An anonymous Chrysler source has given us some very interesting information: they've dyno'd a Hellcat at all the way up to an insane 825 HP, though they're having trouble meeting emissions requirements at the advertised 707 HP. Also, some very interesting supercharger news for small cars.
Our nameless insider tells us that the 707 HP number is not just conservative, but he's not really sure where it came from in the first place. It's a nice palindromic number with some sevens bookending it, so I wouldn't be surprised if the marketing team just picked it. Other dyno tests seem to peg the output around 720 HP, and our source confirms that, at the wheels, the average buyer should likely expect something in the 630 HP range. Which should be plenty.
There's some really interesting technical details here as well: the source claims Chrysler has been testing the Hellcat engine with a Mazda MAF (mass air flow) sensor and a wideband O2 sensor, neither of which have been used by Chrysler. Chrysler uses a MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor to figure out the density of air coming into the engine, but it appears that the Hellcat is being used as a testbed for future Chrysler use of MAF-based systems.
The testing may be related to the difficulties our source reported regarding getting the engine to meet emissions requirements while putting out 707 HP. Our source said there were "extreme issues" meeting the emission requirements, so it should be interesting to see how this gets solved when the first customer cars are finally delivered.
The source also described testing of superchargers on very small, economy-car engines as a way to get overall fleet MPGs up by making powerful, small, efficient engines. The basic Multiair engine used in the Cherokee, Dart, Fiat 500 and more has been around a while, and started out with a mere 67 HP. It now makes 120 HP, 160 HP with a turbo, and even more with tuning. Supercharging an engine like the MultiAir should provide some really interesting results, and would be a really novel thing to see on an entry-level car.
Also revealed is that the SRT name is not going away, at least not permanently. Having the SRT division as a low-volume performance car nameplate separate from Dodge or Chrysler can help with some loopholes for overall fleet MPG and emission requirements. So don't give up on the SRT name just yet, and don't listen to (other) rumors.
Lots of interesting stuff and the source appears to be in a position where they'd know some of this information. There's some interesting things going on. We contacted Chrysler for comment, but all they had to say was
Nothing further from this end…thanks.
So I guess we'll just have to wait and see if our source is correct.