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The New Nissan Maxima is Here!! Pomoco Nissan Hampton

29 May
May 29, 2015


If you were paying attention, you might have noticed our full-sized sedan stalwart, the Maxima, was missing from the 2015 model line-up. In fact, it’s only the first time in its 38 year run that it hasn’t been in production. The fully-redesigned 2016 model brings the Maxima back with a bang, having launched production in Smyrna, Tennessee last month. Combining looks and a bevy of features in a package priced for the value-conscious, it could well redefine full-size sedans as we look at them.

A Brand-New Exterior

The outside of the 2016 Maxima might look a little familiar – it is a molded and sculpted version of the Sport Sedan Compact that Nissan introduced in 2014. The design has been modified to provide a bit more appeal to the everyday driver, and a little more staying power, than the concept design. It has flowing lines, a sporty rear end, and a wide stance that all provide an air of aggression. This look can be modified through a handful of available accessories, ranging from unique tires to splash guards, plus nine available colors.

Keeping a Good Thing Going

One area that has only been changed slightly is what drives the 2016 Maxima. A 3.5-liter engine is still under the hood, albeit with 10 more horsepower than before. Coupled with a better-balanced Xtronic CVT and trimming off 82 pounds from the previous model, the 2016 version will achieve 22 miles per gallon in the city, and up to 30 on the highway – great numbers for a full-size powered by a V6. Better usage of high-strength steel provides a vehicle that is more rigid and more confident, while the suspension (damper struts in the front, multilinks in the rear) improves handling and response.

Towing the Line of Luxury

The interior has designed to be simple but more luxurious. Gone are a variety of options packages or stand-alone options – instead, the 2016 Maxima opts for five different trim levels. These aren’t lightweights, either. Even the base S trim will come with a standard navigation system, dual touch screens, push button start, dual-zone automatic climate control and power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats. These are options that aren’t even standard on many vehicles touting the “luxury” tag, but are on all versions of the 2016 Maxima.


Moving up in trim levels, the Maxima receives leather upholstery and heated seats at the SV level, along with front and rear parking sensors. The SL will get an 11-speaker Bose stereo and a dual-panel sunroof, along with a suite of safety features including adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection. The SR gets sport tuning and unique interior upholstery and trim, for a sporty feel. At the top of the line-up is the Platinum, with driver memory, Nissan’s Around View Monitor, mahogany finish accents, and a driver-drowsiness monitor.

High Expectations


The redesigned 2016 Maxima brings a level of excitement that is well beyond what is expected from a non-luxury full-size sedan. In fact, due to early indications from dealers and prospective customers, Nissan has already increased their production schedule 8% for the year. Come on in to Pomoco Nissan and See it Today!


First Drive: Jeep Renegade

28 Apr

By Christian Seabaugh

MotorTrend 2015

At first glance, there’s no vehicle in the Jeep lineup more fitting of the Renegade name than the 2015 Jeep Renegade. A Renegade is defined by my Google machine as “a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles.” As the first Jeep to be built outside of North America (in an Axis country, at that!) the Italian Renegade may appear to be traitorous to some of the brand’s diehard fan base, but as a first drive of the new baby Jeep proves, the Renegade’s still got all the hardware needed to appeal to both the Jeep faithful and those just looking for a rugged little ride.

The Renegade may be built from the ground up in Melfi, Italy, on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new small-wide 4×4 architecture, but it still oozes Jeep DNA. About the same wheelbase, height, length, and width as the legendary XJ Cherokee, the new Renegade ticks all the boxes Jeep buyers look for. With its design inspired by the current Wrangler, the original Willys MB, and military jerry cans, the Renegade sports a refreshingly familiar boxy shape complete with Jeep design cues that are both obvious — like its seven-slot grille and searchlight-sized headlights — and subtle, like its drooping door line and X-shaped taillamps.

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Front Three Quarters 03

Though the Renegade will share its platform and assembly line with the Fiat 500X, Jeep engineers are keen to point out that they’re the ones who did all the heavy lifting on the Renegade here in the U.S. With Jeep’s legendary off-road abilities in mind, Jeep engineers spent as much time developing the Renegade on the trails in Moab, Utah, as it did on suburban roads outside its Chelsea Proving Grounds. With the competing demands of both hardcore off-roading and urban commuting in mind, the Renegade’s unibody platform is made up of more high-strength steel than any other Jeep in the lineup. According to Jeep, this not only reduces chassis flex on the trail but also makes the Renegade a better drive out on the roads.

