It’s that time of year again. The time of year when Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brings together a whole bunch of car enthusiasts and journalists to take a look at their upcoming 2018 models. There wasn’t a whole lot new to show everyone, as there wasn’t a single brand new or totally redesigned chassis on offer, but there were plenty of iterative improvements and new models that give everyone what they truly love: more power.
Those lucky enough to attend were given the honor of being able to drive cars with some truly monstrous horsepower around the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and not a single one crashed! That would have been embarrassing.
What wasn't embarrassing were the cars, which in true Chrysler fashion, have more muscle than almost anything on the road. Here’s a short list of what Fiat-Chrysler plans to bring to a dealer near you in 2018.
2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody
We begin with what is sure to become the epitome of the modern muscle car, the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody, so called because it’s both wider and more hellacious than the standard Hellcat of yesteryear. The Widebody Hellcat takes much of its design from the earlier Demon but toned down slightly so people don’t start whispering about how incredibly dangerous a car it is.
The Hellcat is powered by an enormous 6.2 naturally aspirated Hemi engine that produces 707-horsepower and 650 lbs of torque. That engine propels the 4400 lb car to a top speed of 195 mph and can complete a quarter mile drag in just under 11 seconds. Best of all, it’ll be available in manual transmission. $71,495 MSRP.
For a slightly more subdued muscle car experience, Fiat-Chrysler offers the 2018 Charger, which is basically like the 2017 model but with a new grille, fender badges, wheels, and optional colored brake calipers.
Not tickling your fancy enough? How about the new Super Track Pak option available on the 3.6L V6 Charger SXT Plus. With the Super Track Pak, you get Bilstein shocks, a performance hood with air induction, sculpted side sills, and Dodge Performance Pages which gives neat insight into your driving habits, like 0-60 times, g-forces, and lap times. You know, in case you want to know just how much of a maniac you are. It also bumps the horsepower from its V6 engine up to a cool 300.
Despite gas remaining stubbornly expensive (at least where we live) people still insist on stepping out of their 4-door sedans and into 5-door SUVs. Chrysler's team of SRT engineers got their hands on the Durango last February and released a beastly 475 hp version that still manages to run a drag race at under 12 seconds.
The Durango R/T model will share much of the aggressive styling, but on the inside, it’ll be a little more subdued. But only a little, as it’ll still have a 360-horsepower 5.7L Hemi engine along with a new cold-air intake for plenty of performance. Even the GT model has a 295-horsepower 3.6L V6, so no matter what your price range you’ll still have plenty of power.
2018 Jeep Trackhawk
When you say Jeep, you’re probably thinking of a classic, boxy off-road vehicle that can get around just about anywhere, although speed was never the priority. SRT engineers decided to change all that by taking a Grand Cherokee and sticking Hellcat’s 707-horsepower engine into it. The results have been described as “very satisfying”.
How satisfying? Zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds, quarter mile time of 11.6 seconds, top speed of 180 mph, and the knowledge you can tow a small building if you really needed to. Some say this car is utter lunacy. We call it high art.
America remains a nation of truck drivers, and so no media event would be complete without a look at what’s new for Dodge’s iconic brand of large-haul pickups.
Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot to see here. There is a new trim option available called the Ram Limited Tungsten package, which replaces all those fancy, gleaming chrome doodads and replaces them with a more cold and penetrative tungsten. You know, in case your truck ever needs to bust open some tank armor or something. It’ll be available on 1500, 2500, and 3500 models later this year, along with a leather interior to get all muddy.
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There are also some new paint jobs available, including the Blue Streak for the Rebel, which sounds just rebellious enough to warrant a mention.