CHELSEA, Michigan — Dodge threw down the gauntlet to the Mustang Shelby GT500, which Ford says will be its most powerful production car ever at 700-plus horsepower, with its ’19 model Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye launching this fall with 797 horsepower.
Yes, the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is more than just a mouthful; it’s a garage-full, capable of 203 mph top speed and a 3.4-second 0-60 mph sprint. Dodge unveiled the new model variant Thursday morning along with two updated model year ’19 SRT variants.
Herewith, a few key facts about the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRTs we gleaned from Fiat Chrysler’s new model year preview Thursday, and Alfa-Maserati’s similar event Wednesday.
1. Widebodies, widebodies everywhere. For 2019, the popular Dodge Challenger Scat Pack becomes a Widebody, 3-1/2 inches wider than the standard Challenger. The Scat Pack already accounts for 50-percent of the SRT performance subbrand’s sales, and 20 percent of Challenger volume, according to Fiat Chrysler passenger car chief Steve Beahm. Sticker price for the Scat Pack Widebody will be less than $40,000 when it goes on sale this fall.
2. The Redeye gets its 80-horsepower boost over the “base” Hellcat thanks to a larger supercharger at 2.7 liters, versus 2.4 liters for the 717-hp car (largest production supercharger, according to Dodge), plus boost pressure increased from 11.6 psi to 14.5 psi, a 300-rpm rev limit to 6,500 and two dual-stage fuel pumps instead of one.
3. Those dual fuel pumps will drain the tank in less than 11 minutes when the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is driven at full-throttle. That’s 1.43 gallons per minute, though under normal driving, the car is rated 22-mpg EPA highway fuel efficiency.
4. Hellcat Redeye also has a large induction air box with three intake sources. There’s a new dual-snorkel hood, a driver-side air catcher headlamp, and an inlet near the wheel liner.
5. The Hellcat Redeye is not just about straight-line speed, Beahm says. While at 797 hp, it’s still 43 horses short of the Demon, which ended production at the end of the ’18 model year, the Redeye does not do wheelies. All Hellcats come with SRT-tuned three-mode Bilstein adaptive dampers.
6. Choose your poison. Manufacturer’s quarter-mile and top speed stats for the 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat are…
Redeye Widebody 10.8 sec. @ 131 mph/203 mph
Hellcat Widebody 10.9 sec. @ 127 mph/195 mph
Redeye 11.1 sec. @ 131 mph/203 mph
Hellcat 11.2 sec. @ 125 mph/199 mph
7. The future of the Dodge Challenger is as a big, powerful grand touring coupe, not as a compact sport coupe. New Maserati-Alfa Romeo chief Tim Kuniskis, who had Beahm’s job just four months ago, explained Wednesday the decision not to replace the Challenger (and Charger) with cars on the smaller Giorgio platform (Alfa Giulia and Stelvio). The Dodge Challenger is outselling the Chevrolet Camaro as a big, powerful and relaxed GT coupe, he says, hinting that the Giorgio platform cannot be stretched to make the next model as large as the current one. In addition to this unique selling proposition, the Charger (and Chrysler 300, at least for now) are selling relatively well as the only rear-drive models in the quickly shrinking full-size market (Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus), and we suspect the planned further revision of this full-size platform is far more cost-effective than a switch to the compact/midsize Giorgio.