A: It’s the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, of course. The ultimate head-turning midlife crisis sedan that safely seats almost any family of 5. Well, okay, maybe the updated Tesla Model S with “Ludicrous” mode is in the discussion, but who wants silent when you can let the whole downtown know you are passing through with the rumble of the massive V8? Almost as distinctive as the original Hellcat!
I didn’t have time to pile in more carseats, as I was too busy revving this finely crafted machine to 115 mph on the track. But don’t let that scare you like it did me! The back seat is pretty nice for carseats; it’s wide, has 3 full pairs of LATCH and no pesky seatbelt/LATCH crossover issues. So, go ahead and put that rigid LATCH seat in the center, rear seat! Sure there are deep bolsters on the rear seat cushion and seat back that can interfere with some wide carseats, but they will come in handy when you are pulling some G’s around hairpin turns with your teenagers in the back seat! No worries in letting them drive, either. Just hand them the black keyfob that limits output to a mere 500 horsepower. Or enable “Valet” mode secured by your secret PIN code and your young driver will have to suffer with significant performance limitations and an inability to override traction or stability control;-)
But even with the red keyfob, there’s no reason to worry about the 707 horsepower or 650 lb-ft. of torque from the 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. This sedan stops on a dime with Brembo 15.4″ front and 13.8″ rear brakes, while Bilstein-tuned handling keeps it firmly on the road. Of course it has plenty of airbags, a backup camera, bluetooth hands-free, lane keep assist, blindspot/cross-traffic alerts and a frontal collision warning/mitigation system. Plus, you get a driving school course included for your $65,000 (includes destination charge and gas guzzler fee). Don’t let the sticker shock daunt you, there’s also the very capable SRT 392 or the R/T Scat Pack with optional Technology Group for safe, suburban driving around $45,000
Sure, these are all RWD vehicles, so if you must have AWD with your midlife crisis, then consider the Grand Cherokee SRT. This one was surprisingly agile and fast on the track as well. Not only does it do 0-60 in 4.8 seconds, a top speed of 160mph and brake from 60-0 in 116 feet, but it tows 7200 lbs.! This was a great day at the track with some awesome vehicles. If you buy an SRT, I can only imagine the included track experience class is equally fun, so be sure to sign up.
And as for the Hellcat, did I mention the 0-60 time of around 3.5 seconds and the 11 second quarter-mile* capability?
*No children were subjected to excessive acceleration in the making of this blog