Powering the new baby Jeep is a range of familiar engines. Standard is FCA’s 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo I-4, which makes the same 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque in the Renegade as it does in the Dodge Dart. Unlike its corporate sibling, the Renegade’s MultiAir engine comes in both front- and all-wheel drive, and, much to our delight, with a six-speed manual the only available transmission. Available across the board and standard on higher-trim Renegade Limited and Trailhawk models is the Jeep Cherokee’s 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4, good for 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of twist, mated to Chrysler’s new nine-speed automatic. Two all-wheel-drive systems are available on the Renegade: Jeep Active Drive, which routes power to the rear wheels via a quick-connecting power transfer unit, and the Renegade Trailhawk’s Jeep Active Drive Low, which uses a unique final drive ratio that allows first gear to double as a low-range with a 20:1 ratio.

2015 Jeep Renegade Limited Front Three Quarter
  • 2015 Jeep Renegade Limited Front Three Quarter Static2015 Jeep Renegade Limited Rear End In Motion 022015 Jeep Renegade Limited Rear Three Quarter

From a packaging perspective, the Renegade is a pretty neat little Jeep. The cabin is bigger than expected, the materials all feel high-quality, and all the controls in the center stack, including the all-wheel-drive lock and Selec-Terrain switches, are within easy reach. The seats are comfortable up front and in back, and the 40/20/40 rear seats are plenty roomy for adult passengers. The only odd thing about the Renegade’s cabin is the view out front — that accentuated Jeep greenhouse means its designers were forced to push the windshield cowl far forward, with the driver and passengers sitting far back in the cabin. That said, that big greenhouse gives the Renegade a massive amount of headroom — room that only grows if the removable My Sky roof panels are spec’d. Those roof panels stow under the floor in the Renegade’s 18.5 cubic inch cargo area.

The two powertrains, sampled in a near-base Renegade Sport and near-loaded Renegade Limited, are both solid. With so few automakers offering up manual-equipped all-wheel-drive vehicles these days, I started my drive off behind the wheel of a Renegade Sport before Jeep wised up, realized no one would buy one, and took it away. Aptly named, the Renegade Sport may serve as the base model in the Renegade range, but it certainly doesn’t feel it. The MultiAir isn’t fast, but it does feel quick thanks to the short first through third gears. The shifter is pretty slick too, encouraging the driver to perform quick shifts. The powertrain actively encourages the driver to ring the little Jeep out, and the Renegade mostly delivers, with solid brakes and slow but good steering, so long as you’re not driving on tight switchback canyon roads.While less sporty in character, the Renegade Limited’s 2.4-liter engine and nine-speed auto combination is an equally engaging powertrain. Destined to be the volume engine and transmission, the little four-banger offers up good power and performance roughly equal to the MultiAir. The nine-speed transmission continues to improve as Chrysler shoehorns it into more of its models, and the Renegade is its best application yet, with the transmission rattling off quick, smart shifts. The rest of the Renegade Limited package delivers too, with a quiet, upscale cabin, and a compliant, well-sorted ride.

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Front Three Quarters Red 03
  • 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Front Three Quarters Red 022015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Rear End In Motion Red2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Rear Three Quarters Red

