2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: Performance Apps Review
Like a FitBit for the racetrack.
The 707-hp coupe is a lot of car for a starting price of just under $60,000. But, at nearly 4,500 lbs., it's also just a lot of car, period. If you're not careful, this cat will bite—and getting the most out of it requires practice and patience.
That's why the car's Uconnect infotainment system includes several Hellcat-specific apps that are designed to make you a better driver, and can help you get the most out of your time spent on the track.
Every Hellcat comes with two keys: A black fob limits engine output to 500-hp, while the red fob unleashes the full 707-hp. Even with the red fob in your pocket, however, you can tame the Hellcat through the on-screen SRT performance menu.
Press the SRT button on the center stack, and you'll get access to a number of tools. Track, Sport and Default settings customize the suspension, horsepower, and traction control. There's also a Custom option for fine-tuning your choices, and customizable shift lights so you don't over-rev the engine.
Of course, there's no way to fully explore the limits of the Hellcat's performance on public roads, which is where track apps come in handy.
Beneath the SRT button is one marked Launch. It brings up the Hellcat's Launch Control menu, which is designed to help a driver make faster 0-60 and 0-100 runs. On a Hellcat equipped with a stick shift, you can set the RPM that the engine will hold before launch.
Make sure the car is on a level surface, put the car in first gear, hold down the clutch, and floor the accelerator. Until you let the clutch out, the engine speed won't go past the limit set on the Launch Control screen. Lift your left foot and keep your right foot planted, however, and you'll be treated to the kind of acceleration that usually only drag racers get to experience.
Other apps help you improve your own skills and monitor the car's performance. There's a lap timer that can display data from multiple runs, and an in-dash display that lets drivers practice their reaction time so they don't get embarrassed by high-torque Teslas at a drag strip.
On the 8.4-inch Uconnect screen, you'll find a timer, g-force meter, and gauges for everything from oil and coolant temperatures to boost pressure and air fuel ratio. You can also choose to display any one of those gauges in the full-color LCD gauge cluster between the speedometer and tachometer.
If you subscribe to Chrysler's Uconnect system, the car will even save your data so you can compare 0-60 runs, quarter miles, and stopping distances. Think of it like a FitBit for the track.
Other performance cars have similar setups. The Chevrolet Corvette, for instance, offers a Performance Data Recorder that not only saves lap times, but also records audio and video. Software interprets the car's telemetry data to show drivers what they did well, and what needs improvement.
Sometimes, connectivity in a car can feel like a gimmick. But the Hellcat is one of the most powerful—and least forgiving—cars on the road. Apps that monitor speed and 0-60 times aren't just for bragging rights—they're there to help you safely enjoy a car that has more to offer than most drivers can handle.
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