Gearheads Opting For Automatic Hellcat Challenger over Manual? What The Hell?!?
Updated June 19, 2015
That’s not true Gearhead form, is it? I mean, all self-respecting petrolheads opt for a manual gearbox over an automatic shifter any and every day of the week, don’t they?
That’s no longer the case.
When the Challenger Hellcat was first introduced in October 2014, the manual version sold like gangbusters. Every hot-blooded American male who bought the 707 horsepower superbeast thought they could shift the car better than the 8-speed automatic transmission can. With their chests puffed out and noses in the air, these macho-men lined up time and time again to get their asses kicked by the “girlie” version of the Hellcat.
Early predictions from the developers at Fiat Chrysler were the automatic tranny outselling the manual almost two to one. Out the gate, the opposite was true, but by late 2015 model year, they proved they knew what they were talking about.
The automatic transmission is in such high demand right now that the numbers are now skewed. Most dealers only have the manual version sitting on their lot. A production run of only manual trannies is being offered simply because there is an overstock of manual gearboxes in the plant. Final 2015 model year tallies should put the numbers around 55 percent auto to 45 manual.
The 8 speed automatic trans is geared in a way that can virtually never be imitated by human input. The shifts are lightning-fast and the gearing is so aggressive that it outperforms the 6 speed manual in almost all instances, except maybe professional racing drivers.
If you’re looking for one kick-ass high-powered machine, check out the manual Hellcat at your local dealer. You probably won’t find an automatic one in stock.
Categories: Production Cars