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MAX MUSCLE: Dodge’s hellacious Charger SRT Hellcat is simply stupendous

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The 1960s and early ’70s are often considered the high point of American muscle cars. But right now we’re living in the true halcyon era of high performance.

Think back to those nostalgic cars of yore – GTOs, Mustangs. Cougars, Camaros, Chevelles, Barracudas, Challengers, Torinos … the list goes on and on.

They were all fast – in a straight line. But when it came to cornering, they mostly all would come a cropper.

But modern muscle cars not only run faster, often much faster, than the cars from the good old days, but also possess sports-car handling abilities earlier rides could only dream of.

Consider Dodge’s menacing Charger SRT Hellcat. Dodge says it boasts a slew of straight-line bragging rights:

  • Quickest sedan ever with a face-melting quarter-mile time of 11.0 seconds.
  • Fastest sedan ever with a blistering 204-mph top track speed.
  • Most powerful sedan ever, with a prodigious 707 horsepower.

It also delivers track-worthy handling prowess that needs to be experienced to be believed. And it’s all in a full-size family sedan.

It can carve through corners like crazy, with a programmable drive mode that allows the driver to tailor the car’s handling attributes from highway cruising to attacking a track.

Yet it can still calmly ferry the family around town, assuming the driver can resist stomping on the accelerator.

Do that, though, and the monster Hemi motor shoves the SRT forward with Atlas rocket-like thrust, the V-8’s bellow out of beer can-sized exhausts pipes accompanied by the supercharger’s whine. Whew!

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (shown in Ruby Red Alcantara suedThe big car’s cabin is quite comfortable, with its torso-hugging sport buckets up front. A slew of performance displays can be called up on the color infoscreen centered in the dash. Red-glow gauges add to the car’s sporty demeanor.

Dodge greatly underestimated the demand for the Hellcat, so it plans to boost production for the 2016 version.

So is the Charger SRT Hellcat just a bit ridiculous? Absolutely. Environmentally correct? Hardly. Fun? Oh, yeah. Way fun.