While the new Renegade performs well on the road, the burning question most have about the littlest Jeep is how it handles the rough stuff. Pretty well, as it turns out.Sitting on top of the Renegade lineup is the new Renegade Trailhawk. As is the case on its Cherokee big brother, the Renegade Trailhawk is more than just a badge and trim job. The Renegade Trailhawk gets some unique hardware, including Jeep’s Active Drive Low all-wheel-drive system, an 0.8-inch suspension lift (for 8.7 inches of ground clearance), Goodyear Wrangler tires on 17-inch wheels, and front and rear tow hooks rated for twice the Renegade’s weight. Thanks to the suspension lift and off-road tires, the Renegade Trailhawk is able to boast better approach, breakover, and departure angles than its Cherokee Trailhawk big brother. On the software front, the Renegade Trailhawk gets Rock mode on the Selec-Terrain system, what Jeep calls an electronic “Brake Lock Differential,” and a 4-Low mode, which uses the nine-speed’s 4.71 first gear ratio combined with the Trailhawk’s 4.33 final drive ratio to effectively take the place of a traditional two-speed transfer case. With first gear functioning as a low-range on the Trailhawk, the Renegade’s programmed for second-gear starts, though Jeep says the transmission will kick down into first if the throttle is depressed more than 80 percent.While many might be understandably apprehensive about the Renegade’s Trail Rated off-road chops, a short, technical off-road course proves that the Renegade is infused with plenty of the DNA that’s made the brand a legend off-road. The course included dirt roads, simulated river beds, steep rock climbs and descents, and frame-twisting trenches. Per my guide’s recommendations, I went through the course the first time in Rock mode, which minimizes the slip allowed by the electronic differentials and locks the Renegade in 4-Low. Not that I expected Jeep to set up a course the Renegade wouldn’t be able to handle, but the Trailhawk proved shockingly capable. The first set of soccer-ball-sized rocks was no problem, nor was the incredibly steep, rocky hill following it — that hill even saw the Renegade pick up its inside front and rear tires as I navigated the course. Those obstacles were soon followed by frame-punishing dirt troughs that the Renegade took to like a billy goat, its underside seeing plenty of sunlight as it pushed and dragged itself through. Instilled with confidence after another go, I spent my last go-around of the course switching back and forth between the Selec-Terrain’s modes. While Rock proved most suitable for the particular course, Sand was fun over some of the loose dirt on the course, allowing the Renegade to hang its tail out a bit like a rally car.

2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude Front End 02
  • 2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude Front End2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude Front End In Motion2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude Rear Three Quarter

While plenty capable off the beaten path, it is possible to get the little Jeep stuck. I found this out rather embarrassingly with the Trailhawk in Auto mode by slowly climbing a steep, gravely hill the tires dug themselves into. Embarrassing, sure, but not the end of the world — locking on all-wheel drive and getting a little running start got the Renegade to the top of the hill, no problem.With the Nissan Juke, Kia Soul, Chevrolet Trax, and Mini Countryman targeted as its chief rivals, the Jeep Renegade is priced to compete. Prices start at $18,990 for a base front-drive Renegade Sport and top out at $26,990 for a Renegade Trailhawk. The volume Renegade Latitude will start at $22,990 for a front-drive MultiAir model, and the luxury-aimed Renegade Limited will go for $25,790 for a front-drive Tigershark model. The as-tested price for our Renegade trio ranged from $24,075 for our lightly optioned Renegade Sport 4×4, $33,335 for our loaded Renegade Trailhawk, and $34,175 for our fully optioned Renegade Limited 4×4.The Renegade may have a name and origin befitting of an alleged traitor, but if our encounter with the new little Jeep has proven anything, it’s that the Renegade still manages to stay true to Jeep’s roots while appealing to a wider audience. With the Renegade, Jeep has managed to make a world vehicle equally appealing to those doing the mall crawl as those who rock crawl. With the Renegade already off to a flying start in parts of Europe, Jeep is hoping the Renegade will be welcomed with open arms in its home market and is Available NOW at Pomoco in Hampton and Newport News

2015 Jeep Renegade
BASE PRICE $18,990-$26,990
PRICE AS-TESTED $24,075 (Sport); $33,335 (Trailhawk); $34,175 (Limited)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 5 pass, 4-door crossover
ENGINE 1.4L/160-hp/184-lb-ft turbo I-4; 2.4L/180-hp/175-lb-ft I-4
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual; 9-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT 3,000-3,600 lb (est)
WHEELBASE 101.2 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 166.6 x 79.6 x 66.5 in
0-60 MPH 8.0-8.6 sec (MT est)

2016 Nissan Titan: Ready To Shake Up the Light-Duty Truck World

9 Apr

2016 Nissan Titan XD: Ready to Shake Up the Light-Duty Truck World

Cummins diesel power, extrastrength capability.

