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  7. 2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody

Derek Shiekhi | Apr 02, 2020


Exterior view of the 2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody

Whenever I think about the horsepower wars the American Big Three have been fighting, I ask the same question Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen) asked Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) near the end of the 1987 movie "Wall Street": How much is enough?For the past several years, the answer to that question seems to have been "More." The Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger are more potent than ever. After years of incremental power increases, Dodge deployed the most devastating artillery ever used in the horsepower wars in 2014: the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat. A few years later, Chevrolet returned fire with the most powerful Camaro ever, the 650-horsepower 2017 Camaro ZL1. Ford did the same with the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, which has a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 with 760 horses under its vented hood.

The Mopar crew has found ways to top its original Challenger Hellcat. It shocked the automotive world (again) with the 2018 Demon, an 840-horsepower street-legal drag car that can pop a wheelie before rocketing through the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. That was a one-model-year-only halo car, though. The good news is that the Mopar crew decided to incorporate a lot of the Demon's go-fast technology and hardware into a new flagship Challenger, the 2019 SRT Hellcat Redeye. I was lucky enough to be able to drive one for a week. 

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2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Exterior

Exterior view of the 2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody

What are some of the things you picture when you hear the words "muscle car"? You probably envision large air intakes, a hood scoop, and wide tires. The Challenger Hellcat Redeye has bigger, bolder versions of all of those. The entire front end is a mesh-filled mouth ready to devour air. A hole in the middle of the one of the driver-side headlights lets even more air through. The twin scoops on the hood do the same thing and reduce intake air temperatures at the same time.

The Hellcat Redeye Widebody model's bulging fender flares make it 3.5 inches wider than its standard-width sibling. Those aren't just for show, though. They free up room for some serious rubber. Dodge fills the extra space with a set of 20" X 11" forged aluminum wheels and 305/35ZR20 performance tires. It upgraded my press loaner by swapping out the standard wheels for Brass Monkey rollers and replacing the all-season tires with summer-ready Pirelli P Zeros.

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2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Interior

Interior view of the 2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody

For such a hardcore and focused machine, the Redeye Widebody was surprisingly luxurious. Dodge outfitted my test vehicle with the Laguna Leather Package, which covered the seats and door panel inserts in a handsome shade of brown leather, and the Plus Package, which added a power tilting and telescoping steering column and a ventilation function to the (already heated) recliner-like front seats. With a few taps on the Uconnect 4C Nav system's 8.4-inch touchscreen, I could adjust the temperature of the front buckets, punch in a navigation destination and get traffic and weather updates through SiriusXM.

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2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Performance

Engine view of the 2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody

The power mongers at Dodge gave the Hellcat Redeye's 6.2-liter Hemi V8 a larger 2.7-liter supercharger and cranked up the boost to 14.5 psi to increase output to 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic and either the standard 2.62:1 or available 3.09:1 rear end unleashes that on unsuspecting pavement.

The Redeye has beefy hardware and additional tech from the Demon to make the most of its extra power. The prop and half shafts can handle significantly more torque. To keep the intake air temperature as low and the air itself as power dense as possible, the Redeye's SRT Power Chiller uses the air conditioning system to cool the incoming current. The Torque Reserve system "pre-fills" the supercharger with up to 3.9 pounds of boost, enabling the Redeye to launch with maximum ferocity. Hard driving generates a lot of heat, which the After-Run Chiller combats by cooling the supercharger and charge air cooler after the engine is turned off.

I spent my time with the Redeye on public roads. Putting my right foot down in it reminded me of riding a roller coaster. I applied the throttle gradually to keep the back end from breaking loose. The more the gas pedal went down, the more I felt as if I was approaching the peak right before a major drop. When the pedal hit a certain point, the bottom dropped out from under me and the Redeye was off. I didn't even have to look at the speedometer to know I was going fast because the cabin was absolutely filled with the sinister alien whine of the supercharger and the sonic barrage from the twin exhaust cannons behind me. It was sensory overload - just the right amount of too much.

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2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Safety

Safety features of the 2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody

In addition to airbags, traction and stability control, a rear parking assistance system and a back-up camera, my test car had a couple of options packages that upped its level of protection. The Technology Group equipped the Redeye Widebody with rain-sensing wipers and automatic high beams. Dodge packed the Driver Convenience Group with features that included high-intensity discharge headlights and blind spot and rear cross-path detection.

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2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Overall

Exterior view of the 2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody

No other muscle car on the market can match the 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody's enormous amount of firepower. Not yet. We'll see what the next volley in the ongoing battle for domestic automotive supremacy leads to. Prices for Dodge's most potent weapon against the Mustang and Camaro start at $76,245*; my press loaner had an as-tested price of $87,805. If you want to light up the Redeye Widebody's rear tires, head to your nearest AutoNation Dodge dealership.

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Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Specs

Layout

2-door, 5-passenger, coupe

Engine/Transmission

6.2L V-8

797 hp / 707 lb-ft

8-speed automatic

Mileage

13/21 mpg (city/hwy)

NHTSA Safety Rating

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

AutoNation Drive Test Drive Review: ★ ★ ★ ★


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*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.