The 2015 BMW M4 is a performance coupe like the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. What happens when the two cars go head to head?
That’s what Cars.com wanted to find out this week as they pitted the BMW M4 against the Dodge Challenger Hellcat on the track. Is this really a fair comparison? They both are performance coupes, have four wheels and have roughly the same starting MSRP of $60-$70K but that’s where the comparison ends.
The BMW M4 is all-new for 2015, but it comes with decades of motorsport-driven technology that the German automaker has perfected in their race cars. The Dodge Challenger Hellcat is a new vehicle that is a totally different animal.
The Hellcat is a high-performance muscle car that is designed for straight line performance. It’s also substantially heavier then the M4. The Hellcat weights in at 4,449 lbs, the M4‘s curb weight is 3,585 lbs. 864 lbs is a big difference when you are throwing it around a track.
Cars.com Senior Editor Mike Hanley says the Hellcat does well in a straight line, but on the track it’s a different story. Hanley says, “In a straight line, the supercharged V-8 has no trouble overcoming the Challenger’s substantial heft, but all that mass has nowhere to hide when you toss the car into a corner.”
What’s the difference in horsepower?
Hellcat is pumping out a massive 707hp, from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine compared to M4’s much smaller 3.0 liter in line six cylinder that puts out 425 horsepower. It’s hard to compare two vehicles with that kind of power differential.
How do they perform on the track?
In the head-to-heat competition on the track between the performance Dodge and BMW, the heavier and more powerful Hellcat sprints from 0-60 mph in just 3.47 seconds compared to the M4’s fastest time of 3.97 seconds. In the quarter mile comparison, Hellcat has an elapse time of 11.34 seconds at 125.57 mph which is faster than the M4’s 12.05 seconds at 118.35 mph. There’s no surprise here.
What is a bit of a surprise is the braking test that showed the much heavier Hellcat with a 116.99-foot stopping distance which was shorter than M4’s 122.85 feet. Although, Cars.com says as the day wore on, things changed. “The Challenger Hellcat’s huge brakes held up well in our morning sessions on Autobahn’s tight road course.” Cars.com goes on to say, “The afternoon, however, wasn’t so kind to the stoppers as the brake pedal started losing confidence and firmness after repeated laps.”
Cars.com tested the M4 with optional $8,150 carbon-ceramic brakes that are worth every penny for track enthusiasts. They said, “The lightweight M4 didn’t miss a beat the entire day of track use. The BMW’s brakes allowed that car to dig deeper into the braking zone than anything else, and consistently lap after lap.”
Fuel mileage specs
There’s no surprise here as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat is far less fuel efficient at the pump. It also comes with a $1,700 gas-guzzler tax thanks to its EPA-estimated 13/22 city/highway and 16 mpg combined fuel mileage ratings. BMW’s M4 is rated at 17/26 city/highway and 23.45 combined mpg.
Hellcat vs. M4: Who wins?
The Dodge Challenger Hellcat blows the BMW M4 away in the head to head track competition in every area. It’s a pure muscle car designed for the extreme performance enthusiast. It was also $20,330 less than the BMW M4 as tested making it a good value. Hellcat isn’t as well-rounded as the M4, but it also performed better than expected on the tight road course.
The 2015 BMW M4 is an assassin in a finely tailored suit. It can be used as a daily driver during the week and can be taken to the track on the weekend. The 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat is a track star, but wouldn’t necessarily be a good daily driver. Which vehicle would you chose for the money?
Check out the full story from Cars.com here.