Nissan’s first Titan light-duty pickup was a solid truck when it debuted in 2003, with an annual sales peak of about 87,000 units and a respectable second-place finish in a five-truck comparison test in 2007. But it was left to languish relatively unchanged, and today it’s a dinosaur compared with the ever-evolving stalwarts of the segment, such as the new aluminum-bodied Ford F-150. That vast disparity shrinks considerably at this year’s Detroit auto show, though, with Nissan unveiling the first of its all-new 2016 Titan light-duty pickups.

Better Late Than Never

The second-gen Titan’s gestation has been lengthy. It was originally supposed to debut a few years ago as a rebadged Ram 1500 in a failed tie-up with pre-Fiat Chrysler, but the cancellation of that program sent Nissan back to the drawing board. It eventually engineered the new truck both in house and in the U.S., with the big draw being a deal with Cummins to utilize its new 5.0-liter V-8 turbo-diesel—an all-new configuration for the light-duty segment that Nissan will exploit in pitching its truck against the big sellers from the Detroit Three.

To that end, the 2016 Titan at first will be available only in extra strength guise when it goes on sale later this year, with the Cummins V-8 diesel being the sole engine offering. Nissan will roll out additional gasoline V-8 and V-6 options soon after the Xd’s late-summer launch, as well as a conventional, lighter-duty version, but details on those haven’t been released yet. The diesel will be paired with an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission and will be exclusive to the Xd model, which features a stronger, fully boxed frame and sturdier underpinnings than the lesser Titan. The Xd will debut as a four-door crew cab with a 151.6-inch wheelbase, a 6.5-foot cargo bed, and either two- or four-wheel drive. All new Titans share some front-end componentry with Nissan’s NV-series of full-size vans.

With the Xd, Nissan is targeting those in pickup limbo, which is to say those buyers for whom a monstrous heavy-duty rig is too much truck but a standard light-duty pickup is not quite enough. Nissan believes that up to 150,000 buyers per year find themselves in that position. Indeed, with a payload rating in excess of 2000 and max towing of 12,000 pounds, as well as a gross-vehicle-weight rating greater than 8500 pounds—which technically makes it a heavy-duty trucki—the Titan Xd fits the bill as a tweener. Call it a light-duty-plus pickup.

The Guts

Despite its unusual positioning, the 2016 Titan Xd otherwise is relatively conventional, with an all-steel body, a coil-sprung independent front suspension, and a solid rear axle supported by leaf springs. Wheel sizes range from 17 to 20 inches, the four-wheel disc brakes measure at least 14 inches across, and an optional electronic-locking rear differential will be available for off-road excursions. Surprisingly, however, there’s no automatic four-wheel-drive setting for the transfer case, a handy feature that many light-duty trucks have had for years.

The Titan Xd is as large as other pickups, measuring up to 78.7 inches tall, 80.6 inches wide, and 242.9 inches long. Eventually, there will be three bed lengths to go with the standard, extended, and crew cabs. Given the truck’s steel construction and heavy, diesel engine, curb weights should be about three tons for a crew-cab four-by-four.

While the Cummins diesel’s 310 horsepower at 3200 rpm is weak compared with a modern gas V-8’s output, its 555 lb-ft of torque at 1600 revs positively shames every other light-duty truck engine on the market. Along with the requisite direct fuel injection and urea-injection exhaust after-treatment, the diesel also features a compacted-graphite-iron block, aluminum heads, dual overhead camshafts, and Cummins’s new M2 two-stage turbocharger system for combating turbo lag. EPA ratings have yet to be determined, but expect relatively frugal fuel economy similar to the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s (22 to 23 mpg combined), as well as stout straight-line performance.

2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

25 Mar

First Drive Review

Dodge knows a good thing when it has it. And we’d argue that its 485-hp 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 is a very good thing. Dodge is making that good thing more widely available by putting it into another model—the Charger R/T, this time—and lowering the price of entry. Power to the proletariat!

“We’re now putting the 6.4 at a price point people can afford,” said Dodge exec Bob Broderdorf. “Not everyone can get a Hellcat. Not everyone can get an SRT. But we want to make sure that that performance element is there. And I think Scat Pack does that.”

