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Home / Technology / 2019 Dodge Challenger First Drive Review: Meet the Flying 797-HP Hellcat Redeye, Hot-Action Scat Pack Widebody

2019 Dodge Challenger First Drive Review: Meet the Flying 797-HP Hellcat Redeye, Hot-Action Scat Pack Widebody



How many challengers do the world need? According to Dodge, so many Mopar muscle cars to light up all dragons and stoplights in America, and maybe kick some police solutions for our YouTube department. For whatever reason, a new challenge for Challenger-Dodge might be an unusual place for us to drive their newest muscle babies: A place where the road turns both left and right, hills run up and down, and the nearest stoplights are a city over. In particular, Club Motorsports, a relatively new gem of a course in Tamworth, New Hampshire, with 2.5 miles, 15 turns and about 250 feet with roller coaster changes. A hardcore drag racer would be dizzy around here, or ask what the green things were about every inch of tracks. They are called "trees", Bubba.

In other words, while this wooded, the hillside is going to look beautiful, this is hardly a challenger's homemade turf. Nevertheless, Dodge invited us to drive what is probably the best handling version, despite a 485-hp V-8, which at Dodge's fire hose is a bald-tight peashooter: 201

9 R / T Scat Pack Widebody. Specifications include a rigid adaptive suspension, six-stroke Brembo brakes and 3.5-inch fender flare and wider Pirelli tires (size 305 / 35ZR20) on 20×11 inch forged aluminum wheels. Spring frequency is 14 percent faster in front, with retooled shock valve and larger anti-swing bar.

Either next to or standard width, all 2019 R / T Scat Pack default sweets from Challenger Hellcat, including automated launch control, launch assistant and SRT driving mode. Also, the line lock feature that deactivates rear brakes to allow drivers to roast tires like so many Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men.

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Looking For Problems: 485 hp, R / T Scat Pack Widebody

The hottest, rarest roaster of all of them, the infamous 840-hp Demon, has been sent to netherworld after a one-year, 3,300 unit model running out of Brampton, Ontario. Take Demon's Place – As if something could take place – Challenger SRT is Hellcat Redeye. Its strange name does not refer to an overnight flight with Lucifer's felines, but to the red "jewel-like" eye attached to the fender's Hellcat brand. You know Dodge, and how much fun do they have with names and logos.

Before throwing red tears for Demon, be aware that Dodge still promotes Redeye as the fastest, fastest and fastest muscle car in the country. It snapped me all the way every time I left his Hemi V-8. 797 horsepower and 707 pound-meter torque have a way to do it. The 6.2-liter Hemi is essentially a Demon engine – right down to the refrigerator size, 2.7-liter super-load-minus calibration that lets it tip 100-plus octane racing fuel. So we're still talking a muscle car that turns off 60 km / h for 3.4 seconds, and quarter-mile at 10.8 seconds at 131 mph (in fat-worn, fender-flaring Widebody disise). It is also 0.1 seconds faster and 4 mph faster at the trap than a standard Hellcat-which itself has been boosted by 10 hp in 2019, to 717 horses.

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A 2019 Cermet Challengers in a Maine Store Flaunt New Dual Snorkel Hoods

Yes, Demon recorded a record setting of 9.65 seconds in the quarter. The approximately 1.1 second edge of the quarter mileage is largely due to its almost sluggish street-legal drag, myriad chassis adjustments to encourage backward weight transfer for even more explosive start and the ability to hitch special racing fuel. But Redeye finds its own bragging rights in a faster range: Where strip-focused Demon was electronically limited to 168 km / h because of its Nitto kite wheels, Redeye covers an amazing 203 mph.

The price is amazing, too. At the low end, you can still buy a 2019 Challenger for as little as $ 28 640, for a rear-mounted SXT model with its 305-horsepower Pentastar V-6. On top, Redeye, after a $ 1700 gasguzzler tax, will set you back $ 72,685 to start – a $ 11,000 upcharge from a standard 2019 Hellcat. Throw in the $ 6000 Widebody package and sprinkle in some deluxe options, and Redeye I drove costs $ 88,410. (Perhaps "Redeye" refers to what happens when you calculate the monthly payment).

