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​The Hellcat Uses The Viper's Transmission, Because It Needs To

Illustration for article titled ​The Hellcat Uses The Vipers Transmission, Because It Needs To

Yes, yes. Seven-hundred-seven horsepower, 650 lb-ft of torque. It's all very impressive. But just as impressive is how that power gets to the rear wheels. Goldberg and I drove the manual version out to the track, and the six-speed felt oddly familiar. There's a reason for that.


SRT's engineers pilfered the parts bin for the manual, using the Viper's Tremec gearbox and fitting it with a new bell housing. It's slick and smooth and has just the right amount of notchiness. And the clutch is stupidly light for something with this much power.

The 8-speed automatic is just as solid and makes a pretty compelling case for itself. No matter which Challenger you get, the ZF auto box comes along for the ride. But the Hellcat gets a new set of gears that are both wider and stronger, lengthening the housing. But honestly, if you're buying something with apocalyptic power, you want a manly manual to act as the hand of God.

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If they've got an auto for the Hellcat, I wonder if they'll throw it in the Viper to increase sales? Don't want to see that car go away.