Hennessey Performance Engineering is claiming to have transported a Christmas tree at the highest speed ever achieved, having strapped the unsuspecting evergreen to the roof of a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody and sent one of their test drivers on his merry way. The car hit a peak of 174 miles per hour with its coniferous cargo, and somehow, the plant managed to keep the bulk of its needles.
The car Hennessey used was a factory-stock SRT Hellcat Widebody fitted with a roof rack. The guys ran the rack-equipped car without the tree first in order to get a baseline top speed, measuring 177 mph sans foliage. We’ve little doubt that they could have gone faster with the more aerodynamic Charger Hellcat, or even the non-widebody Challenger SRT Hellcat, which has a smaller frontal area and less rolling resistance thanks to skinnier wheels.
Oh well. There’s always next year.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody is propelled by the same supercharged, 707-horsepower 6.2L Hemi as the standard Hellcat, although we’re sorry to say that motor is kind of old hat, what with the arrival of the 808-horsepower SRT Demon. The folks at Hennessey originally tried to get one of those to haul their Christmas tree at an excessive rate, but Dodge didn’t have one available. That’s just as well, as its shorter rear end may have meant an even lower top speed.
To see Hennessey Performance Engineering send a Christmas tree down the road like a pine out of hell, watch the video above. And of course, have a happy holiday season, Fiat Chrysler Authority readers!