Tesla Model S Vs Hellcat? You Need to Read This


Tesla Model S Vs Hellcat? You Need to Read This

Tesla Motors has gained a lot of attention in recent years. While they started as a tentative idea they have done well to prove their worth in many areas, including technological advancement, luxury, and even performance. This is what has led to an increased interest in comparing the Model S to Dodge’s Hellcat.

VehicleStarting MSRPHorsepowerTorque0-60 Time
Tesla Model S Long Range$84,990670 hp920 lb-ft3.1 seconds
Dodge SRT Hellcat Widebody$72,670717 hp650 lb-ft3.6 seconds

These stats may seem straightforward, but they do not give you the whole idea. Read on to learn how the Model S and the Hellcat can exist on the same playing field, as well as comparisons regarding their systems, fuel economy, interiors, infotainment centers, safety features, and warranties.

How the Tesla Model S and Dodge Hellcat Can Go Head to Head

The Tesla Model S and Dodge Hellcat are both power performers for their manufacturers. Each vehicle has extensive horsepower that allows them to reach high speeds in little time. These are some of the fastest four-door sedans you will see on roads and highways.

While the Tesla Model S maintains Tesla Motors’ streamlined and futuristic exterior, the Dodge Hellcat is a nostalgic nod at what muscle cars have come from. It is like looking at what will come and what was while updating all the key components.

These vehicles have been put to the test on multiple occasions, and they cannot seem to decide who will be the victor. In this dual trial match, the Tesla Model S won the first by .022 seconds, but the Dodge Hellcat won the second by .094 seconds.

Because this is the grounds for a rivalry it is a good idea to look at the specifications of the vehicles before making a judgment.

Trim Models

Trim models seem to deal more with visual appeal, but there are plenty of performative and aesthetic differences when you are looking at either vehicle.

With Tesla’s Model S you get two tiers:

  • Long Range (base model)
  • Plaid

The Dodge Hellcat has 5 different trims to look at:

  • SRT Hellcat
  • SRT Hellcat Widebody
  • SRT Hellcat Redeye
  • SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody
  • SRT Super Stock

While there are six models listed, this article goes over the specifications in this Tesla Model S Long Range and the Dodge SRT Hellcat Widebody. These are the models that are most similarly accessible to the public without veering too far from the traditional four-door sedan appeal.

Power and Performance

As this is a face-off between power bodies, it only makes sense to begin with the big stuff.

The Tesla and the Hellcat both boast all-wheel drive systems, but the sources of their power are completely different beyond that.

Tesla Model S Long Range

The Tesla has a unique dual motor system (tri-motor with the Plaid) that allows one motor to control the front axle while the other deals with the rear one. This allows for a basis of all-wheel drive all the time.

You also get the benefit of immediate power delivery with these motors. This is why the Tesla Model S can shoot up to 60 at a faster rate than other vehicles, despite speculation regarding its power.

There are two different settings in the Model S that allow the driver to choose between a heavier or light steering effort, though neither gives you more feedback from the road. This is usually a plus, but more traditional drivers will miss being able to feel the surface they are tearing across.

Overall you can expect the handling on the Tesla to be appropriate for the power it puts out. Everything functions in harmony, giving you a pleasant experience whether you are cruising along or trying to cross a finish line.

Dodge SRT Hellcat Widebody

With Dodge’s Hellcat you can expect an experience that is better related to standard performance vehicles.

There are a few explanations for why this gas-powered performance workhorse would lose an electric vehicle.

  • The Hellcat does not initiate nearly as smoothly as the Tesla
  • Instead, you surge forward in a roar of power, losing a lot of initial speed to that grumble

A lot will argue that, with the right tires, the Hellcat will outperform the Tesla every time. This is because the Hellcat has a deeper need to gain traction, and it performs better when it does.

Overall, the Hellcat is quick in a straight line, and it does not struggle much on twists and turns. You just need to take extra care in keeping your mind on steering and slowing, or all that power can flip the vehicle.

The Widebody is the recommended trim model because it is a lot easier to turn. You still may find that handling at high speeds takes a lot more focus, and the electrically-assisted power steering may react slower than desired.

