Cars.com takes two of the most unusual competitors and puts them head-to-head on the track: Dodge Challenger Hellcat and BMW M4. Even though they both have two doors, four seats and are roughly in the $60,000-70,000 starting price range too, the two cars can’t be more different from another. The Challenger shines on straight line performance and it’s substantially heavier than the M4 Coupe – 4,449-pound curb weight vs. M4’s 3,585 pounds.
“In a straight line, the supercharged V-8 has no trouble overcoming the Challenger’s substantial heft, but all that mass has nowhere to hide when you toss the car into a corner,” says Cars.com Senior Editor Mike Hanley. “When you also consider steering that’s not as tight as the three luxury coupes, this is the area where the Challenger feels least like a sports car.”
It uses a 707-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine compared to M4’s 3.0 liter and 425 horsepower.
In the head-to-heat test, the Hellcat’s 0 to 60 mph time was 3.47 seconds to the M4’s fastest 3.97 seconds, while the quarter-mile time of 11.34 seconds at 125.57 mph is faster than the M4’s 12.05 seconds at 118.35 mph.
The braking test shows a 116.99-foot stopping distance for the Hellcat, shorter than M4’s 122.85 feet.
“The Challenger Hellcat’s huge brakes held up well in our morning sessions on Autobahn’s tight road course,” Cars.com says. “The afternoon, however, wasn’t so kind to the stoppers as the brake pedal started losing confidence and firmness after repeated laps. It may come as no surprise, however, that the BMW’s optional $8,150 carbon-ceramic brakes on the lightweight M4 didn’t miss a beat the entire day of track use. The BMW’s brakes allowed that car to dig deeper into the braking zone than anything else, and consistently lap after lap.”
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If you need more space, the Challenger’s bigger frame offers 16.2 cubic feet trunk versus M4’s 11 cubit feet.
The Challenger Hellcat is less practical at the pump. It has a $1,700 gas-guzzler tax thanks to its EPA-estimated 13/22/16 mpg city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings. BMW M4 is rated at 23.45 mpg.
So it’s the Hellcat a viable option to the M4?
You’re not going to find another straight-line thrill ride like the Challenger Hellcat for $65,870, which was $8,580 less than the as-tested price of the ATS-V, and $20,330 less than the BMW M4. The Challenger Hellcat isn’t as well-rounded as an M4 or ATS-V, but it’s also not completely out of place where you’d expect it to be on a tight road course. Will people cross-shop an M4 with a Challenger Hellcat? Not likely, but Wiesenfelder makes a good point.