Like every 2019 Hellcat, Redeye adopts a creepy, dual-snorkel hood with functional nostrils that help maximize the intake of air. (The design theme nods to vintage Mopar muscle cars like the 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger and 71 Demons.)

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Hellcat Redeye Cottage supplies the goods

Oh, that's more. The 485 hp R / T Scat Pack 1320 Series "1320" refers to the number of feet in a quarter-mile environment. It is designed as greenrod runners for people (meaning most) who are unwilling or unable to become ours for a Hellcat. It includes Nexen 20-inch street-legal drag radians, a SRT-tuned adaptive suspension with drag mode and lots of burnt-friendly Hellcat / Demon equipment, including Line Lock, TransBrake, torque reservation and extreme duty, 41-spline half shafts. The Scat Pack 1320 starts from $ 44,125, a reasonable $ 3,995 upcharge over a standard R / T Scat Pack. A 1320 on screen in a refurbished Maine warehouse performed a kickass shadow of dark retro purple called "Black Eye." The concept color was the top voice goats among 15 paint shades shown to Fiat-Chrysler employees and enthusiasts. Dodge says it will measure public feedback and decide to bring Black Eye paint to showrooms. (We assume the answer will be "yes".)

Challenger is one of those cars that look great in so many colors that it's hard to choose a favorite that I appreciate while it is surrounded by a Crayola- box worth of choice. I'm part of the green branch, called F8 Green, or the same harmful Destroyer Gray, but also candy-colored shades like TorRed and Indigo Blue. And the available black hoods or racing stripes never look wrong on a Mopar.

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R / T Scat Pack 1320, in a cute concept color called "Black Eye." Yes, it's actually purple.

Dodge says Scat Pack Widebody will draw an impressive 0.97 g sidebar versus 0.93 for the standard model. The Widebody version also runs two seconds per game faster on the GingerMan Raceway in western Michigan. There is an eternity in racing, about 12 billions for each round. 485-hp Widebody is also faster in a straight line shaving 0.1 seconds from 0-60 mph clock (4.6 seconds with automatic trans) and 0.2 seconds for quarter-miles, with an extended time of 12 , 1 second at 112 mph.

When I had learned all this at the station event, the skull was crammed, forced induction style, with so many statistics, specifications and prices that I could not possibly keep them all right. But a number did not burn with that evening beer, and I confirmed it with Dodge engineers: R / T Scat Pack Widebody, said they could circle the (admittedly cozy) GingerMan course as fast as the narrower and softer origin of Hellcat, to despite giving up 232 horsepower to the cat.

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Strong Brembo brakes have their work cut out for them

We set the test requirements for Club Motorsports. With its wider rubber, rigid suspension and superior power to chassis balance, Scat Pack Widebody has a significantly more stable and scarce ride than Redeye, making it more fun to drive. And Redeye? Like Hellcat, it's a bit like steering a jet-driven BarcaLounger: Surprisingly comfortable and insanely fast, but also big, spongy and isolated. As Hellcat on track, the best compliment I can offer is that Redeye does not feel it's trying to kill you. The operative technique is to get your brakes done early, coast through the swing with a hint of maintenance strings- wait for it, wait for it – then roll back on the gas to avoid spinning the tires or destroy the chassis.

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797-hp Hellcat Redeye offers its own Widebody package. Dig the retro green paint and racing track.

On the track, which version we are driving, the management is a myth slow and stingy with feedback; The wheel itself is pretty grippy but also macho-thick. The eight-speed gearbox also takes its sweet time, even when using the plastic switch. Six-stroke Brembo brakes feel surprisingly strong-Dodge claims a 108-foot stop from 60mph, just a few meters more than a Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack. But the challengers are spreading under heavy braking, and you're constantly aware that you're throbbing with a big heavy machine.

Dodge engineers even rushed to notice that even this R / T Scat Pack is not designed to be a tracked rat. If it were, at a curve close to 4300 pounds, it would be the rat that even Remy from Ratatouille could not continue to be fed. Instead, the idea was to create a Challenger that is still fast fast, including a peak speed of 169 mph or 179 mph for the standard width Scat Pack, but one that you can drive harder and more confident.

