Fans of big, stupid power and supercharger whine rejoice! Not only is Dodge bringing the Challenger Hellcat back for 2019, it’s making it even more Satanic. Oh, and the rest of the Challenger lineup is getting some tasty upgrades too, but Hellcat! Wooo!
Anyway, as we said, Dodge is taking the Hellcat, which made enough power and torque to pretty much pull a building off its foundation, and applying some of what it learned from the even more powerful Dodge Demon to give us the Challenger Hellcat Redeye! This new flavor of Hellcat will put out 797 hp and 707 pound-feet of torque, and that’s crazy. The Redeye will be mated exclusively to the TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission.
There will be a standard Hellcat available too, and even that gets a power bump — because that’s apparently what it needed — to 717 horsepower. It also gets a new double nostril hood that harkens back to Mopars of old like the 1970 Dart Swinger and 1971 Demon.
The Hellcat and the Challenger R/T Scat Pack get some decent aesthetic upgrades, most notably an available widebody kit that made its initial debut on last year’s Hellcat models. This also means the availability of wider wheels, specifically some new 20-by-11-inch “Devil’s Rim” forged aluminum wheels, which come wrapped in 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires, undoubtedly the world’s most diabolical rubber.
The Scat Pack also gets the 2018 Hellcat’s aluminum hood as well as a bunch of standard performance features like launch control, launch assist, line lock, SRT drive modes and SRT performance pages. Those who go the widebody route get even more stuff including an SRT-tuned chassis which has stiffer front springs, retuned adaptive shock absorbers and larger sway bars in both front and rear. This all adds up to make the widebody Scat Pack two seconds faster around a road course (not sure which road course, but whatever) than the narrow-body car.
That’s a lot of performance in the top half of the Challenger model range, but Dodge didn’t want to leave those of us who weren’t ballin’ out in the cold. The Challenger GT and R/T rear-wheel drive models get a standard “Super Track Pak” suspension and paddle shifters for auto cars. If that’s not enough, there is a Performance Handling Group for the GT which adds four-piston Brembo brakes, wider 20 x 9-inch wheels and a larger rear sway bar. The R/T Performance Handling Group gets upgraded springs, sway bars, Bilstein shocks, bushings and mounts while the Performance Plus Package 20 x 9.5-inch forged wheels with 275/40ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires, and a limited-slip differential.
Unfortunately, none of the performance options mention the cars losing like 600 lbs, so we predict that they will continue to be epic on the drag strip, good on the street and a little ponderous on a racetrack but we’ll have to wait until we drive them all to find out for sure.