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Discussion Starter #1
I browse the internet and check car prices/inventory every now and again. Even dabbled with trading in the RS from time to time to for cool cars like 2016 M3 w/ a 6spd, the Alfa Giulia QV and Mustang GT350s.

So you can't look at the GT350 without popping over to Dodge's offering; the Hellcat. In browsing today, I started noticing new 2019 Hellcats for $10-15k below MSRP with the cheapest AT and MT being a $65k MSRP for $52k in VA (AT) and a $62.5k MSRP for $52.5K (MT). Dodge is offering around $7k cash back, and that's before you even start negotiating with a dealer on a 700HP RWD car that's been sitting on a lot as we approach Thanksgiving. Nationwide, there's 699 AT and 32 MT, but remember, the Redeye only comes in AT.

Yes it's a boat, but if you're not looking for a track (left and right turns with braking and accelerating!) weapon, you've owned your RS for 2-4 years (and have a good chunk of it paid off) and you find yourself just accelerating or rolling cars on the highway, are you going to trade in the RS for a new Hellcat with full warranty!?

Personally, I like the irony of a practical sports car; something I can put bikes in, run errands in, haul 4 dudes with golf clubs in, etc, that is an absolute blast to drive on the street while being fast on a race track. But I have no kids, I don't need to drive in the snow, gas is cheap! Why not get a Hellcat?! I would personally go with a GT350R over the Hellcat, but I like the turny stuff and I LOVE my RS.
 

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Sounds like you are primed for a test drive. I think it's an outstanding value for that motor... in a few years' time we'll marvel at the fact that you could buy a V8 with so much power and factory warranty at any price. If you're a corner-carver it might be a very different driving experience, the only way to know is to get some seat time. I'm not sure where you're located but this could be a perfect Turo scenario if someone has one listed near you.
 

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Gas is cheap he says...
I remember my first year or two of college and a smoker back then. Either I buy a gallon of gas or a pack of cigarettes, either one was 21 cents at the time.
 

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Gas is cheap?? You must be in Texas or Midwest, premium here in Reno NV is $3.91


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Here in Vancouver 91oct is $1.69/L. Or convert to USD $4.78/g

Spoiler alert: the news is talking about why gas is so cheap right now. Usually 91 us about $2.00/L cad
 

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The Hellcats are such legendary cars and are a lot more fun than you could ever imagine. I have driven a 6sp Hellcat Challenger and own a 2018 Trackhawk as my DD. The engine is absolutely ridiculous and amazing (other than gas mileage!). I have owned or driven a bunch of different SRT products and have long said that SRT makes the most 'fun' vehicles in their classes. Even the Scat Packs and SRT Jeeps that have the 6.4/392 engines have so much character that you can't stop smiling.

And just FYI - my personal ownership experience with Dodge and Jeep vehicles (5 total, 3 of them SRT products) over the last 9 years has amounted to less total time in the shop than my 1 Focus RS (front axle squeaking issue, headgasket replacement, then headgasket repair leaks, then timing cover leaks - total of nearly 3 months in the shop in just over 2 yrs). The only real 'issue' I ever had on any of the 5 Dodge or Jeeps was a hard to diagnose but annoying as heck squeak on my 2015 Jeep SRT (turned out to be a hood hinge problem).

Despite all of my issues with the RS (which I sold recently) I am a huge Ford guy and have a 2020 GT350R on order although when I see the new Widebody Hellcats, I sometimes wonder if I should get one of those instead.
 

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I was eyeing the 6-speed M/T in the dark red [but it sold quick...] and the dealer was at or had on order 72 of 'em back in late October.
UNREAL....

Inventory | Koons Chrysler Dodge Jeep

But they only had (4) M/T Hellcats in inventory with them being all black except for the dark-red....Now down to one.
 

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Wow look at that inventory! Looking at a few of the window stickers, I did not realize that Hellcats came with basic projector beam headlights and not HIDs or LEDs as standard.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I live in Denver and 91 this morning at Costco is $3.04/g. I started driving in late 2005 and owned a Nissan Altima from 2007-2010.That was when 87 was $4.50 in NJ ($100/tank!). I then didn't own a car from 2011-late 2016 (lived in NYC). Heh, sorry. I'm 31. Haven't really been around the block, but it appears US oil prices should remain pretty stable for the next several years. In all fairness, my 2005 Mustang GT got 17-18mpg when I had that from 2005-2006 and the RS gets better MPG and has more power!

As far Hellcat v GT350 goes, at $70k for either, I'm going GT350 all day. Even at $65k hellcat v $70k GT350, I'm going GT350. But at $52k Hellcat v $70k GT350, the case for a Hellcat can be made. However, used GT350s are around $50k with sub 10k miles, so that could be tough. With no MT Hellcats in the greater Denver area (and the Dodge dealer I spoke to saying they only order MTs when customer specifically asks), it's probably unlikely I go that direction. I also live at 5k ft above sea level (often going to 9k above sea level), so force induction v NA is something I think about. I think my track (High Plains Raceway) is around 5k elevation as well.