Fewer Frills

We would agree. As with its coupe counterpart, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack, the Charger R/T Scat Pack is just as heavy on the power as the SRT 392 model but goes a bit lighter on the frills. Some of the SRT 392’s amenities, like leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a power-adjustable steering column, and HID headlamps, move to the options list. The SRT’s computer-adjustable Bilstein dampers give way to fixed-rate Bilsteins, and the front brake rotors shrink slightly to 14.2 inches with four-piston Brembo grabbers, down from the 15.4-inch/six-piston Brembos on the SRT 392. The 20-inch wheels change in design but not in diameter, although tire width drops considerably from the SRT’s 275/40 Pirelli P Zeros to 245/45 Goodyear RS-A all-seasons, with Goodyear F1 Supercar rubber optional. Styling is virtually identical, however, save for the Scat Pack’s black rear spoiler and Scat Pack grille badge.

Inside, the SRT’s rad, flat-bottom steering wheel is replaced by a so-called “performance” flat-ish-bottom wheel, which has a thick, contoured rim and perforated leather, and the gray fabric seats feature the Scat Pack bee on the front seatbacks. A unique Scat Pack “splash screen” comes on at startup in the instrument cluster, too. Best of all, the Dodge Performance Pages—and launch control—are present and accounted for. Hoping for lower weight with the (slightly) lower-rent decor? Sorry, but Dodge claims that the 4400-pound Scat Pack is only 10 pounds lighter than the SRT 392.

Light ’Em Up

Still, like the SRT 392, the Scat Pack feels spectacularly quick. From a stoplight, it remains oh-so-easy to light up the optional three-season Goodyears, skinny as they are with only 245 mm of width, though the rear end hooks up quite quickly with a more judicious application of the gas pedal. Throttle response sharpens and the transmission shifts quicken with a touch of the “Sport” button on the lower dash, and manual shifts are summoned with a tug on the zinc paddles. All the while, the Scat Pack shrieks with the same banshee wail we’ve come to love from anything wearing the SRT badge.

Dodge claims that 60 mph is attainable in the mid-to-high four-second range, with the quarter-mile mark passing in the mid-12s. We think that’s a bit coy. Oh yeah, and Dodge claims that the Charger Scat Pack can top out at 175 mph.

While our first drive was only about 40 miles, much of it took place along California’s entertaining Ortega Highway (Highway 74). From that limited exposure, we learned that the car stays quite flat around bends and holds on in corners until understeer takes over at the limit (blame the heavy Hemi for a 54/46-percent weight distribution, per Chrysler’s scales). The ride is firm, but we observed none of the brittleness of the Challenger Scat Pack models we’ve sampled before. Clearly, the sedan’s longer wheelbase has its benefits.

As in the SRT 392, steering feel is one of the Scat Pack’s best attributes, while the formidable torque makes it easy to break the rear wheels loose for some steer-with-the-rear shenanigans, although the long wheelbase ensures that the back end doesn’t come around too fast, making it eminently catchable in corners. Braking, too, is impressive, with excellent pedal feel and powerful response—Dodge claims that braking to a stop from 60 mph happens in less than 120 feet, truly impressive for a car of this size.

While the Scat Pack’s $40,990 starting price is $7390 less than the $48,380 SRT 392, adding things like a sunroof, leather upholstery, and ventilated seats can close the price gap such that you might consider springing for the grippier, better-equipped SRT 392 if you want stuff like adjustable shocks and supercar-grade brakes. Keep it simple, however, and the Charger Scat Pack is a screaming performance deal that is plenty entertaining itself.

New Review 2016 Nissan Maxima Release, Price and Model

17 Mar

Repressed from:

New Review 2016 Nissan Maxima Release and Model. Get full information about 2016 Nissan Maxima with price, specs, future and release date for UK, US, Canada and Australia.

New Review 2016 Nissan Maxima Release Side View Model

First of all, the brand new 2016 Nissan Maxima will be larger and will look sportier because of the changes in design. The whole body will have more sharp lines and will have better aerodynamics. On the front end, there will be a V-shaped grille, headlamps which will be in a shape of boomerang and redesigned fender, so it will have a bit aggressive appearance. The rear end will be refreshed with horizontal and wrap-around taillights and dual exhaust pipes which will be large and will emphasize the sporty look of the vehicle. Its appearance will surely intrigue many fans and potential buyers.

