TIL: Some Cars Have A Secret Red Key That Make Them Go Faster
Until today, I did not know that several years ago Dodge came up with the secret red key idea to unlock the horsepower on a couple of their HEMI sports cars.
When purchasing a Dodge Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcat edition, the owner is given a secret red key that unleashes all of its engine power. It's kind of like 'The Matrix' and its red pill revealing all the secrets of the Unicverse!
According to UniversityDodge.com, the idea was that only those who could handle the power could get the power out of those big engines:
Powered by a supercharged HEMI engine that delivers 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, this baby was built for speed. But that raw speed also means that Dodge had to add some extra safety measures to better ensure not just anyone would unknowingly gets behind the wheel of a vehicle with all of that horsepower, so the Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat models have a two-key system, one key that tones down the horsepower and one that unlocks all of the engine’s potential.
Owners of these cars say they keep the key separate from the traditional black key, and some even hide it from their spouses.
"My wife is only allowed the black key," Loyd Overstreet recently told the Detroit Free Press. "She can't handle all that horsepower."
"If you just want to relax and get away, you jump in the car and go for a rip. I call it red-key therapy," Val Saph from Armada, who owns a 2016 Challenger Hellcat also told the Free Press. "All stresses in life are easily muted by that menacing exhaust note."
While having a power option for cars is not unusual, my KIA has a power option for instance, having a key to unleash that much firepower is unique.
When talking about the option when it debuted in 2014, a Chrysler spokesperson told Road and Track magazine, "If the red key's in the car, the red key always wins."