Fuel Economy

This is the staunchest difference between the Tesla Model S and the Dodge Hellcat.

On one hand, you have a top-tier sedan from a company that only produces electric vehicles.

On the other is a culmination of decades dedicated to raw power and performance.

It is these features that put the Model S and the Hellcat in two completely different playing fields.

Tesla Model S Long Range

The Tesla Model S is equipped with a battery pack that is expertly located to give the vehicle a lower center of gravity. It is also arranged so the weight is evenly distributed from the front of the vehicle to the rear, something that is important for both range and safety.

In terms of fuel economy, the Tesla Model S still offers a greater range than you would get from a gas vehicle. A single charge will take you about 412 miles with the Long Range (but only about 390 with the Plaid).

In terms of miles per gallon, this looks like 121 miles per gallon on city streets and 112 miles per gallon on highways. That is quite a bit more efficient than gas vehicles.

Dodge SRT Hellcat Widebody

The Dodge Hellcat may be nice to look at, but that does little for its fuel economy. In a time when other sedans are boasting a fuel economy in excess of 30 miles per gallon, the Hellcat comes in with a pitiful 13 city miles per gallon and only 20 miles per gallon on the highway.

This means that the Hellcat’s 18.5-gallon tank will only get you about 240 miles when it is full.

Even for a muscle car, that is pretty low, but most people who are interested in the Hellcat are already aware of the performance.

Interior Design

Both the Tesla and the Dodge have come a long way from their earlier visions of luxury, but neither seems to meet luxury-specific customers like BMW or Audi.

Still, their interior designs are nothing to balk at. Getting into a Tesla Model S or Dodge Hellcat is an experience of its own.

Tesla Model S Long Range

The main issue with the interior of the Tesla Model S is that it does not meet what you would expect from the price point. While everything is nice and streamlined, it lacks that plush, overly decadent luxury appeal.

However, Tesla did a great job designing a vehicle with ample storage.

  • The sloped roofline covers the rear liftgate, contributing to a seamless appearance
  • In the trunk, you have 26 cubic feet of storage. There is also cubby storage throughout the entire vehicle, especially the back seat

If this is not enough, or if you need to keep some items out of sight, you also have access to a larger underfloor bin in the rear cargo area. This is helpful for hauling emergency supplies without risking them turning into projectiles in an accident.

Dodge SRT Hellcat Widebody

The interior design of the Hellcat has not been updated since 2015, so it may be a bit past due. There are some specific concerns regarding the quality of plastic components in the vehicle, but this focuses mostly on their appearance and not their performance.

The Dodge Hellcat is a lot roomier than it looks, but it still only features 17 cubic feet of cargo storage. This is not the vehicle to pack full of luggage, but it should do nicely for a weekend getaway or everyday driving.

You do get a bit of a break with the console bin of the Hellcat. Consoles can make or break a vehicle, so it is good to know that this is not a cumbersome use of space between the front seats. You will be able to keep quite a bit in hand reach, and there is a nifty little notch to hold your smartphone.

Infotainment Center

The Tesla Model S and the Dodge Hellcat boast two different approaches to the infotainment system.

The Tesla system is very much a part of the vehicle design, and they make an effort of consistency across all their vehicle models.

The Dodge Hellcat has a more traditional appearance, but it appears to be bordering on a dated appeal.

Tesla Model S Long Range

As with any Tesla vehicle, the Model S incorporates a minimalistic design with its infotainment system. The screen is large enough to cover a variety of features, something that is important because everything in the vehicle links to that screen.

There may be a concern for drivers with a shorter reach when it comes to accessing icons on the top right of the screen, but this is usually solved with seat positioning.

The Model S does have a secondary screen to display their gauge cluster, and they have included a small touchpad in the rear seat to tie everything together.

Dodge SRT Hellcat Widebody

With Dodge’s Uconnect infotainment system you will see a more recognizable approach to the console area of the vehicle.

This system includes:

  • Navigation
  • Stereo
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

The last feature is what sets them apart from the Tesla offerings. For as technologically savvy as Tesla is, there is no way to incorporate Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in their vehicles.

