O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree, how speedy are thy branches.
The holidays are here, and folks that celebrate Christmas need to get their tree up quickly because the big day is coming very soon. In a new video, Hennessey Performance shows the fastest way it knows to haul an evergreen home. The company mounts some temporary roof rails to a new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody and straps a tree to the muscle car. The supercharged machine then heads out onto Continental Tires' test track in Texas to see how a conifer affects the car's top speed.
It takes a lot of track for the Challenger to get up to speed, but muscle car eventually reaches 174 miles per hour (280 kph). If you keep a close eye, the speedometer actually ticks over to 175 mph for a split second, too. Afterward, Hennessey treats its Christmas tree to some smoke by doing an extended burnout.
Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody occupies a spot just below the full-on SRT Demon. It uses the same 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 707 horsepower (527 kilowatts) and 650 pound-feet (881 Newton-meters) of torque as the standard Hellcat. However, the wider fenders add 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters) to the Challenger, which allows for the fitment of 20-inch 305/35 Pirelli P-Zero tires, whereas the rubber at the rear is usually 275 millimeters.
The boost in grip shaves a tenth of a second off the Challenger's sprint to 60 mph (96 kilometers per hour), and the quarter-mile requires just 10.9 seconds – 0.3 seconds quicker than narrow-body version. Plus, grip on the skid pad grows to 0.97g instead of 0.93g with the skinnier rubber.
The $7,300 widebody package makes a noticeable difference behind the wheel, too. In his First Drive, Bradley Iger wrote: "Though the suspension is unchanged, the wider contact patch allows one to brake later, carry more speed through the corners, and get back on the throttle with more confidence that the car won’t end up sideways at each corner exit."