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Henry Kissinger once famously said "power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." This may have been Kissinger's most lucid moment. The statement is certainly a glass full of lucidity in the face of combustion run amok under the $62,495 Dodge Challenger Hellcat's hood.
One could easily get hung up on statistics here. Peak horsepower of 707 (527kW). Peak torque of 650 lb-ft (881Nm). A supercharger that, by itself, displaces greater swept volume (2.4L) than most of the world's automotive engines. And 110bar—nearly 1,600psi—of combustion pressure in each cylinder all paint a picture not so much of internal combustion, but of internal warfare.
It all started with a rather innocuous conversation between then-head of Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology division, Ralph Gilles, and Hellcat Chief Engineer Chris Cowland.