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533kW Texan style Challenger

2008-09-08 07:21
Despite a slew of pending lawsuits from Dodge Vipe

Despite a slew of pending lawsuits from Dodge Viper owners, John Hennessey has focussed his attention on the other superfast Dodge in the guise of a turbocharged Challenger good for 305km/h.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Dodge
Model Challenger SRT 700
Engine 7-litre, turbocharged V8
Power 533kW @ 5 200r/min
Torque 1016Nm @ 4 000r/min
Zero To Hundred 3.5 seconds
Top Speed 305km/h
Notorious Texan entrepreneur and Dodge muscle car tuner, John Hennessey, has taken the Challenger back to its charging roots.

Although the affable Texan has in recent years seen a spate of claims from irate customers who have had cars delivered way past contractual dates, and with substandard power claims to boot, Hennessey continues unperturbed from his facility outside Houston.

Like or loath him, Hennessey's conversions have an unmistakeable muscle car feel to them. The latest project is a 7-litre, turbocharged incarnation of the Dodge Challenger muscle car.

Cubic inches and forced induction

Hennessey decided the Challenger was styled down to a tee but lacked the crushing quarter-mile performance an all-American muscle car should have. In an attempt to redress this, a 7-litre, turbocharged engine was dropped into the capacious Challenger engine bay.

Producing 533kW and 1016Nm necessitates a thorough internal strengthening of most components and subsequently the Hennessey SRT 700 features forged aluminium pistons, steel con-rods and a special ‘426 crank.

Beyond the mechanical strengthening the engine benefits form a thoroughly revised ECU management system, high-flow cylinder heads feeding a polished intake manifold and a three-into-one stainless steel exhaust system. Ensuring the forced induction temperatures are kept in check is an upgraded thermostat (calibrated to 180 degrees) and ram-air induction system housing a K&N filter.

Plenty quick

Hennessey’s SRT 700 runs the quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds on its way to a 305km/h top speed; which is impressive considering the Challenger shape hardly represents the last word in aerodynamics.

With so much performance available Hennessey SRT 700 customers have the option to upgrade handling and traction dynamics.

Traction can be optimised with an available Quaife limited-slip differential – simply essential with 1016Nm going through the rear-wheels – whilst a KW engineered height and rebound adjustable coil-over suspension upgrade is sure to provide hours of meaningless entertainment trackside.

Hennessey is keen to keep his most outrageous Challenger creation as exclusive as possible and only 25 SRT 700s will be built for delivery this year.

With a strong possibility his major cash spinner – Dodge’s Viper – may go out of production, Hennessey is hedging his bets squarely on the other fast Dodge, no longer just a Challenger.


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