2016 Nissan Maxima Design of Interior

It is not yet revealed how will 2016 Nissan Maxima look inside, but we can assume that it will have a nice and stylish interior as always. The cabin will be made of quality materials and will look very warm and snug. The seats will be upholstered in leather and very comfortable. It will be modern as well with many features included such as dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, steering wheel with audio controls, audio system, power front seats, navigation system etc. but we assume that there will be plenty more infotainment and safety features.

Probably many people wonder what type of engine will be placed under the hood of 2016 Nissan Maxima. The one option will be a 3.5-liter V6 engine which will be able to produce 300 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. It will be paired with a SVT (continuously-variable transmission) and the power will be sent to front wheels. There is also a rumor that it will appear as a hybrid version, as to say a 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor.

Release Date, Price and Competitors

We are hoping to see new 2016 Nissan Maxima on the market in the end of 2015 or in early 2016. As for its price, it is expected to be around $33,000 which is slightly more expensive from the current model. The main competitors will be Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala.

Report: Next Jeep Wrangler Keeps Solid Axles, Loses Folding Windshield – Car and Driver Reports..

28 Feb

2014 Moab Easter Jeep® Safari - Jeep Wrangler Level Red<img class=”alignnone size-large wp-image-188508″ src=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Wrangler-626×417.jpg” alt=”2014 Moab Easter Jeep® Safari – Jeep Wrangler Level Red” width=”626″ height=”417″ />

Among the key design features of the Jeep Wrangler, we’d say the solid-axle suspension is several orders of magnitude more important than the cool-but-perhaps-not-critical folding windshield. To that end, a recent Automotive News report should be mostly good news for the Jeep faithful.

The report states that the Wrangler will keep its solid front and rear axles when the vehicle is redesigned for the 2017 model year. That will have true believers breathing a sigh of relief, as Jeep had already ditched the solid axles in its other models.

The Grand Cherokee switched to an independent front suspension with the 2005 redesign and lost its solid rear axle with the arrival of the current generation, for 2011. Meanwhile, Jeep dropped the solid front axle in the transition from the XJ Cherokee to the Liberty and then went to a four-wheel independent setup when the Liberty was replaced with the new Cherokee.

Although the solid axles stay on, weight savings and improved fuel economy are major goals for the next-generation Wrangler—not a bad idea, given the current model’s 17/21 mpg EPA ratings. To that end, the new Jeep will get an aluminum body; a smaller, turbocharged engine in place of the current 3.6-liter V-6; and an upgrade to an eight-speed automatic.

The good news on the axle front is tempered, however, by word that the Wrangler will lose its upright, folding windshield in favor of a fixed unit with greater rake. While it’s true that many Jeep owners probably don’t even know that their windshield can be folded down—or wouldn’t know how to do it—the folded-windshield driving experience is one of the things that makes the Wrangler unique. It’s up there with the removable doors and the manual convertible top—both of which had better stick around.


29 Jan

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Dodge’s super Charger has come for your soul.

From the February 2015 issue of Car and Driver

Unless the Energy Independence and Security Act is repealed, 50-mpg cars will be thick on the street in a decade. If you find this notion depressing, take solace in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat’s ability to binge-drink premium fuel. Stomp the throttle as if you own a private pipeline and this hellion can burn 1.5 gallons of high test in a minute flat. Texans with the pumps and space to indulge such ­pleasures can suck this car’s tank dry in the time it takes to read this article.

Other Hellcat stats are equally astonishing. This is the first American sedan armed with 707 horsepower [see “The Maddest Motor” on page 2]. The one German four-door capable of beating it to 60 mph, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S, costs nearly three times the Charger’s $64,990 base price and falls shy of the Dodge’s claimed 204-mph top speed. Massive Brembo brakes and 20-inch Pirelli gumballs make this family hauler much more than a straight-line special.

With pump prices dipping below three bucks a gallon and the Saudis discounting crude to thwart the fracking tide, the super Charger arrives at an opportune moment. Designed in Michigan, assembled in Canada, and powered by a Mexican-made engine, it’s a poster child for NAFTA pragmatism. Also thank Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne, who waved a figurative arrivederci to Ferrari with one hand while welcoming the Challenger and Charger Hellcats to the menagerie with the other.

