Dodge bringing Hellcat-mania to Woodward Dream Cruise
Auburn Hills — Dodge will unleash Hellcat-mania on the 2015 Woodward Dream Cruise next week with thrill rides and a chance for one racer to take home a 707-horsepower Hellcat engine.
The mainstream performance brand has events scheduled from next Wednesday through Saturday along Woodward, but an opening event in Pontiac and grand finale in Royal Oak will likely be turning the most heads.
“This year we’re going to the absolute next level,” said Dodge CEO and President Tim Kuniskis, who last year unveiled the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat prior to the annual car cruise extravaganza.
Roadkill Nights — hosted by TEN Network and presented by Dodge — will kick off the week for the Fiat Chrysler brand at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Pontiac Silverdome, a few miles from Woodward.
The free event will feature consumers competitively racing on a custom-built 1/8th mile track on a first-come, first-race basis; thrill rides with professional drivers in 707-horsepower Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats and Dodge Viper SRTs; and a time competition that will award the fastest Dodge vehicle owner a Hellcat engine with transmission and wiring harness.
“Nothing’s ever been done like this,” Kuniskis said. “It’s out of control.”
Interested drag race and attendees should register online at www.roadkill.com/events. A vehicle must be inspected between noon and 3 p.m. to participate in the racing and drivers must comply with event rules and regulations.
As of this week, about 2,000 people had registered to attend the event, including more than 200 racers, according to Dodge.
“It’s kind of a public service: ‘Hey, don’t spin your tires, don’t drag race your friends on Woodward and go to jail. Come over to our display, race at your heart’s content,’ ” Kuniskis said.
Two car shows — “Roadkill” on the Motor Trend YouTube Channel and the Discovery Channel’s “Fast N’ Loud” — will be filming Wednesday. The event will culminate with enthusiasts from each show racing a 1968 Dodge Charger and 1968 Dodge Dart that have been retrofitted with Hellcat engines.
“That is the finale of the night,” Kuniskis said.
For the official Woodward Dream Cruise on Aug. 15, Fiat Chrysler is doubling its footprint of consumer activities at Northwood Shopping Center, located at 13 Mile and Woodward, including thrill rides in Hellcat and Viper models. A tug of war between the two Hellcat cars and a Viper will take place.
The thrill rides, like on Aug. 12, feature fast accelerations and drifting. They’re an extreme change from a year ago, when people lined up at the Dodge display to just sit in a Viper.
“We’re going to let them sit in the car and drag race it and drift it,” Kuniskis said. “I think it’s going to blow people away that they can just come down to our display and get in a Hellcat, get in a Viper.”
The thrill area is in addition to merchandise, cars, stage and other festivities for Dodge and other Fiat Chrysler brands at the Dream Cruise.
The company also will host the annual Viper Club Car Show Aug. 13 and Dodge Night Car Show Aug. 14. Both will be from 6-9 p.m. at 13 Mile and Woodward.