The “Last Call” is here for vehicles like the infamous family of Hellcats from Dodge, and as a last effort to celebrate a variety of Dodge SRT vehicles, the brand expands upon unique special editions with some paying homage to the heritage of fuel-burning American muscle cars. This week I get to celebrate with the brand by driving the Dodge Challenger Black Ghost, which is a modern-day interpretation of the original 1970 Challenger Black Ghost that, in essence, haunted the streets of Detroit as a dominating street racing machine in the 70s. Today that Black Ghost returns as part of Dodge’s “Last Call” special edition vehicles as these muscle cars see their final year of production, leading us into a brave new world of electric vehicles (EVs) and, hopefully, muscle car EVs.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye have already been a success in carrying an aged platform to be one of the most powerful vehicles you can buy from your local dealership. We’ve covered Hellcat vehicles extensively and give the proper praise to Dodge for keeping such a vehicle relevant for so many years making subtle but meaningful changes to keep it somewhat fresh. That freshness is about to get its last hurrah as vehicles like this Dodge Challenger Black Ghost, and the Charger, get their very “Last Call” sometime this year. For now, we can celebrate all 807 glorious horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque from this rear-wheel-drive muscle car that inspires a multitude of enthusiasts from all walks of life.
I will greatly miss driving Hellcat vehicles like this one for review. Though, I may snag one for my garage when the time is right just to hold onto something legendary in itself, a vehicle that will be a classic in due time that will always put a huge smile on your face after lighting up those rear tires in plumes of smoke.
For the fundamentals of what the new Challenger Black Ghost offers, you’ll be happy to find that its 6.2-liter Supercharged V8 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission is a modern marvel yet resides in an antiquated platform that’s been adorned with some historic value. The Black Ghost special edition is actually tricky to decipher as far as what engine is under the hood because it has “Challenger” badges in place of where the typical Hellcat Redeye badges would go. The only identifying characteristics are the darkened SRT Hellcat emblem on the smallish front grille and the double-nostril hood. Otherwise, onlookers who commonly look for that side-fender Hellcat badge are left confused until they hear that Supercharger whine.
Somehow Dodge has managed to pull off something magical in the way that this vehicle having the Redeye engine is a big lofty boat on the road but inspires fun if you are brave enough to plant the throttle to the floor. In doing so, there’s a lot to handle, upwards of 4,500 pounds. The four squared-up 305-series 20-inch tires still aren’t enough to keep traction (all-season tires don’t help the matter, either), and the widebody proportions only do so much for allowing the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye to claw at the pavement when making sharp turns or hitting track curves. You’re going to want to make sure your insurance policies are paid up!
Practicing your driving skills and brushing up on finding the optimal tire temperature and a clean paved surface will pay off in getting in runs up to 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds. Otherwise, you’re left with inconsistent launches no matter how many times you use the nearly useless launch control system coupled with disabling the just-as-useless traction control and stability control systems. Again, you’ll want to be assured that you have good insurance unless you really know what you’re doing – because the driving nannies don’t do much to tame all 807 horsepower!
Apart from the menacing fear of driving a Challenger Hellcat Redeye, there’s an enjoyment of Dodge paying homage to older special edition muscle cars, such as, in this case, the 1970 Challenger Black Ghost, which comes to a price of $99,315 for this special edition. The fact of the matter is, these vehicles aren’t going to get any cheaper as they are, literally, a “Last Call” to American muscle car greatness and a ticket to having tire-burning fun while burning fuel at about 10 miles to the gallon. If you’re able, make sure you don’t miss out on the many special edition “Last Call” vehicles from Dodge before they become collectors’ items while you drive in your shiny new EV in the near future.
If you want to know more about the Dodge Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcats, be sure to check out my past in-depth reviews by clicking here!