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Friday, December 30, 2016

Jada Toys 1:24 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

The new Challenger SRT Hellcat from Dodge is getting a lot of attention lately: from Hot Wheels (which I reviewed last year), next year from Majorette, and countless R/C cars as well.  The latest comes from Jada Toys in the largest scale offered for the Hellcat: 1:24 scale.  With this vibrant Sublime Green color I wanted to see how good of a job Jada has done with the casting.

Here's the real car for comparison that I saw at a Dodge dealership last year.  It was already pre-sold and it had the six-speed manual transmission, but not the red/black interior trim package.

As mentioned before the Hellcat was introduced with the refreshed 2015 Challenger line.  The entire line got new headlights with running light halo rings, LED taillights, and most importantly a vastly improved interior with a new dashboard that has the central stack angled toward the driver, better quality materials, digital gauges and new touchscreen, and a new shifter for the automatic transmission cars.  The Hellcat is powered by the 6.2L supercharged V8 that produceds 707 horsepower with the red key fob, or 500 horsepower with the black valet key fob.  Transmissions include a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmissions.  Expect to replace rear tires every 5,000 miles with heavy use!

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The Jada version starts out with some interesting colors ranging from all-black to this vibrant Sublime Green (very accurate to the real car's color).  Also it gains the satin black hood that was offered as a late entry in 2015 to really add some contrast to this car.  The mulit-spoke wheels are blacked-out and very accurate to the real car.  The exterior mirrors are too large, but the flexible rubber means that they will never break off easily.  The hellcat logo on the sides, the black rear spoiler, and the Viper-style vents on the hood are nicely done.  The shape of the car seems a bit boxy, and combined with the large exterior mirrors seem cartoonish from some angles.  At the front the lower chin spoiler and large bumper grilles are nicely done, but the upper grille seems to be flat; I fixed this issue by adding some black to extend outside of the grille to enhance the look with the detailed round headlights (you can see a bit of the halo rings detailed in the lenses) and mesh grille with SRT logo.

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Out back the LED taillights are nicely done and vastly improve the rear-end look on these Challengers.  If only my tester could get the lamps to align up properly with the opening trunk section (yet again I had to add black on the inner trunk lip to mask off the really visible green gap between the taillights).  The exhaust tips are nice and big, but seem dull in black so I added silver to make them really pop out.   The base is a bit flat and lacking in some areas on detail, typical of Jada castings in this scale, but with the added help of some silver I made the drivetrain details stand out.  Also note the red brake calipers and slotted rotors, fixated on the base, that really stand out behind the wheels.  The hood doesn't want to close flush for some reason, and when you open it the engine bay seems a bit disappointing.  Yes, it has the supercharged V8 with the chrome supercharger, but half of the engine bay is taken up by the front metal section pushing the engine farther back and with this bright green color its very hard to see the engine back there.  So I used a black Sharpie to cover off most of that green area, then added silver to the resovoir tanks and some orange to the engine block to add some visual interest.  Not the best, but better than before.

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Inside the interior is all-black aside form a chrome shifter, chrome pedals, and stickers for the digital gauges and center infortainment touchscreen.  Both stickers are nicely detailed.  I wanted to add some more visual pop with the interior so I started with silver accents on the dashboard and center console and the steering wheel.  I also think that the center console should rise up a bit near the dashboard and the center stack angled more toward the driver as the dashboard design seems a bit flat.  The seats, with the properly-bolstered front seats, are enhanced with the two-tone black/red interior option.  I originally thought the red covered only the inner portion of the seats, only to find out later that the actual trim package on the real car covers the inside and seat bolsters.  Opps!  Finally, the opening trunk is nice, but doesn't show much.

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It's nice to see a large-scale Challenger Hellcat, especially in this vibrant green color, but I would think this casting would benefit from some more interior detailing (like what I did to my example), a larger and more detailed engine bay area, and to at least tone down on the large mirrors.  Then this casting would be an even more impressive example of the powerful Hellcat.

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