No rocket science was needed to spank GM and Ford. The pushrod V-8 wearing one of the engine world’s most revered nameplates first appeared in 2003 Ram pickups—albeit minus the actual hemispherical combustion chambers of yore. The Charger’s chassis parts were handed down by Mercedes a decade ago during the ill-fated DaimlerChrysler lash-up. This year’s nicely rendered face lift replaces the stale gun-sight grille with seven air-inlet and -outlet ports. Sinister HID headlamps, growling cat badges, and a manly pair of pipes are also new.

Children cower at the sound of a blown Hemi starting; at full throttle, its supercharger whine and exhaust howl carry for miles. During cruising, the mighty engine murmurs barely audible bass notes, its tailpipes restricted by computer-controlled butterfly valves.

Pity the Hellcat’s 275/40ZR-20 tires futilely attempting to put down more than 8000 pound-feet of torque (650 pound-feet at 4800 rpm from the engine multiplied by 12.34 through the driveline in first gear). Pirelli’s stock rises a notch every time a driver lights the smoke grenades under the rear fenders. Thanks to a hair-trigger throttle, remedial right-foot reprogramming is essential to in-town puttering. Mashing the gas to pass will snap the traction at 40 mph on dry pavement, or as high as 80 in the wet. In the hands of a driver lacking respect for what was once known as war emergency power, the Charger SRT Hellcat is the loosest of all road cannons.

But in capable hands, it will thrill and amaze. To wring Chevy Corvette Z06 acceleration from this 4592-pound sedan, we disabled the stability controls, warmed the rear tires, set the transmission to track mode, placed the dampers in sport mode, and squeezed the throttle pedal with due deliberation. The tires bite in 1.6 seconds, the time it takes to reach 30 mph, then yowl again during the 1-2 shift at 40. What sounds like shredding titanium is the engine protesting the momentary power reductions accompanying each upshift. What feels like teleportation flings you to 60 in 3.4 seconds and to 128 mph in the quarter-mile. From rest to 170, the hairy Hemi posts an average 0.34 g of acceleration. Pleasure receptors think they’ve been treated to great sex, a tasty sirloin, and Dutch chocolate ice cream—all at once.

Exemplary braking and cornering performance are also part of the deal. Massive Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers grabbing two-piece rotors halt this car from 70 mph in 153 feet—averaging 1.07 g’s—with virtually no fade. Pirelli P Zero rubber stuck the Hellcat to our skidpad at 0.94 g. While there’s some understeer at the limit, that’s really no issue when the lightest brush of the accelerator will step and hold the tail out as wide as you like for as long as you deem appropriate.

The steering is heavy during parking maneuvers, but, once you’re rolling, the extra effort falls in sync with the quick ratio. Actual nuances of road feel are transmitted through a rim wrapped in perforated leather. The ride quality is remarkably poised for a 200-mph muscle car. Front buckets trimmed with suede are supportive but could use stiffer side bolsters to resist this car’s prodigious cornering loads. Rear passenger heads ride beneath the dot-patterned shading of the back glass, but there’s adequate room and comfort for two, plus a slim child.

Top: In darkness it creeps, enfolding the night in its black wings. Or something. We’ve been listening to a lot of old Tom Waits records.

Tap the SRT button on the dash and the 8.4-inch touch screen becomes the ultimate gaming console. Track, sport, custom, and default modes let you tune engine output, damper effectiveness, the traction helpers, and transmission and shifter activity. In Race Options, you can configure launch control and an upshift light. Valet mode allows you to relinquish the car to a parking attendant without fear of catastrophe. In Performance Pages, you can read instantaneous power, torque, and boost, or conduct a full road test by recording acceleration times, braking distances, and peak g’s in all four directions. There’s even an eco mode complete with a green-leaf graphic. This is for comic relief.

What’s most remarkable about this Charger is that it’s the complete package—daily commuting comfort combined with berserk special-occasion performance, all at a realistic price. Further, it cracks the door to subsequent products, such as a supercharged Viper and a Jeep Grand Chero­kee Hellcat. Until GM and Ford chime in with their 700-hp sedans, or until the fuel sippers arrive—whichever comes first—the Charger SRT Hellcat is the uncontested king of American four-door performance.

The Maddest Motor

Chrysler’s director of advanced and SRT powertrain, Chris Cowland, led the team that twisted the 6.2-liter V-8 Hellcat’s tail to 707 horsepower, a record for an American production engine.

