But what really surprises us is the idea that the Camaro could hit 0-60 in just .2 second (3.9 vs. 3.7) less than the Mopar and outhandle the Dodge in lateral acceleration (.99g average vs. .94). The Camaro tips the scales at 4,051 lbs. and the Dodge adds about another 400. Do the math and one might conclude that the Challenger is downright porky (almost up there with a Mercedes S-Class). But does it need to be?
In a recent piece comparing the current Challenger with a 1970 model, Hemmings noted that the earlier version weighed in at just 3,402 lbs. Yes, we know all about the addition of air conditioning, airbags, backup cameras and other assorted technological gizmos that have made cars heavier, but we just wonder whether Chrysler could do a better job of engineering the Challenger to the point where it just isn't a muscle car, but . . . ummm . . . a sports car. Maybe someone at Dodge should be consulting the folks at Subaru, Toyota and Mazda, all of whom have managed to turn out superb lighter-weight handlers in the form of the BRZ, FR-S and MX-5. (Imagine stuffing the Hellcat powerplant into a Miata?)
We have driven the ZL1 and are still waiting our turn for the Hellcat. The Camaro is one refined ride and Chevy has done extraordinary things with the chassis to make the ZL1 a real handler without taking away any of the Bad Boy attributes. The question is whether modern muscle car buyers want the Chevy's combination of power and handling or will settle for the old-school, straight-line rocketry of the Hellcat. Only the sales figures will tell the true story.