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Would You Trade Your Hellcat Challenger for a Jeep Trackhawk?

May 25, 2018 - 12:50 PM - by MagnumClub
By Patrick Rall, LXForums Editorial Staff

Would You Trade Your Hellcat Challenger for a Jeep Trackhawk?

Last month, I had a chance to spend a week driving the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk from my home in Michigan. My first test time in the supercharged Jeep came last fall when I traveled with FCA to Maine to drive the Trackhawk on the road and on the track, but it is always better to test a vehicle on my familiar local roads. More importantly, there is a big difference between spending 3 hours driving a new vehicle in some exotic location and using it as a daily driver for a week of my life, so I was excited to get my hands on one of the high performance Grand Cherokees from my local test fleet.

When I took delivery of the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the Michigan weather was still fairly wintry, so my Hellcat Challenger was still in storage, safe from the nasty road salt. In fact, one night while I had the Trackhawk, we got an inch of snow after a few hours of freezing rain, so I was thankful to have a supercharged Hemi mated to an all-wheel-drive system.

To put it bluntly, driving the Trackhawk for a week was absolutely freakin’ awesome.

Driving the Trackhawk
The 707-horsepower Jeep combines all of the comforts of the modern Grand Cherokee including an advanced all-wheel-drive system with the performance of the Dodge Hellcat car, resulting in the world’s quickest and fastest sport utility vehicle. Even in 30-degree weather on cold pavement, I was able to reel off 3.2-3.3 0-60 times without much effort and with some practice, I was able to get down to 3.1 seconds, and that was without using the Launch Control system with Torque Reserve. Using that high tech system made the Jeep slightly slower to 60, often spinning all four tires on a hard launch. On the other hand, launching with just the pedals allowed me to play with the throttle and routinely get to 60 from a stop in the low-3-second range in conditions that prevented my Hellcat Challenger from coming out of the garage.

Even on nice, warmer days, the Trackhawk still a clear advantage in the ability to launch thanks to the advanced all-wheel-drive system over the Hellcat Challenger and that is the awe-inspiring aspect of the supercharged Jeep. With my Challenger, hammering the throttle from a stop with street tires will result in nothing more than smoke and hundreds of feet of black stripes on the road. With some practice I can launch my Hellcat hard enough to get into the high-3-second range with my best time being a 3.7. On the other hand, there is very little practice or skill needed to get the most out of the Trackhawk. You can hammer the throttle from a stop and while it might give a quick spin to the tires, they are quick to bite and send the big Jeep hurdling past 60 miles per hour. Hitting a 3.5 – a time that is very difficult in my Challenger – is remarkably simple with the Trackhawk, and that was in cool temperatures on all-season tires.

As you might imagine, it was very clear on Instagram and Facebook that I was enjoying the Trackhawk, leading many, many people to ask me the exact same question:Are you going to run out and trade your Hellcat on a Trackhawk?The answer is no. The Trackhawk is nothing short of amazing and I can’t think of anything that I would change about it, but I love the Hellcat Challenger even more, as it offers some things that the similarly-powered Jeep cannot.

The Challenger Advantages
These are two of the highest performance vehicles sold in America and they are both incredible from behind the wheel, but they are two very different performance machines. The Trackhawk has AWD, allowing it to make full use of the supercharged Hemi power at any time and in any situation, but that really only helps when launching from a stop. In other situations, such as rolling along at 40mph and putting the hammer down, the Hellcat Challenger doesn’t have the same traction issues, so it doesn’t really need the extra weight of the AWD system. However, the fact that the Dodge coupe weighs more than a thousand pounds less makes a big impact on the mid-range and top end performance, so while the Jeep gets away from the starting line more... [Read More]
  1 Reply | 32 Views

2019 Dodge Charger front end teaser photo

May 15, 2018 - 1:31 PM - by MagnumClub
2019 Dodge Charger Front End Teaser

This teaser photo shows that Dodge has squeezed the grill even more accentuating the wide and low appearance of the front end giving it an even more aggressive / sinister look. Can't wait to see the rest of the vehicle.
  4 Replies | 512 Views

2019 Hellcat Challenger Gets a New Hood Design

May 03, 2018 - 11:22 AM - by MagnumClub
By Patrick Rall, LXForums Editorial Staff

2019 Hellcat Challenger Gets a New Hood Design

FCA announced this morning that when the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat begins reaching dealerships later this year, it will feature a new dual snorkel design. The company included two images of the new hood design, with vents that appear to be taller and wider than the scoop on the current Hellcat hood, but it looks as though this new hood might not have the heat extraction vents – or at least they don’t appear to be in the same place as the 2015-2018 Hellcat hoods.

According to the brief release accompanying these two pictures, this new Hellcat Challenger dual snorkel hood design “pays homage to the distinctive Mopar design themes from some of its most famous muscle cars”. Several classic Mopar muscle cars ran some variation of a dual scoop setup, including the 1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee, the 1971/1972 Dodge Demon 340, several model years of the Plymouth Barracuda and various over models in specific trim levels. The new Hellcat hood looks nothing like any of those classic hoods, but I can see where the classic Mopar designs shaped this one.
We don’t know yet whether this will be the only hood for the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat or if the current hood will still be offered, but even without the heat extractors, this new hood could offer some performance advantages over the current design.

Over the past few years, Dodge has developed a great many of hood designs with the two most notable here being the Challenger T/A hood and the Demon hood. Each of these engine covers use the front-facing scoop to feed air directly into the engine. On the other hand, the hood scoop on the Hellcat Challenger simply feeds cooling air into the engine bay while the two vents help evacuate hot air.

While we don’t know for sure exactly how this new dual snorkel hood functions, it is possible that one scoop directs air to the engine intake while the other feeds cool air intake and engine bay. Of course, without the heat extractors, both of those scoops might be used for cooling air, but with the company’s work with hoods that bring engine air in through the hood scoop, it is possible that the 2019 Hellcat Challenger could have a slightly revised intake setup.

If nothing else, the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will have a distinctive new look with the dual snorkel hood design and while we know that both scoops are functional – it isn’t clear yet how exactly the hood functions.
  37 Replies | 2,612 Views

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