Just when muscle cars were starting to seem retro again and the horsepower wars were fought largely among German brands, the Hellcat came out of nowhere with its 707 horses and swept them all away, including the 610-hp Viper. Unlike most other cars packing north of 500 hp, the Challenger Hellcat was a bit of a sleeper on the outside, unless optioned in a loud color, and came with all the comfort and sheer width of the base Challenger model. In fact, it was even possible to roll around town at tame speeds and avoid stern looks from The Man if you really tried, while being able to open up all that power out on country roads. The Hellcat went beyond the horsepower count itself -- the model signaled that FCA could still come up with breathtaking cars largely with parts bin items and some ingenuity -- rendering the Viper moot in the process. We have not seen the last of the Hellcats, either, as a Range Rover rival with a Hellcat engine from Jeep is said to be in the works.
7 Fiat Chrysler models we wouldn't have without Sergio Marchionne
For a brand stuck in the doldrums a short while ago, Maserati's lineup is unrecognizable today. In addition to a midsize sedan, the Ghibli, the Marchionne era also saw the addition of a midsize crossover to the brand, targeting a segment that's now very hot in a lot of world markets. The Levante debuted in 2016 with a lineup of powerful engines and modern Maserati design, extending (but not overextending) the brand in the direction of sales volume. More importantly, the Levante delivered all that it promised without compromising the identity of the brand.
The return of the Fiat 124 Spider, sharing many mechanicals with the Mazda MX-5 Miata, did not seem like a great idea at first -- and not only because the 124 Spider nameplate had faded from memory in North America. But the resulting car turned out to be more than simply a luxurious Miata, adding its own flavor to a roadster that had been missing from Fiat's lineup for ages. Powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four, the 160-hp Spider can serve up plenty of thrills while reminding the rest of the automotive world that Fiat isn't just about hatches and bubble-shaped crossovers today.
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