Chrysler’s Dodge Challenger Hellcat captivated everyone when it was announced and rolled off the production line, with its mind-boggling 707 factory-rated horsepower, placing it in rarified air for a factory muscle car. Taking everything Mopar fanatics loved about the original muscle car era, Dodge added gobs of horsepower, a big-bodied platform, and outrageous color options, and rolled them into one killer package.
Despite being such a potent package from the factory, the Hellcat platform has some drawbacks when it comes to tuning its highly sophisticated onboard computer. A set of tuners that have spearheaded this initiative is High Horse Performance, which has been making big strides strides, with the help of DiabloSport Tuning, in getting this temperamental factory ECU under control. This had led to some awe-inspiring 1/4-miles that have rocked the rest of the Dodge world. … including a new record for the Hellcat.
In this video, by zlumlord, we see one of HHP’s custom tuned Challenger Hellcats, dubbed the “TopCat,” making a very impressive run down the 1/4-mile at Maryland’s Cecil County Dragway. This High Horse Performance-tuned monstrosity, which is no stranger to the limelight, manages to bring down a wall that no other Hellcat has been able to crack: the mid 9-second barrier.
“The biggest thing to overcome has been how the transmission control affects the power output,” Joshua Schwartz shared with us during our conversation about the Topcat. “We’ve intently worked on getting around this roadblock, which has been plaguing all of the high-horsepower Hellcats out there, for the past year and we’ve finally made some headway.”
According to Schwartz, overcoming this will lead to a sizable performance increase in every Hellcat he gets ahold of, and has chopped off about a tenth of a second, as shown in the video. After Schwartz gets behind the wheel of his customer Challenger Hellcat, we witness firsthand the nasty potential of this embodiment of raw American muscle, that results in a 9.467-second pass at 145.50 mph — an amazing feat for any road-going vehicle.
What makes this almost full factory weight Hellcat so quick, you may ask?
The prime factor behind these ridiculous times is the highly potent factory blower, which received a pulley swap in order to raise the boost from 11 to 18 pounds. Another introduction to the mix is a Nitrous Outlet 125 horsepower kit, that adds an additional influx of power to this already monstrous combination. Throw in some Q16 to the mix and you’ve got yourself a 1,000 rear wheel horsepower, big-bodied, 9-second assassin.
“It took a lot of time at the track to learn the entire torque management system. When you’re making this much power with this platform, there’s a fine line to walk,” Schwartz elaborated when discussing the tribulations of this journey. “When it comes to transmission tuning, we still have no way to make adjustments to the programming in order to change shift points and such. But after making these preliminary summer runs, and despite this holdup, we’re convinced that an 8-second pass is within reach, once the weather cools down.”