A nail-biting race between two top-tier performance cars.

The 707-horsepower 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat isn’t the brand’s top-tier performance vehicle. That’s a title claimed by the 840-hp Demon. However, the Hellcat isn’t a slouch. It’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine screams with 650 pound-feet of torque on tap. While it’s powerful, it’s also large, with a curb weight of 4,448 pounds. It has plenty of power to crush a majority of contenders at the drag strip, but this race against a 2018 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is closer than one would expect. 

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The Camaro ZL1 – a Camaro with the powerplant from a Corvette Z06 – makes less power and has a lower curb weight. The Camaro’s borrowed supercharged 6.2-liter V8 produces 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. However, it tips the scales at 3,944 pounds. These specs aren’t enough to give the Camaro the win; however, it does make for a close race. 

Both the Camaro and Challenger get a clean start off the line. The video shows the Challenger getting a half-a-car-length lead, but it doesn't pull away. The Dodge has a small advantage – it’s using drag radials while the Camaro is racing on street tires. It’s hard to guess that if both used street tires, the Camaro may have squeaked out a win. The drag radials didn’t hinder the Dodge’s success though. 

The Hellcat crossed the quarter-mile finish line in 11.33 seconds at 122.76 miles per hour. The Camaro finished nipping at its bumper in 11.75 seconds at 118.93 mph. Less than half a second separated the two American performance cars. Different tires could have made the race closer or tipped the scales in favor of the Camaro. 

Dodge has gotten a lot out of the Challenger platform since reintroducing the nameplate in 2008. It’s gone from a hefty house cat to a lean, mean cheetah in less than 10 years with little change to the platform’s bones. While the Camaro would likely win a rematch using drag radials, the fact the Hellcat can keep up with a Camaro ZL1 is remarkable. You can have your allegiance to whichever car you think is better, but in the end, we all win when they race. 

Source: Wheels via YouTube