No, it's not going to beat 220 mph, but Hellcat Redeye can reach a crazy 203 mph

It's far from me to spurn some form of track time; I'm the guy you have to pull out of the car at the end of the day, when other journalists have long been retired to a shady paddock and their cocktail racks. And yet, in the parking lot, Subaru WRX STI Type RA I had driven up from Brooklyn, a sacred terror of a tram. And when I felt out of track curling, 10-degree downhill class in these challenges – among the steepest pumas, you'll see a course beyond Laguna Seca's corkwriter – I found myself attacking it in Subaru, instead of tipping in Dodges.

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Challengers are play and stable on track, but their hearts belong to the street

Return to money for a second. SRT Hellcat Redeye's $ 72,685 price undermines Demon's with about $ 13,000 and there is no limit, except demand, how many Dodge can build. But the Challenger R / T Scat Pack is undoubtedly the sweet place of the show for its balance between performance and value. It starts from $ 40,130, and it's a very attractive muscle car for that price. If you prefer your racing, add the 1320 package to $ 3,995. Rising through the ranks, the $ 6000 Widebody treatment makes a Challenger look meaner and run better. But if you, like me, still think of a Challenger as a Everyman (or Everywoman) muscle car, Widebodys can also trade a budget. I would recommend going lightly on the options from that point, or expanding the hips can also empty your wallet. Hopefully: With the Widebody package and more options, R / T Scat Pack I drove up to $ 55,569. For me, it's uncomfortable near a standard 717-hp Hellcat, starting from $ 60,350-and it's with $ 1,700 gas guzzler tax. Yes, Dodge, Chevy and Ford fans tend to stay in their little boxes, or just get out of the matches. But cross-shoppers may notice that a 455 hp Camaro SS 1LE or Mustang GT Performance Pack can be well below $ 50,000. Either of these cars will get an R / T Scat Pack-even Widebody-on a racetrack or winding road. The Camaro, in particular, can circulate a course as fast as some big name sports cars, or even some supercars.

Of course, most Dodge fans are fully aware of all that. Bless their burned rubber hearts, they just do not care. That's because there's only one place they want to throw Ford's and Chevys, and that's not going to be a course.

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This was a beautiful New England scene, until the challenger appeared

sure enough, the challengers ran for the reason the other one left the field. I had already co-driven a Scat Pack Widebody to the track from Portland, Maine, enough time for a Maine trooper to spike my driving partner to make 76 km / h a 55 zone-76 as a speed that feels more like 55 in one Challenging. The officer turned out to be a big muscle car fan that turned off with barely a warning, and we assumed he was hanging a U-turn and pulled us over just to check out the car. (Score one for Dodge).

For the return leg we recruited a Redeye. And we were not two miles from the track before I sucked the tires, fished sideways, causing New Hampshire citizens to give me a serious stench eye. My driving partner did the same when we changed spots, leaving a piece of rubber after another through sleepy cities. With 797 horses underneath the foot, it takes a disciplined right foot to make Redeye connect evenly in first gear (or even others), but resolving tires are what it's all about.

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But I was able to save on this Redeye flow, which I needed through sweepers and stormed innocent in their New England Subarus: Windows down, Hemi V-8 blasting, super-leader whistling as demonic as Daryl Hannah's Assassin in Kill Bill: Volume 1. And the street is where you notice Challenger's other good things, including its surprisingly lively nature. Dodge itself defines Challenger as a GT, and although there is no Aston Martin, Challenger's pleasant ride, lavish features and infotainment, and relatively spacious interior and luggage space make it an appealing daily driver – or even a family car, door loader is even more versatile.

On city or suburban highways, Camaro's and Mustang's treatment benefits are also dull, and Challenger strengthens increased. There Challenger makes me feel like a festive, governing youth when I take the wheel. I'm not sure if it's good, but I'll take it. Lawrence Ulrich, The driver's chief image critic, an award-winning car journalist and former chief car critic for The New York Times and Detroit Free Press . Detroit native and Brooklyn gentrifier own a troubled 93 Mazda RX-7 R1, but might want to make it a good home. Send an e-mail to him at Lawrence@thedrive.com .


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