Interesting to hear about your reliability experience @Champale . I have always been of the thought process that FCA vehicles suck. I know the RS doesn't exactly have a great track record either, however. I even scolded my dad on his $61k 2019 Wrangler (that is stupid money for a Wrangler though when you can have a GT350 or a Hellcat for that! And it's his fun cruise around car, it get's only a few miles. He got rid of his Range Rover SVR for it too, 4k miles on that after 2 years). Side note, PCA article a few weeks back noted the car most Boxster/Cayman owners trade their Boxster/Cayman in for is a Wrangler.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sounds like you are primed for a test drive. I think it's an outstanding value for that motor... in a few years' time we'll marvel at the fact that you could buy a V8 with so much power and factory warranty at any price. If you're a corner-carver it might be a very different driving experience, the only way to know is to get some seat time. I'm not sure where you're located but this could be a perfect Turo scenario if someone has one listed near you.
Yea, being in Denver with no desire to go to the drag strip that's 15 minutes from my house (Morrison), not the right car for me. Spend far more timing carving up back roads and on the track. The RS as a DD is more than capable and AWD. But I'm a sucker for gaudy and loud. May indeed need to take one out with the red key, or rent one that's on Turo. We've got a cool car community here in Denver and I know a guy with his Hellcat on Turo that has special rates for our facebook group, Denver Auto Enthusiasts.
 

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I've had similar experiences with SRT and RT product offerings from Dodge/Chrysler. 4 SRTs, and 1 RT, none of them ever saw a dealership for a failure. One of the SRT's I bought used that was 6 years old and had 40k miles on it. I had it two years, put 15k on it and traded it for a new SRT, only thing it needed was an alignment at Firestone. My RS has been back 4 times, not including the recall which was done prior to purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Actually went and test drove one yesterday. Only with the 500hp key, because it was wet and snowy still. The dealer was really looking to sell me the silver. They we're trying to deal me the silver one, but I didn't like it. Something was off about that car. Then I got back in my Focus after walking away and was like wow, the Focus is just so much better of a car for me. The supercharger whine on the Hellcat was intoxicating. But it's a boat.


Liked this one more spec wise, and car just looked to be in better overall condition.
 

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Well yeah an RS and a Hellcat are pretty much on opposite ends of the 'sporty cars' spectrum! In cold weather, no way a Hellcat can be hustled really at all vs the RS which is made for bad weather and roads. Also, I have driven a HC with a 500hp key and the car doesn't feel right - the ECU holds the car back and it just feels weird so maybe that's what you were experiencing.

I would honestly suggest you look at a newer Scat Pack Widebody - about 200lbs lighter over the nose, 305s at all 4 corners, big brakes, an engine that is actually useable without fear of spinning off a cliff if you breath too heavily on the gas. Will never handle like an RS (other than Evos, what cars do??) but a great car and you can find them brand new for 5-10k off MSRP.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Well yeah an RS and a Hellcat are pretty much on opposite ends of the 'sporty cars' spectrum! In cold weather, no way a Hellcat can be hustled really at all vs the RS which is made for bad weather and roads. Also, I have driven a HC with a 500hp key and the car doesn't feel right - the ECU holds the car back and it just feels weird so maybe that's what you were experiencing.

I would honestly suggest you look at a newer Scat Pack Widebody - about 200lbs lighter over the nose, 305s at all 4 corners, big brakes, an engine that is actually useable without fear of spinning off a cliff if you breath too heavily on the gas. Will never handle like an RS (other than Evos, what cars do??) but a great car and you can find them brand new for 5-10k off MSRP.
Makes sense, I was still feeling the traction kick on with the 500hp key, but it didn't feel much faster than an RS. But at full power, the RS at 3400lbs to the Hellcat at 500hp and 4400lbs, power to weight is similar and RS still has AWD. Focus is 9.7lbs per HP while the Hellcat is 8.8lbs per HP @ 500hp. I told the finance guy the car didn't feel right and that he may of gotten me on a dry, 70 degree day if I could really open it up. I was honestly shocked they let me take it out in the conditions, but the tires were all season had tread, so I felt safe.

Honestly, instead of buying a Hellcat, I should buy a Miata, 944, Abarth 500 or something like that to track 10x in 2020 and become a better driver. That way I can keep my RS. :)
 

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You other options sound like great ideas. The Hellcat is so different than an RS in every way and would not be anyone's choice for trackdays. But damn they are a blast to drive! Smoking the tires at 90+ is so ridiculous. A dream garage would have an RS and a Hellcat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Was watching a Throttle House youtube video on the Hellcat Redeye v the Camaro ZLE 1LE. They did a lap in each and the Camaro absolutely SMASHED the Redeye (1:11.58 to 1:16.08). But they had a board of all the cars they lapped. CTR lapped that course in 1:14.81 (so I would imagine the RS on cup sports is right there). Golf R was a 1:18.47. Not sure what year Miata, but the MX5 lapped it in 1:20.80. Call the Miata 175HP, so 1/4 the HP of the Hellcat. :p There's a Mustang GT PP2 on the board at a 1:12.77, but no GT350 or 350R. Would be interesting to see how that stacked up against the Camaro.

Safe to say that the Hellcat is not the car you want to show up to an AutoX event in. It would be enjoyable for all watching though, but you certainty won't win.
 

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If you subscribe to Motor Trend On Demand, they have some great Hellcat tests/comparisons. And it's really telling than an English journalist (Jethro Bovington - the new Top Gear USA co-host) says he has been completely won over by them despite his preference for small, light cars. They might not win on a racetrack, but on the road they are so much fun and seem to have a sense of humor. The opposite of GM performance cars - great numbers on track but not really much fun to drive.
 
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