The 8.4-inch touch screen is large enough to clearly display the information you need, but not so massive that it is hard to navigate. You will still have fail-safes, like volume and tuning knobs that contribute to the nostalgia of the muscle car.

Safety Features

Safety has become a major concern as more vehicles get on the road. Consumers are well aware of the technological advancements regarding vehicle safety, and they expect newer models to offer some sort of protection or driver assistance to decrease driving stress and lower the occurrence of accidents.

Both the Tesla Model S and the Dodge Hellcat will meet the basic needs of safety, but Tesla stands out because of their increased driver assistance programs.

Tesla Model S Long Range

A major concern you will see regarding safety and Tesla vehicles circles around a handful of reports involving the Model S catching on fire after high-speed impacts, but safety experts assure that post-collision fires are common in all vehicles, and the Model S occurrences are nothing that stands out.

Tesla offers a variety of semi-autonomous driving features that limit the driver’s involvement, decreasing stress and driver error. These involve:

  • Autopilot features
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Adaptive cruise control

The interesting thing about Tesla is that their vehicles come with most of these safety features standard. A lot of manufacturers, Dodge included, offer them as additional features you can pay for.

Dodge SRT Hellcat Widebody

The Dodge SRT Hellcat has not been fully crash-tested, and in the test that they did perform the results were less than what was expected. This is not uncommon for muscle cars, but it does differentiate the Hellcat from the Model S’s family-friendly safety standards.

There are standard driver-assisted technologies with the Hellcat, such as rear parking sensors, but they are nothing extensive. The Hellcat maintains these features so that competitors do not outshine them.

As for their paid features, you have plenty of options. The most common features that consumers will pay for include:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Adaptive cruise control

Because these features come standard in the Model S, you cannot help but raise an eyebrow at the Hellcat. This is where that $12,000 price difference starts to shrink.

Warranties

Both the Tesla Model S and the Dodge Hellcat do a decent job of providing coverage due to mechanical or electrical failures, but neither manufacturer offers a complimentary maintenance package.

This may not be an issue with Tesla’s electric engine because it does not require regular fluid changes that would be covered by a maintenance package, but the lack of a maintenance package in the Hellcat means you will have more responsibility to maintain your vehicle so you do not void any warranties.

Tesla Model S Long Range

The Tesla Model S Long Range offers a comprehensive warranty over both its powertrain and hybrids parts. However, this does not cover traditional bumper-to-bumper worries.

Tesla’s are known for their reliability and their high standards, so choosing one regardless of the bumper-to-bumper coverage may be an easier choice than a lower-tier manufacturer.

Overall, you can expect:

  • The limited warranty to cover four years or 50,000 miles
  • The powertrain warranty to cover eight years with no mileage cap

The powertrain warranty is especially intriguing. Most manufacturers will include a mileage cap to limit the chance that someone outdrives their vehicle warranty, but Tesla is confident in the Model S’s ability to stand up to continued use, instead focusing on the age of the vehicle.

Dodge SRT Hellcat Widebody

The warranties offered by the Dodge SRT Hellcat will cover what you will see in most of their domestic rivals, but they lack some of the protections that luxury brands like BMW or Porsche offer.

Since you are probably not buying the muscle car for luxury alone, the basic warranties should meet your basic needs.

With the Dodge SRT you will get:

  • A limited warranty that covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain coverage over 5 years or 60,000 miles

These periods are much shorter than the ones offered by the Model S, but they appear to be standard for most dodge competitors. This limited warranty is reasonable as long as you do not track a lot of miles on the vehicle early on.

Conclusion

It has become abundantly clear that the Tesla Model S has earned its spot to be compared and considered alongside other performance vehicles, though the Dodge Hellcat certainly puts up a fight.

For the most part, this battle comes down to preference. Tesla’s performance is always getting better, and as they roll out updates on their vehicles you can see a performance increase, even on older models.

But this will never replace the raw appeal of a muscle car that the Hellcat has, and it likely never will. There is something about the rumble of the motor right before the vehicle is unleashed that cannot be beaten.

Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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