Just prior to this car being delivered to my driveway I received an introductory email from the SRT product support team which included a quote that’s been attributed to Voltaire (as well as Uncle Ben from Spiderman if that’s more your thing) reminding me that “With great power comes great responsibility”. And then continued with “…a friendly reminder to stay safe, but of course, have a blast!”
Well then. A couple of months ago I was asked which FCA product I would most like to try if I had a choice and I responded that I’d love to sample any variant of the Challenger, having never had the pleasure. Last week I got a call that if I’d like I could have 48 hours with this particular car as it was out here on a very tight time frame. I of course said “Yes, please!” and rearranged everything I had scheduled in a hurry as these opportunities don’t come along too often.
Everyone is likely familiar with the Challenger line that starts at a very reasonable $28,095 and somehow still manages to come equipped with a 305hp engine (the Pentastar 3.6l V6) in its most basic form, and from there continues up through multiple engines, drive formats (RWD, AWD), special editions and packages, limited editions, SRT (Street & Racing Technology) versions and until a couple of years ago culminated in the 707hp Hellcat that I had the good fortune to sample at a media track day back then.
Of course as any manufacturer worth their salt would do, they’d sell all they could of that and then come up with something else to top it and then sell those as well, you know, the old “New and Improved!” routine. So after the Hellcat at first there was the pretty-much-a-drag-racer-and-not-really-streetable Demon with 840hp which was really limited but then they also released both a “Widebody” package as well as building on the regular Hellcat with a further “Redeye” version. You can get a Hellcat, a Hellcat Redeye, and each one either in regular or widebody format. Of course the one they sent me was all of the above as per the title because when asked to choose between bacon and cheese on a burger I’ll just say yes.
As it rumbled up my driveway resplendent in its “Frostbite” color, it was loud. Not loud, but LOUD. And almost impossibly wide and hunkered down. Dodge has certainly nailed the look here and as you go up the Challenger lineup it gets lower and wider (and apparently louder) as you reach towards the top.
The front airdam is low and deep with a splitter so large that Imelda Marcos could use it to store her shoe collection on. Walking around the body makes evident that the fender extensions which add 3.5″ of overall width (covering the existing small fender flares) are fully utilized to cover the wider wheels and tires that increase the track, and that the rear spoiler mounted to the trunk lid is in fact larger than the similar ones on “lesser” versions. But there’s nothing very garish here, it all seems to serve a purpose and when studied is really quite understated with no wasted flourishes, bizarre scoops or extraneous detailing. Extremely clean, in other words.
The hood bulges higher than normal and is outfitted with two very large nostrils up front, both of which internally combine within the hood itself and are ducted to feed air to the standard gigantic cold air intake’s cone filter, and in addition to that the driver’s side inboard headlamp which is hollow in the middle to form an approximately 2″ wide tube also culminates directly in that same airbox. (The matching unit on the passenger side unit is blocked at the rear but seems like it could be uncorked easily enough to just vent cool air into the tightly packed engine compartment).
Crouching down near any of the four corners makes evident that the wheels here measure a massive 11″ wide and carry a set of 305/35-20 Pirelli P-Zero tires with the same size on all four corners that fill out the newly enlarged wheel wells to excellent effect. Tucked inside are a set of massive slotted brake discs married to enormous Brembo 6-piston brake calipers (in the front, slightly smaller in the rear). It’s a good thing these wheels came gunmetal colored as within the first 50 miles of me driving it there was already a thick layer of brake dust covering the front ones.
Standing back up and opening the door reveals a thickly bolstered and padded set of seats finished in a Caramel-like color known in Dodge-Speak as “Sepia” and contrasts well with the rest of the interior slathered in black and carbon fiber bits. The seats themselves are embossed with the SRT and Hellcat logos and while the driver’s seat bottom is powered, as is the lumbar support, the passenger’s side is not at all and both backrests are also strictly manually adjustable affairs.
It’s easy enough to get comfortable with the proviso that the bottom cushion is a tad short, an extending lower cushion would be most welcome here but the seats do hold one in place well while not ever seeming to pinch or be too snug.
