an auxiliary cooler. It's an excellent, strong gearbox with short throws, a great feel through the shifter, and a stiff clutch. There isn't the massive disappointment or disadvantage to owning/driving one as some automatic owners would have you believe. If you're good, as in years of experience, those 700 ponies won't be wasted at all. It's fast, but also visceral. If that's the experience you like, you'll want the stick. That said, the 8HP90 automatic is a seriously beefed up trans, with consistent fast shifts and very quick response for a torque converter automatic. In a car like the Hellcat, Dodge isn't going to offer a wrong transmission choice.

As for steering feel, they changed quite a few things in 2011, such as suspension geometry, control arms, bushings, steering racks, etc. They have come a long way in dialing out the boat floaty feel and making the cars feel lighter than they are. A Hellcat is nice because it still has hydraulic steering, and it is certainly not overboosted. I suggest you test drive one if possible, but be careful, you might be driving it home.
 

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When I was in high school mid 70's, you drove a stick period, those who drove an auto were called a non politically correct name.
Well in the good old days it was stick to stick and it was your skills, not only the car that counted. It was a different time.
Yes, I've have drag raced, in the mid 80's I raced a pro stock Camaro with a Lenco transmission so it was a blend, you had a clutch and just grabbed the different shifters as you went down the track. I had a very wealthy friend who owned the car and had a machine shop so I just had to get my NHRA license to drive that car.
We want all over the country and he raced in the Gator Nationals and other tracks all the way out to California. He raced many of the big name drivers of the day and holds speed records that are still listed online as I recently looked on a who's who in racing. Me, I did Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ when I had the opportunity.
That was the good old days. I'm content with my car having all the guts and don't need to get to point B faster than the next guy, I don't take my car to the track and most here never will either.
Plus who street races here? You're out of your mind if you do. Unless you have large cash on the line who gives a crap who is faster? Money talks and that is a track only proposition.
You are a dying breed my friend ;) That being said I do agree a manual transmission can and most of the time is a bit more fun. Manual transmissions will disappear someday soon, just the way it goes, so will manually steering our own cars, prolly within the next 15 years. The technology is already in production but it will take a while before Mr and Mrs America switch over in the masses.
 

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I've owned both manual (M6) and now the TorqueFlite (A8) in my 392 Scat Pack Challengers. The A8 is miles ahead of any transmission I've ever owned and is a blast to drive. It slams gears hard when in Sport mode and rev matches on down shifts. It feels like a manual only noticeably faster. Plus, you can manually shift it with the console shifter or the paddle shifters on the wheel. I enjoy Muscle Cars with manuals (my vintage Mustang has one) but I would never go back to a manual in a modern Challenger.

You'll get plenty of guys on this forum arguing both sides: "A8 is faster but not as much fun" etc. or "real men come in first" blah blah blah... but there is no arguing that the A8 is the better of the two transmissions in terms of technological advancement and capability. It manually shifts or automatically shifts; you have the option. You'll enjoy either one I'm sure. Drive both (would have to be a 5.7 or 392 most likely) and see which one suits you.
 

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Like BlackHemi said above, 2011+ brought massive changes to the suspension. All 2011 and newer cars got
the steering rack directly hard mounted to the K Member, the Suspension Geometry was changed, spring
rates were changed, suspension bushings were stiffened, front Camber was cranked up to 1.5 degrees Negative.
The Steering rack was shortened to 14.1:1 and larger sway bars fitted. In 2015 the Challengers
got fitted with the new Variable Bilstein Dampers that allow for different drive modes.

While my Challenger does not have the adjustable suspension, my new Merc does.... And all I can say is on the
Merc it's night and day going from "Comfort" mode to Sport to Sport +. So I'm sure there is a huge difference in
the drive modes on the 15+ Challengers. From everything I've read everyone says the 15's in track mode ride
the same as the 11's do all the time, but with the 15+ you have the option of selecting a much more cushy ride
when you don't want stiff.


So in short.. Yeah they handle differently than an 09! :)
 

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The Hellcat steering has a different feel with a hydraulic PS system vs. the other models with electric PS. There is a heavier feel with the Hellcat's steering than my old Scat Pack's. I went from the M6 to the A8 and don't regret it in the least. This is the most intuitive automatic I've driven. The manual Hellcat is no slouch (I have driven a manual HC), but the auto is a game changer IMO.
 

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To answer your original question about steering feel, it's a definite YES , night and day difference between the 2. I went from an 09 RT to a 16 SRT, and even in street mode you have stiffer suspension and more steering feel. Plus, you still have sport and track modes for even more.

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I don't own a Hellcat, but the difference between my '09 SRT and the '17 T/A that I have is like day and night. And I'm sure, like others are telling you, the Hellcat is even better. Manual vs. Auto? No right or wrong answer here. We're lucky we have a choice with our cars. Everyone has their preference. I could care less about jamming down the throttle and letting the A8 shift for me, and to a lesser extent using paddle shifters. I prefer the M6 and the enjoyment it gives me. Pick what you like and enjoy the hell out of it.
 
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