Working on the Challenger development team Dodge must be the equivalent of being employed at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory: kind of strange at times but anything goes and it’s hella sweet. Proof? The company just released a 797 horsepower Hellcat called the Redeye.
The heart of the new 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye comes from its limited-production big brother, the Demon. Its supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI V-8 engine cranks out that incredible horsepower number along with a tire-melting 707 lb.-ft. of torque. There’s no stick, as the powertrain is completed with FCA’s familiar TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic.
Compared with the now admittedly workaday Hellcat, which makes 717 horses for 2019, the Redeye bumps supercharger displacement to 2.7 litres, jacks the boost to 14.5 psi, and steps the redline up to 6500rpm. Two dual-stage fuel pumps are double the number found in the pedestrian Hellcat. Top speed? 326 km/h. It should pull the quarter mile in about eleven seconds.
The newly designed, fully functional dual-snorkel hood provides maximum air intake to the supercharged powerplant and pays homage to the distinctive design themes from some of the most famous mid-1960’s and early-1970’s Dodge muscle cars. This author is simply glad it doesn’t *look* like a Dodge from the Kennedy era. That would be upsetting.
Line lock, a feature that engages the front brakes but leaves the rear wheels free to easily perform a tire-melting burnout, is standard on all Hellcats, no matter the trim. Baked into the Challenger’s 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen are the fabulous SRT Performance Pages, which let the driver keep an eye on performance data such as handling and acceleration measures. It even has a real-time dyno graph … but you’re only going to use that on the track, right? Right.
The manic crew at Dodge has also fettled the Scat Pack 392 model for 2019. Dodge now offers the Widebody Package on that trim, adding 8.8 cm (3.5 in.) to the car’s overall width, improving handling and braking when compared to the naturally aspirated muscle car. Featuring the same fender flares from SRT Hellcat Widebody, it rides on ginormous 305/35ZR20 Pirelli tires mounted to 20 x 11-inch forged “Devil’s Rim” aluminum wheels.
At the track, Dodge says the combination of larger six-pot Brembo brakes up front, wider wheels and tires, and a few suspension upgrades equate to lap times two seconds quicker than an equivalent non-Widebody car when wheeled around a 3.3-kilometre road course. All Scat Pack Challengers also get Line Lock and Performance Pages. Be sure to budget for new rear tires.
Production of the 2019 Dodge Challenger lineup starts at the Brampton Assembly Plant in the fall of 2018, with vehicles starting to arrive in dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year, just in time for Christmas. I now know what’s going on my wish list.
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