The Dodge Challenger is a respected horsepower brute. It is easy to group it with other American muscle cars and forget that its horsepower numbers are astounding. For example, people don’t realize that the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody has more horsepower than one of today’s respected Italian exotic cars, the Ferrari 812 Superfast.
A Dodge Challenger Hellcat ride
Back in July 2017, I jumped at the opportunity to get in for a Dodge Challenger Hellcat ride. Of course, tires screamed for mercy, and donuts were had (on a closed course). It was a total thrill ride! But, the story does not begin there. It begins a few weeks prior.
You see, I already knew I was going to have the opportunity to ride in the Hellcat Challenger. So, I was giddy and couldn’t stop smiling about it. Naturally, people asked me what was the big deal about the car. They already knew it was a powerful American muscle car. What they didn’t know, and I explained, was that their perspective was off. So, I explained that the car had more horsepower than some of its contemporaries from Italy and a much lower price point. Denial was the expected reaction, and I got it. So, I looked up the figures for them on the internet and showed them. In March of 2019, MotorTrend would publish the same observation about the horsepower differential between the two models.
Some things have change while some have not.
Here we are now in 2021. Many things have changed. For example, the most powerful Dodge Challenger right now is the Hellcat Redeye. But, many things have stayed the same. For example, the Dodge still has more power than a Ferrari. To be specific, the American nameplate has more horsepower than the Italian 2020 Ferrari 812 Superfast.
To make sure everybody understands, I went to the websites again for Dodge and for Ferrari and pulled these figures directly from there. The Dodge equipped with the Hellcat Redeye powerplant pumps out 797 hp. The Ferrari 812 Superfast pumps out 789 hp (or 800 cv). For someone that looks closely at horsepower output, that difference is huge considering that the Dodge has an MSRP starting at $78,695. The Ferrari price is not listed on their website, but a quick search online points out figures north of $300,000. So, the Ferrari costs more and delivers less… well, sort of.
The Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye was built for straight lines
However, horsepower and price point are about the only things where the American muscle car will outperform a Ferrari. You see, the Challenger Hellcat Redeye was built for the dragstrip. That means it can go in a straight line. The Ferrari, however, is also made to handle corners and is lighter overall. So, the Ferrari can outperform the Dodge in almost every other way. For example, the Dodge does 0-60 mph sprints in 3.4 seconds. The Ferrari does the same sprint in 2.9 seconds.
Consideration for the difference between the two vehicles also has to be given to the powerplants themselves. The Dodge has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, while the Ferrari is a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12. Yeah, all that horsepower for the Ferrari comes naturally aspirated. Nowadays, that is becoming increasingly rare with the rising popularity of turbos and superchargers.
Here’s the thing. Dodge dealers are plentiful. Ferrari, not so much. So, the Dodge is more accessible to most of the consumers in the United States. Let’s be honest though, a person with money burning a hole in their wallet will probably go with a Ferrari before a Dodge. Still, it is nice to know that an American brand can create a product compared to an exotic Italian car. The last time that happened was with Shelby and Ford in the 1960s and again a decade or two ago.