Here’s the story of how a couple of punk American drifters got to roast the tires of a brand new Charger Hellcat, thanks to one German journalist and not the explicit consent of Dodge itself.

Everything starts with a little race track in New Jersey: Raceway Park in Englishtown. You’ve seen the track before here on Jalopnik and on AutoBlog, along with Club Loose. They’re the tatted up, flame-spitting, tire shredding kids who run there and train the best drifters in the country.

Not only have you seen these guys, but so has Robin Hornig. What’s important about Robin Hornig is that he works for the German car magazine AutoBild, that he was in the area with a film crew for the New York Auto Show and a few driving segments, and that he had a Dodge Charger Hellcat on loan from ChryslerCorp for the trip.

[Photo Credit: Jonathan Boulton]

Robin knew that Club Loose was having their first event of the 2015 season over the weekend and came over to check things out. He figured he would just get some shots of the Hellcat with the road course in the background. You can see him with his camera guy above doing just that.

Then Club Loose stepped in.

[Photo Credit: Jonathan Boulton]

“Robin and his film guy asked to get some video and audio with the track in the background,” Club Loose media guy Tim Connolly explained to me. “When I swooped in as the right contact, I flat out asked, can we drift it?”

Things got better from there.

Guys were like, sure, as long as we had competent driver. I asked [NAME REDACTED] first, since he was nearby. Then [OTHER NAME REDACTED] strolled by and was like, “I wanna drive it” lol. Was kind of smooth sailing with the Auto Bild gents. I worked out hand signals with [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] to make sure the Germans were set with video and audio before the guys gave it the gas. The whole thing took maybe 15 minutes of track time and then the AutoBild guys did their things around the track for filming.

I have redacted the names of the two drivers at the request of Robin (“let’s keep it mysterious how the Hellcat get on the track and who drove it,” he told me), but I can say that they’re some of the most skilled drifters in the country.

[Photo Credit: Jonathan Boulton]

Also, one of them has the best helmet visors in the world, if you look close and read it right.

Here’s the final kicker — Dodge had no idea this was going on.

Robin and I managed to talk over the phone, and we talked mostly about how the guys over at Englishtown really are the best. Then he gave me a few choice words about the car and his side of the story.

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Robin explained that in Germany, testing cars like this is totally ordinary, but things may be a little different in the States.

Normally they know we do something like burnouts and drifting. I don’t know how they will act in the USA.

Of course, it can’t really be a surprise to Dodge. What else is going to happen when you loan out a Hellcat?

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I for one, am glad Robin got to see the car in action. He pointed out that the suspension is actually quite good. It’s not too hard, not too soft. It works on the highway and it’s still good enough for the track. Here’s the car pitching in to the hairpin so you can see what he means.

[Photo Credit: Tim Connolly]

And you know, there’s more than enough power from the 707 HP supercharged V8, but anyone can see that.

[Photo Credit: Tim Connolly]

But there’s something more about the car that even a German, a guy from the country that invented the fast family sedan, can appreciate.

You can’t compare this to something like the M5. For [the Hellcat’s] money, you will never get such a funny car. Ever.

No car in Germany compares to it that is so much fun.

Now we just need to get a Hellcat over to Germany and the unrestricted Autobahn to see about that 204 MPH top speed.

[Photo Credit: Tim Connolly]

Dodge, want to help out with that one? Feel free to give me a call.

[Photo Credit: Tim Connolly]

All Photo Credits: Jonathan Boulton (topshot and otherwise where noted) and Tim Connolly (where noted).

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Kevin Johnsrud for helping this story together. Thanks to Jonathan Boulton for the pictures and Tim Connolly for the pictures and the words. Thanks to Robin Hornig for his support on this story. Check out his article (“Bad Has Never Been So Good”) on AutoBild with pictures and wonderful descriptions RIGHT HERE. Seriously, it’s excellent.

And many thanks to Club Loose, the Bloodmasters, and Raceway Park for being generally awesome and very much The Greatest Place On Earth.


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.