Chrysler Road Monsters say Good Bye to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
2018 SRT Hellcat
Special Feature By Jon Rosner
Jon Rosner & Page One's
Chrysler arrived at Western Automotive Journalists Media Day 2018 with a fleet of “hemi” powered vehicles. This author thought, OK these are for the street. And while on the street we found
that it is still quite easy to take a right hand turn, add a dab too much power and have the rear end request visitation rights, but it is now just as easy to ease off the gas and have the tail tuck right
back in again, nice. But street only? Wrong Bubba. These were for the track too.
2018 Jeep Grand
While the Hellcat once again demonstrated all the subtlety of a rampaging bull in a bad mood, the rest of the beasts were, for the most part, astoundingly civil. This author took more than a little tongue-in-cheek
delight in seeing a large Dodge “hemi-powered” SUV blow past a BMW X5 and a Volvo V90 in the passing zone while definitely holding it’s own in the corners and switchbacks. Now that
is nice chassis tuning. You could squint your eyes and pretend that the “hemi’s” on the track were from the age of the dinosaur, certainly they were making the right kinds of noises. Precocious,
rambunctious kids let loose is a safe place might be an apt description of the Chrysler products we were testing.
Hellcat at WeatherTech Raceway
By the time you read this Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be no more. The new name is, hold on, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. But in these waning days Chrysler brought out their “hemi” monster
brigade for one more big play date, and to make a point. The “hemi’s” are still here, they are affordable to buy, get solid gas mileage (as long as you stay out of the engine room most of the
time) and they go like stink not only in a straight line, but through the corners too. And the “hemi’s” more than held their own at a very twisty and challenging race track.
Clearly, not my mother’s Chrysler. Can someone please explain to me why a MINI Countryman four wheel drive gets pretty much the same EPA ratings and real world fuel consumption as one of these “hemi”
monsters? This author can accept the idea that Chrysler has taught their beasts how to dance, but to sip fuel too? Most impressive.
OK Chrysler. What’s the encore?