Richard Hammond of Top Gear and Grand Tour fame is no stranger to cars with tons of horsepower, but usually, he’s testing them out on a track. And occasionally, he experiences how safe the car is, if you know what I mean. So, in a new video for Drivetribe, Hammond ditches his usual daily for a chance to commute in a 707 horsepower Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat, to see what the true character of the beast is when you’re using it as a regular car, if you can call it that. With the red key in hand, he jumps into the sinister machine and sets off.
The first thing Hammond notices when he gets into the vehicle is how big it is, which is the usual gripe that the Grand Tour boys have with American cars. But this is likely just a predisposed bias against American cars, despite the fact that Hammond is the most American of the three Brits.
Later on in the video, Hammond says that the Hellcat is like a BMW M5 with an American flavor, and coincidentally, the 2020 BMW M5 is only 5.5 inches shorter and 3.4 inches narrower than the wide-bodied Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. That’s not a huge difference, really.
Almost immediately, Hammond starts criticizing the interior quality as if this is a Range Rover. Nobody ever looked at a 700-horsepower sedan that sells for well under $100,000 and thought “wow, I’ll bet the interior is super nice”, so we’re just going to go ahead and ignore these comments (the seats do look a bit like big toffees, we’ll give him that). C’mon Hammond, America is about the power:dollar ratio.
Eventually, he comes to the correct conclusion that the only important part of the car is the engine. Although the excitement of a 700-horsepower sedan has worn off slightly, now that we have vehicles like the Hellcat Redeye and the Demon, it’s still incredible to most people that you can get this kind of performance without spending an arm and a leg.
You don’t get 707 horsepower with a BMW M5 either, and you’ll be spending almost double the cost for that downgrade. And that’s before we start factoring in the 797 horsepower Charger Hellcat Redeye into the equation, or the Stage II kit from Direct Connection.
So what is the conclusion? Well, the Charger is the best of both worlds, it’s a regular vehicle when it needs to be but can easily turn on the fun taps if desired.
In true Hammond fashion, he says he could learn to like the Hellcat, but we’re sure he’s already started looking for examples for sale. After all, we already know he was a big fan of the Dodge Viper.
Unfortunately, at the end of the video, Hammond mentions that the car would be receiving a wrap over its gorgeous black paint job, which will definitely make it stand out in public.