Sun's out, guns out! Dodge has ripped the sleeves off its flannel shirt to present the new king of production muscle cars. The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye makes 797 hp (594 kW) and 707 lb-ft (959 Nm) of torque. It hits 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 3.4 seconds, does 203 mph (327 km/h) flat out, starts at 70 grand and produces more smoke than the crowd at a Phish concert.
Buoyed by the success of its high-performance Scat Pack, Dodge has upgraded the nasty end of its catalog for 2019. We should've seen it coming; mess around with the Scat Pack for too long, and you're bound to end up with the Redeye.
Where Europe is going all-out on aerodynamics, America is sticking with what it loves: a classic muscle car shape, executed simply and without undue pomp and ceremony, fitted with a motor that's just way too big.
In the case of the Redeye, that's a 6.2-liter HEMI V8, lifted from the barnstorming SRT Demon. It's fitted with a 2.7-liter capacity supercharger – the biggest on any production car in the world – which pushes 14.5 psi of boost. It doesn't make it up to the Demon's 840-odd horsepower, but 797 is still rather a lot.
Fuel consumption is a fairly decent 22 mpg (10.7 L/100km) when you're trundling around driving it like some sort of normal car. Floor it, though, and that monster engine will suck down 1.43 gallons (5.4 liters) of fuel per minute, emptying the tank in a touch less than 11 minutes. Yikes.
As in the Demon, much has been done to keep this raging powerplant cool. The SRT Power Chiller basically air conditions the cooling system, as well as lowering the intake air temperature. The After-Run Chiller cools the engine as quickly as possible after it's been thrashed. A new dual-snorkel hood, plus an air-catching headlamp and intakes near the wheel liners pump further air in to help get heat out.
Electronics-wise, the Hellcat Redeye gets itself a set of SRT-tuned three-mode adaptive damping suspension. There's also Launch Assist, in case a Redeye owner ever decides to see what it feels like to accelerate without burning a small Malaysian forest's worth of rubber, and Line Lock, which holds the front brakes on and releases the rear ones so you can deliberately burn a small Malaysian forest's worth of rubber.
There are street, sport and track driving modes, which affect power output, power delivery, steering firmness, traction control, suspension and shift settings on the 8-speed auto-only gearbox. Yes, it's auto only, but both hands on the wheel is not a bad idea in this kind of machine.
The Hellcat Redeye is available in standard and Widebody, which gets 3.5 extra inches of wheel arch flares and fatter tires. Which is nice, but you could have a single roll of rubber stretching from one side of this car to the other and still not have enough grip at the back. And that's just the way muscle car fans like it.
Pricing will range between US$70,000 and $95,000 depending on specification, making this thing surprisingly affordable for its certifiable levels of tarmac-ripping performance. If you're prepared to forego 80-odd horses, you can drop down to the standard 717-hp (535-kW) Challenger SRT Hellcat for less than 60 grand. Smoke 'em if you've got 'em!
Check out the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye in the video below (around the two-minute 20-second mark).
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