Straight ahead is a more or less normal Challenger instrument panel with the visual difference being that the faces on the gauges are backed in red. Oh, and the speedometer now goes all the way up to 220mph. In between the speedo and tach is a large digital information screen that through the buttons on the steering wheel can switch through dozens of screens that include every possible vital sign measurement.
Additionally in the same menus there are also various timers, launch assistants, countdown clocks, stopwatches for predefined speed markers (0-60mph, 0-100) as well as distance-based ones (1/8 mile, 1/4 mile) as just a couple of examples along with data logging to compare prior attempts with current ones etc. Even reaction time can be measured as all of these timed runs can be started with a countdown timer embedded within, presumably all to be enjoyed on a private course.
Behind the front row is the rear seat, just as comfortably trimmed as the fronts, access is fairly easy by using a paddle to lift the seatback forward, duck under the belt and settle in. My kids were comfortable and I even tried it myself, at 6’1″ with a 32″ inseam my knees were touching the seatback and my head was close to the headliner (no sunroof here), but it was better than the average Japanese coupes I remember clambering into back in high school.
With the power and moves this thing has though, I think I’d need to be able to exit faster than I could here should something internally get upset, however it’s no surprise the Challenger keeps selling, it’s significantly roomier and more livable both in front and back when compared to its crosstown rivals, clearly there is a market.
Sightlines out the front, immediate sides, and directly back are surprisingly good, however the large C-pillar creates the mother of all blind spots on the rear passenger side. The Blind Spot Assist system is invaluable here as it’s impossible to see another vehicle and it would also be impossible to hear it over the noise this one makes.
Looking straight ahead reveals a very long and deep dashboard and then beyond the glass the humped hood seems to go on almost forever compared to most modern, “normal” cars. It very much feels like you’re in its predecessors in that regard and that’s no slight whatsoever, it’s a welcome reminder of times gone past.
While a manual transmission is standard, this one was fitted with an automatic (an 8-speed ZF Made In Germany unit branded as a Torque-Flite) that includes wonderful little paddle shifters attached to the steering wheel. The center console is of the non-impinging variety and includes two cupholders, a small cubby that can sort of hold a phone to the right of the shift lever, and not a whole lot else beyond HVAC and Audio controls. And of course the SRT menu access button as well as the Launch Control buttons!
Above is a full-featured UConnect 8.4″ display that serves double duty for some of the knobbed and buttoned controls but also serves as a mini computer to not only handle the regular daily stuff like Navigation, Audio, Bluetooth, HVAC, Seat Warmers/Coolers and other Settings, but also to set up the car as one might want it to be for a certain situation.
Pretty much every aspect is configurable with predefined Street, Sport, and Track modes but also Individual mix and match settings are completely available for the user. Frankly I for the most part left it as defined when I received it as it all seemed to work well and with only 48hours didn’t much feel like wasting one minute of it on desk duty. My eyes were drawn to the big red Engine Start button just below.
The trunk is massive, of course since the chassis is shared with the Charger and Chrysler 300 that’s one of the benefits here that helps to offset the implied liabilities of that large base. This will easily carry all the luggage for all the occupants that you can cram in here and helps to make the car perfectly usable every day.
But you’re not reading this to hear about the trunk space; the star of the show here is the engine, if you are one who worships at the Altar of Horsepower this is your mate! While the normal Hellcat now makes do with 717hp, this High Output version of the 6.2 liter V8 Hemi with a massive supercharger strapped to the top clocks in at 797hp and 707lb-ft of torque.
Making the increase possible is a physically larger supercharger than the regular Hellcat as well as raising the boost level, increasing the redline to 6500rpm, adding a second fuel pump, as well as revised and strengthened engine internals. This isn’t just a software change, these are major modifications. As a result the power increase is significant and if you scoffed at the 220mph speedometer earlier, well, this car tops out at 203mph. It’s basically the engine as installed in the Demon drag racer but detuned a bit due to the reduced available airflow in this package.
There is even something called a Power Chiller, which when in use actually diverts chilled refrigerant from the air conditioning system to an exchanger which then further cools the intake air in order to add more density and hence enable more power. While I don’t have access to my own dragstrip and doubt that Dodge would like me to go to the Tune’n’Test night at Bandimere Speedway with their car, never mind that two days aren’t nearly enough to really get used to the car, they claim that they’d expect the car to run the quarter-mile in the mid-10 second range and be pushing almost 130mph at the end. This from a car that can be driven to Costco and loaded up with shopping and will happily take the kids to camp without a second thought.
