Why Is Ford Messing Around With a Dodge Charger Hellcat in Secret?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

When it comes to American muscle cars, Ford’s Mustang is one of the best around. There are other well-performing sports cars on the market as well. The Mustang often competes with the likes of the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger. 

Ford is generating whispers among fans who are curious as to what the company is up to. According to The Drive, this automaker purchased a Dodge Charger, and it’s being put to the test. Why would Ford want to analyze the Charger?

Ford and Dodge are major rivals in the muscle car and racing categories

With the Shelby GT500, Ford offers stiff competition for Dodge’s Challenger. Both are powerhouse vehicles that offer premium acceleration times on the track. The GT500 clocks a swift 3.3 seconds for a 0 to 60 mph run, using its 5.2-liter supercharged V8 motor paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This engine generates a whopping 760 hp along with 625 lb-ft of torque. Ford’s Mustang Mach-E model is its all-electric SUV model that’s also powerful and fast, despite an electric powertrain.

The Challenger’s motor offers 797 hp with 707 lb-ft of torque if you choose the Hellcat Redeye model, which is tweaked for optimal power. On a 0 to 60 mph run, the Challenger clocks a 3.4 second time, only a .1 second slower than the Mustang. Dodge’s other well-performing vehicle is the Charger, which produces 707 hp from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine. 

Ford competes with Dodge on many tracks. When it comes to racing, both automakers had gone neck and neck with each other, except for one time when the Dodge Charger Daytona race car got banned from the track for being too much of a powerhouse. No vehicle could match what the Charger was offering then. 

Ford caught with a Dodge Charger Hellcat

Ford buying a competitor’s vehicle is not a new concept. Benchmarking is when a company buys a rival’s items to compare them with its own products to see why it’s so popular among consumers. What’s unusual is that Ford already has some pretty decent offerings, but the Charger is a bit outside of Ford’s market. 

Automakers buy cars that are from segments it already has vehicles in. These manufacturers will analyze the competition for motor specs, performance, or styling aspects, like aerodynamics. The model it’s reviewing is a four-door sedan, which Ford doesn’t actually have. The Fusion was the last vehicle they produced in that category, but it’s no longer in the lineup.

Ford surprisingly discontinued most of its sedan lineup in 2020. The automaker has the Mustang and the GT, but both of those are in different market segments. Why would Ford want to check out Dodge’s Charger model?

Why is Ford so interested in checking out the Dodge Charger Hellcat?

Ford’s muscle car has a 5.0-liter V8, which produces 460 hp. The rival model this automaker was caught testing out has a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 motor. The Charger produces a whopping 707 hp with its Hellcat model. 

Since Ford already has the Shelby GT generating 760 hp, this would not be what Ford wants to scrutinize. The reason could likely be the layout of the sedan version. Ford’s Mustang is typically a two-door car, except for the Mach E model, but that’s considered an electric SUV. Does this mean that there’s a four-door sedan in the works for the Mustang?

Car and Driver reported that there could be a four-door sedan coming down the pipes for Ford’s Mustang, and that was when the rumors were flying in 2018. There hasn’t been much information about it since then, but it’s likely that Ford is secretly designing a four-door concept, and they chose the popular Charger as the inspiration. 

It will be interesting to see what Ford does with their knowledge from their competitor’s vehicle. Will it be the sedan we’ve heard about before? We’ll have to wait and see. 

RELATED: 2021 Ford Mustang vs. Dodge Challenger: A Matter of Preference

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