The Chrysler crew began by upgrading practically all the major components of the Hemi. The cast-iron, deep-skirt block has thickened webs and enlarged cooling passages. The forged steel crankshaft is induction-hardened. Forged steel rods have cracked bearing caps for extra-secure clamping. Each forged aluminum piston must withstand more than 10 tons of combustion force. The wrist pins have a diamond-like coating to minimize friction.

While the heat-treated aluminum heads lack true hemispherical combustion chambers, they do have twin spark plugs and large, canted valves. There’s one 2.14-inch intake valve and one 1.65-inch exhaust valve per cylinder, the latter with sodium-filled stems to dispense heat.

IHI Turbo America manufactures the Lysholm-type twin-screw supercharger, capable of blowing more than 1000 cubic feet of air per minute. Maximum boost is 11.6 psi, and an electric pump circulates 12 gallons of coolant through the intercoolers and two front-mounted heat exchangers every minute. Half-inch fuel lines slake the Hellcat’s thirst for premium. At peak power, eight injectors shower the intake ports with a pint of gas every seven seconds.

There’s minimal ruckus from the blower during idle and cruise modes. Legging the throttle cues a subtle whine accenting a louder intake thrum and a more insistent exhaust beat. No artificial noise is contributed by the audio system.

The Hellcat V-8 is teamed with an upgraded ZF 8HP90 eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Thanks to the wide ratio spreads and two overdrive gears, the Charger SRT achieves 22 mpg in EPA highway tests. A 13-mpg score in city tests drags the combined figure down to 16 mpg, resulting in a $1700 gas-guzzler penalty. Hey, what did you expect? It’s a Hellcat, not a miracle worker.

Hemi History

Chrysler’s World War II projects include an experimental V-16 and production 18-cylinder radials for aircraft, plus a V-12 tank engine, all with hemispherical combustion chambers.

The first FirePower Hemi V-8 for Chryslers and Chrysler Imperials produces 180 horsepower from 331 cubic inches, topping Cadillac’s V-8 by 20 horsepower and Oldsmobile’s by 45.

Briggs Cunningham’s Hemi-powered C4-R sports car finishes fourth at Le Mans.

The Chrysler 300 with two 4-barrel carburetors and 300 horsepower is the first muscle car.

Don Garlits installs a junkyard Hemi in his slingshot dragster.

Garlits tops 170 mph with his Swamp Rat Hemi dragster.

A second-generation race Hemi V-8 powers Plymouths to the three podium spots at the Daytona 500. Garlits breaks through 200 mph in the quarter-mile.

The Summers brothers’ Goldenrod, powered by four Hemis, runs 409 mph at Bonneville.

A street Hemi rated at 425 horsepower becomes an option in Dodge Coronets and Chargers and Plymouth Belvederes and Satellites.

Richard Petty wins 10 Grand National races in a row with Hemi power.

Don Sherman’s father sponsors a Hemi Road Runner college-graduation present, further mangling an already twisted psyche.

Buddy Baker runs more than 200 mph on a closed course with his Dodge Charger Daytona stock car.

Garlits shifts his Hemi rearward after surviving a blown-clutch incident in his front-engined dragster.

The street Hemi disappears from Dodge and Plymouth option lists, a casualty of rising insurance costs and the arrival of lead-free gasoline.

Al Teague sets a 410-mph land speed record at Bonneville with one Hemi V-8 and two-wheel drive.

Kenny Bernstein, in a Hemi-powered Top Fuel dragster, is the first over 300 mph in the quarter-mile.

A 5.7-liter “Hemi” V-8 arrives with splayed valves, dual spark plugs, and conventional combustion chambers for Dodge Ram pickups. Use of this engine spreads through Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep lineups. Output eventually climbs from 345 horses to 470 in a 6.4-liter (391 cubic inch) version introduced for 2011 models.

Comedian Jon Reep squanders his 15 minutes of fame as Dodge’s “That thing got a Hemi?” pitchman.

Marcus Braun of Vancouver, British Columbia, wins Chrysler’s “What Can You Hemi?” contest with a Hemi-V-8–powered trike inspired by a Big Wheel.

The Mexican-made 707-hp supercharged and intercooled 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8 is the most potent engine ever offered in an American car.

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