So once seated and buckled in and after making sure the red key fob as opposed to the black one is in your pocket (red unleashes everything, black is for the valet but only if he’s kept in sight, right?), you can reach out and push the engine start button at which point there is a tremendous bellow from the engine and exhaust and it takes a minute for it to settle down into a marvelously lopey fast idle with a loud and satisfying soundtrack.
Release the refreshingly manual parking brake with your left foot, pull the traditional gear lever (none of that monostatic nonsense here) into Reverse at which point the revs drop a few hundred and slowly back out of the driveway while both looking back as well as keeping an eye on the back up camera monitor that while making everything visible is on the lower-resolution side compared to newer systems; presumably the upcoming new version of UConnect will improve that soon.
Then shift it into Drive, roll on the gas and marvel at how the engine note increases sharply while the car is pushed forward as some of the baffles in the exhaust open up. Once on a main road, a little more gas and without even thinking about it you are already well above the speed limit and need to recalibrate your foot and brain to this car. The supercharger lets out a wonderful whiny shriek like Mad Max’s car when on the throttle and howls for joy while just gulping in all of the air while all 6.2 liters of V-8 bits loudly hammer their way forward at warp speed.
There are two aspects of this car that I can’t say I was completely ready for in hindsight. Well, ready, yes, but perhaps not quite able to imagine accurately before experiencing firsthand.
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These cars are produced just a few blocks from where I work. I regularly see car carriers full of Challengers heading west, presumably to enter the States at the Ambassador Bridge.
I would factor in a good chunk of change before purchasing one of these for insurance, because it ain’t going to be cheap!
I think this is one of those cars where you’d phone up your insurance guy before setting off and again when you arrive. i don’t think you’d want to leave it with the insurance running!
For reasons that aren’t important here, this is the least relevant new vehicle to me. Yet I devoured every word, Jim, and that’s a testament to your writing. Well done!
If only I had the money….
Interesting that the car in the photos doesn’t have the yellow front air dam shipping protectors that are, evidently, a thing on these cars now.
Every time I see those I want to ask the owner if they keep the clear plastic wrap on the steering wheel too. Luckily I’m polite and keep those thoughts in my head, as proponents of them seem to get really defensive about it!
I have them on my Scat Pack just to mess with people’s heads. The bagger at my usual Kroger store just about melts down every time he sees me, “You gotta take those F*(&^&( things off!”. Nope.
I absolutely adore these things, and love that FCA is cranking out increasingly insane editions as well as various special editions/new colors/etc. Who cares that it’s an “old” platform? It works.
Ford/GM: “We’re mobility companies, check out this electric bicycle”
FCA: “We got another 100hp, wider tires and a cool new color on the Challenger”
I keep trying to pitch a Challenger (a relatively mild and plebian R/T) to my wife as her next car (replacing her Camry). We’ve got two other kid-hauling+all weather capable vehicles, a sporty RWD coupe with daily driver comfort isn’t THAT crazy of an idea. a Charger R/T is of course an even more reasonable option, but just doesn’t have the LOOK.
FCA has already announced that this is essentially the end of the road for them too, before their EVs come online. So get ’em while you can; the IC is having a glorious final blowout.
Jim, I will continue to live my automotive life precariously through you.
Disclaimer: I knew Jim had this car but have refrained from reading what he had to say until now. His excitement in this essay is obvious and it was quite infectious when he texted me upon receiving it. You could almost hear him giggling with excitement.
This Challenger is such the opposite of the one from yesterday’s COAL. Well, maybe both were loud. However, I think Sergio M’s vision has happened – Dodge is a performance brand. Could any other “American” car (whatever this is anymore) so successfully pull off a car like this? No. Dodge is the only one that can.
FCAs merger with PSA for the new Stellantis will be interesting to see, particularly the role Dodge will play. Part of me sees Dodge becoming even more performance oriented yet another part of me is concerned as volume is what counts and does Dodge have the volume it needs to justify itself?
Regardless, this Challenger sounds like a monumental car to have experienced.
