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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fiat Almost Killed the Hellcat Project


2015 Dodge Challenger SRT photo

Can you believe it? The automotive poster children for 2014 would have never happened if it were up to big brother Fiat. According to Automotive News, if it weren’t for constant nagging lobbying by the SRT team, neither the Challenger nor Charger Hellcat would be here today.

Here’s how it went. In 2011, while the SRT team was in development of the 6.2-liter supercharged V8, Fiat execs split up engineers and told them to work on something else. In deciding the strategy for Chrysler, Fiat felt that the Hellcat project just wasn’t worth the cost – and it was shelved.

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT HEMI

It took four months of lobbying, but eventually, Fiat execs decided to allow engineers to continue the Hellcat project. I bet they’re pretty happy with that decision.

Already, the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat is raking in some impressive sales numbers, and the Charger Hellcat shouldn’t be too far behind. Thank heavens Fiat execs had a little bit of sense in them.