Deeper Look: Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
Dodge has been putting on a clinic on how to hustle up horsepower, to the point that Hellcat has almost elevated itself to a sub-brand. (And don’t forget the riotous Demon!) Most of the attention has been paid to the two-door Challenger, but the spotlight has swung the four-door Charger’s way this time. The 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat widebody goes into production this fall, and it’s not a limited run. Rather, it’s just step one in ensuring the Charger remains a market-viable muscle/performance/bad-ass four-door family car, says Tim Kuniskis, FCA head of passenger cars for North America. We were at the debut of the new model—read our initial story here—and below you’ll find more items on the widebody we drummed up straight from the power brokers at Dodge:
There’s a Race Version
To build more hype, a competition version with even more horsepower (no number was given yet), bigger brakes, and fatter tires has been ginned up to participate in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this weekend in Colorado, with MotorTrend‘s expert test driver Randy Pobst at the wheel. This race-prepped concept based on the production Charger widebody has a specially tuned version of the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 with a high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission. It will also get a retuned suspension, a roll cage, a racing seat, and a fuel cell. None of the parts will become available through Mopar, unfortunately.
It’s All About the Power
The production Charger SRT Hellcat widebody gets 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8, and can scoot from zero to 60 mph in a claimed 3.6 seconds. By comparison, the 840-max-hp Demon could do the deed in 2.3 seconds, the Challenger Redeye in 3.4. So this four-door family car is in some fast company. The latest Charger also promises to complete the quarter-mile in 10.96 seconds and has a top speed of 196 mph.
Integrated fender flares make the body 3.5 inches wider, which makes room for new 20×11-inch black forged wheels wrapped with wider Pirelli 305/35-20 tires. Before, the widest tire the Charger could take was a 275. The girthier look is standard on the Charger Hellcat, as opposed to being an option on the Challenger. (The Charger will also offer the widebody bits on the 485-hp Scat Pack.)
Damping, Steering, and Other Chassis Bits
The Charger Hellcat widebody gets SRT-tuned three-mode adaptive Bilstein dampers, as well as electric power steering for the first time, engineered to provide more feel and accuracy whether taking a fast sweeper or slowly easing into a spot in the parking lot. There are also stiffer springs—the front spring rates are up 32 percent—as well as larger anti-roll bars that have grown from 32 to 34 mm in front and 19 to 22 mm at the rear. Brembo brakes help slow things down in a hurry.
Standard Race/Fun Tech
Feel the need for a burnout? Line lock engages the front brakes to hold the car in place while freeing the rear wheels for a burnout. Flip a switch for launch control, and a launch-assist functions uses wheel-speed sensors to mitigate wheel hop. Don’t expect the Demon’s Drag mode suspension tuning for weight transfer on launch or TransBrake to lock the output shaft of the transmission to build and hold more power prior to launch, but the Charger widebody does get a race cooldown mode, which keeps coolant circulating for a period after the engine is turned off so this hell-kitty is ready to go again.
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Gotta Look the Part
The new fascia has a mail-slot grille to feed additional air to the radiator; there are also new side sills and a unique spoiler. And there are those glorious flares, of course. Inside, a carbon and microsuede package can be ordered to dress up the cabin.
Scat Pack Love
As mentioned, a more affordable way to get the look and many of the chassis goodies is to order a Charger Scat Pack with the widebody package. That car comes with the 485-hp naturally aspirated Hemi V-8; electric power steering; wider wheels and tires; Brembo brakes; modified springs, anti-roll bars and dampers; and the launch and burnout helpers.
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