2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Quick Drive Review
Big, bold and offering bountiful burnouts, 797 horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody is maximum muscle car.
Wow, it’s big, really big. Gleaming under the Southern California sunlight, is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody. It looks at home at Auto Club Dragway, in Pomona California, next to a row of Challenger RT Scat Pack 1320 models.
Of course, while those Scat Pack 1320s look good, they’ve got nothing on the Redeye. Visually, the widebody package adds such visual gusto to a car already overflowing with character, and menace. That widebody kit, a $6,000 standalone option on the Scat Pack, Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye, bestows the Challenger with a 20-inch wheel set. Measuring 11-inches wide, and wrapped in optional 305 section-width Pirelli P Zero summertime rubber, these new rollers give the Challenger a purposeful stance.
Of course, being the most powerful production road car Dodge has ever built, it needs all the grip it can get. Because with 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque, that supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 can eviscerate those tires on command.
Dodge claims it will run 10.80s in the quarter-mile, and, upon getting my first taste of acceleration behind the wheel, I have no reason to doubt that claim. Unfortunately, the drag strip is reserved for the Scat Pack 1320 on this occasion, after all, it’s the drag racing special. The Redeye just happens to be jaw-droppingly fast. No, it’s time to hit the road. After all, this is a street car.
Welcome to L.A.
After about four-and-a-half minutes on the road, I got stuck in traffic. Welcome to Los Angeles, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, there will be traffic. Still, I pointed the nose of the Redeye towards the mountains north of LA, that’s where the magic happens here.
Fortunately, the Redeye is a willing companion in traffic, in the interim. The widebody package also bestows the Challenger with Bilstein 3-mode adjustable suspension. While its always a firm ride (it will jiggle you in places you didn’t know jiggled in “Track” mode), it is very much livable day-to-day in the “Street” or “Sport” setting.
Similarly, the TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission, sourced from ZF and the sole transmission option for the Redeye, is all too happy to keep the Hemi V8 just above idle as it rumbles around town, and in traffic.
Combine all of that with decent visibility, and the optional blind spot monitoring system, and the end result is a easy-to-drive cruiser. It never stops feeling enormous and conspicuous around town, but it’s certainly much easier to see out of than a Camaro.
After 45 agonizing minutes of touching the throttle and then backing off after catching up to traffic, it was on to the canyon roads.
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