By Don Armstrong
Not since the late 1960’s has there been more high-horsepower, factory hot rods in dealer showrooms. This month Bay Area Houston Magazine and In Wheel Time examine two powerhouses that will shred a set of tires at the tap of the throttle.
Chevrolet SS Sedan
Grab one while you still can, these are the last days of the Chevrolet SS, an Australian-born bad boy that snuck under the fence and we didn’t even know it.
There is no 4-door Camaro but that’s kind of what we have here. The SS is based on the Holden Commodore, a car that is raced in the Supercars Championship.
The SS is powered by the previous generation 6.2-liter V-8 Corvette engine, boasting 415-horsepower and 415-lb. ft. of torque. When compared to the Dodge Charger Hellcat, it can’t hold a candle to its 707-HP but there is a $17,000 bump in price, so the SS may be the bigger bargain.
The SS’s exterior does show its age. Brought to market in 2013, it really hasn’t seen the updates its competitors have. Despite its roomy interior and comfortable seating, you won’t find the latest GM infotainment system, it too is the prior design.
All-in-all, the Chevrolet SS is still a competitor in the muscle car segment and is an exciting drive no matter its short-comings.
Dodge Charger Hellcat
When we first heard about the Dodge Charger Hellcat, we couldn’t believe that an American production car would ever leave the factory with an emission-legal 707-horsepower V-8. They have but are being snapped up as quickly as they are built – every single one spoken for.
The Charger itself really hasn’t changed much in the last few years. It’s still a large 4-door sedan that is strikingly good looking even in its base trim. Add the SRT trim package along with the Hellcat engine and you have a roadgoing monster that could easily play among many in the supercar genre’.
For those of us that came of age during the first muscle car era in the late 1960’s, an automatic transmission would be sacrilegious but in the case of the Hellcat, there is still plenty to do without manually rowing through the gears. Like driving.
Within the Uconnect infotainment system is a button labeled SRT. By touching this icon, you’ll open an app that allows access to settings that will help keep you in control of this beast.
Starts at $65,945.