Good news for fans of all things rear-wheel-drive and powerful: the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has been refreshed for the 2019 model year — as we’d seen in a teaser photo — and it’s got even more features to help you go as fast as possible.
The visual upgrade for the SRT Hellcat is not exactly transformative, but you will spot a new grille with two new air inlets that are designed to help funnel cool air to the big 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (as before, it makes 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque). A satin-black hood is now an option, as are “Brass Monkey” 20-inch wheels and an Alcantara interior package. The new grille design is also applied to the Charger R/T Scat Pack, which has a 485-hp 6.4-liter V8 engine.
What’s even more exciting, though, is that the 2019 Charger Hellcat gets several new performance tricks learned from its rambunctious cousin, the Challenger SRT Demon. Those include an After-Run Chiller, which keeps pumping coolant through the charger air cooler to bring down supercharger temperatures and thus increase horsepower, and Torque Reserve, which works with the launch control to precharge the supercharger by closing its bypass valve and deliberately misfiring the engine.
The 2019 Charger Hellcat also adds electronic line lock, which locks the front brakes. That’s great, because heretofore it was so very difficult to do a burnout in a 707-hp, rear-wheel-drive car. Line lock is also offered on the Demon, as well as cars like the Ford Mustang. In addition, Launch Assist is an enhancement to the car’s launch and traction controls that aims to prevent axle hop by proactively adjusting engine output. The charger R/T Scat Pack also adds line lock and Launch Assist as standard.
The rest of the Dodge Charger lineup continues with fewer changes for 2019, albeit with a handful of minor trim and equipment updates. The Charger R/T continues to use a 5.7-liter V8 with 370 horsepower, the GT has a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and the base Charger SXT continues with a 292-horsepower version of that engine. There is, however, one slight change to the lineup: all-wheel-drive will now be offered only on the Charger SXT, whereas previously it was exclusive to the GT.
Order books for the 2019 Dodge Charger are open now, with the first cars scheduled to hit showrooms in the third quarter of this year.