How are some of the fastest cars tested?

With every automaker taking advantage of modern computers, everything about a car can be easily and accurately predicted using technology before a car prototype is ever built. The information gained includes data such as the fuel mileage, crash test rating and top speed. With this data automaker can determine what changes they want to make in order to achieve the desired performance numbers, or find out if the car is even worth trying to run a prototype build. This technology has certainly replaced the old drawing boards of the past upon which many of the greatest and worst cars of yesteryear were designed.

Testing cars on the road is difficult to accomplish. This is due to the safety precautions that must be taken into account when reaching these absurdly high speeds. Another factor on U. S. test tracks is the inability to reach over 190 mph due to the tire scrub that is inflicted by the steeply banked corners of the tracks. These factors simply make it very difficult to reach the speeds desired to see what can actually be done in any particular car.

At SRT, there was a very different thought to actual testing of a car. The SRT team wanted to really find out what the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat would do before advertising the top speed to the world. Of course the computers could predict this speed with no problems whatsoever, but the SRT team was stubborn and wanted to actually find out for themselves. With this in mind, they headed out to the7.5-mile banked oval track at the Transportation Research Center near Columbus, Ohio.

The track at TRC offers winds in order to test the cars going into and out of the wind during a test run and help to gauge a real performance number. The SRT team drove the car for 10.2 miles and 183 seconds during the test. The Hellcat was completely stock except for the necessary items that TRC requires which includes a bolt-in roll bar, a racing harness and a fire-extinguisher system. In order to gain the most accurate test speed three radar guns, the GPS LapTimer and VBOX equipment were all used to record the speed of this amazing and highly powerful car at its top speed.

The result was an average of 204 mph in the two-way test allowing the SRT team to be able to boast about the top speed average they achieved in their Hellcat. Even though there is tire scrub to deal with at the TRC track, the overall length of the track offered the ability for the car to be driven a high speeds and achieve the top speeds posted. Now that the Hellcat has been tested in a format that doesn’t involve computers or a wind tunnel, Dodge and the SRT team can confidently say the car is an over 200 mph car that will give any driver a highly exciting ride, just ask the driver who performed this test.

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