The GT350’s V8 makes 526 horsepower to the Charger Hellcat’s 707.

Would you consider this a fair race? The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat are wildly different beasts. The Dearborn sweetheart is a track-hungry monster designed for optimal track-day performance. The creature from Auburn Hills is 707 horsepower of pure pissed-off American muscle. A drag race between these two is almost criminal. 

The GT350’s 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 produces 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. That’s a pittance compared to the Charger SRT Hellcat, which sports a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Yes, the Charger weighs more – about 800 pounds – but little can compensate for sheer power. 

There’s a difference in performance, and the results down the drag strip are predictable. However, it’s a closer race than you think. It looks like the Charger jumed the starting line before the tree turns green but not by much. The Mustang crossed the quarter-mile finish line in 12.27 seconds running 117.38 miles per hour. The Charger was quicker, crossing the finish line in 11.72 seconds at 121.72 miles per hour. 

The results aren’t surprising. The Charger boasts more power – a lot more, actually – and the Mustang is better suited for the race track than the drag strip. This is an example of how performance cars can differ. In one corner you have these insanely powerful supercars that do one thing well – go fast. Then in the other corner, you have performance cars designed to deliver the quickest lap at the track. 

These differences need two different philosophies. The Charger Hellcat can lap the track, but indeed the Mustang would run circles around it. The Charger would need to go on a diet before it could compete with the Mustang. And the track doesn’t require insane amounts of power. A track car is designed to use the power it has efficiently. Too much oomph can overpower the tires coming out of a turn and destabilize an otherwise clean exit. Not every car needs 800 horsepower – unless you want to beat the Charger Hellcat. 

Source: Wheels via YouTube

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