Dodge deserves credit for not just building the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 Hellcat engine found in the Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat, but also for giving the engine an appropriately awesome name. The Hellcat brand has taken on a life of its own, thanks in part to a roaring cat logo that almost didn't make it onto the cars.
The early Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat did not have the now-familiar feline logo when it was unveiled last May. Originally, the cars were just supposed to have "supercharged" badging, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis explained in a recent interview with Automotive News (subscription required).
But Dodge watched people's responses to the Hellcat logo on social media closely, and eventually decided to add it to production cars after hearing what fans had to say."That was a very last-minute change all driven by feedback on social media," Kuniskis said.
The logo change was so last minute, in fact, that cars used for the Challenger Hellcat press unveiling didn't have it, and photos of the Charger SRT Hellcat circulated by Dodge still showed the "supercharged" badge.
And just like the cars it's attached to, the Hellcat logo had to go through a design process that involved some rough drafts. Early sketches showed multiple possible designs, including one that looked like an angry house cat, and another that could be easily confused with the Voltron logo.
Now that Dodge has the design and placement nailed down, though, the Hellcat logo and the monstrous engine it represents look destined for a place in the menagerie of muscle car lore already populated by Cobras, Road Runners, 'Cudas, and Mustangs.