I am so not ready for Stellantis. Who comes up with these names? Even worse, who actually gets paid to come up with these names?
…ask your doctor if Stellantis is right for you.
I don’t know, but whoever came up with “Redeye” deserves a bonus. That’s the best new-car model name I’ve heard in a long time. And perfectly suits the car, too.
And in my opinion, instead of Stellantis, they should have just called the new Chrysler/Fiat/PSA/etc parent-conglomerate company “Jeep”.
Stell/\ntis (yes, that’s how it’s supposed to be spelled) will be interesting for former FCA products, considering how I’ve read that PSA’s chairman Carlos Tavares isn’t particularly enthralled with alternate-power (read: electric) vehicles, especially since the whole rationale behind Chrysler’s EV program is compliance, i.e., to offset the gas-guzzling ways of high-performance (but low fuel mileage) SRT vehicles (Hellcat, Redeye, Demon, etc.).
IOW, if they kill off the high fuel mileage vehicles, will they also kill off the low fuel mileage ones, as well? That doesn’t exactly leave a lot of ‘halo’ vehicles to get customers into showrooms.
“Stell/\ntis”? LOLnope, not in the auto industry publication I edit. I’ll file that with companies who think their name should be SHOUTED in all-caps: No, in this publication we write like grownups, so your company name will get one uppercase letter—the first one, not some random middle or final one—and the name will be spelled correctly with actual letters; random punctuation marks will not be substituted, as we are not 12-year-olds sending texts in class.
The only car company I can think of that wants all caps is MINI. Are there others.
Conversely, there was good ole smart, who wanted their name in all lower case.
Stell/\ /\rtois, cheers!
PSA’s current and near-future EV situation:
It looks like the linked article is three years old. They may have had a change of heart since then.
That may be the case, but the four full-EV car models as pictured (1x DS, 2x Peugeot and 1x Opel) are already in the showroom. The same applies to PSA’s compact and mid-size vans.
Stell/\ntis makes me question my long time ragging on of acronyms
> the name will be spelled correctly with actual letters; random punctuation marks will not be substituted, as we are not 12-year-olds sending texts in class.
Yes, this. Remember Th!nk? (sorry I reminded you). Also the trim levels on the Kia Soul a few years back included the Soul! and Soul+.
Stellantis sounds if “A Streetcar Named Desire” were set in an underwater city. “Hey, Stella!” meets Atlantis.
Out on the freeway yesterday, I had a short conversation with my wife about the Challenger’s continued sales success and the Camaro’s apparent sales slide over the last few years. We both wondered if the Camaro would still be selling well if they just continued the 2010 car with incremental updates for 10 years, but I doubt it. For some reason, the Challenger doesn’t seem to age, which really says that they got it right the first time (or the second time if you look at it that way).
It shows how wrong they got the Camaro in 2010, and then made it worse in 2016 when they updated it(made it even uglier). The looks and questions both my Challengers (2010 R/T, and 2018 R/T Scat Pack) got and still get (I spent about 15 minutes talking to two guys in the Findlay Ohio Kroger parking lot on Sunday) make it clear that they nailed the looks of the Challenger, both times. I have the big brakes, the H/K stereo, leather seats, and most of the toys the car above has, except mine is a “narrowbody”(I think the WB looks tacked on). I am very happy with only 485 HP. Only mods are a catch can and a Hellcat airbox and filter. I also opened up the left headlight intake duct. I have two future automotive paths, depending on what happens to these cars. If they make a next gen that looks good, and has similar power(Please, no turbos), I will buy one it’s second year. If they screw it up, and I fear they will, or they discontinue it, I will buy one of the last ones. That will take me past age 70 at least.
Wow. This is one that I’d readily describe as not for me. Despite my own assessment of my driving skills as better-than-average, it’s just too much car for me. This is a vehicle I’d quite happily ride in as a passenger with a different sort of driver from myself at the helm. It is certainly pretty inside and out.
I think it’s great that these are out there, and obviously there’s a market for them, but it’d be dangerous in my hands. I came of driving age in the early 80’s when performance meant a 130hp car that didn’t stall at traffic lights. My driving skills were thus learned on vehicles that required a lot of throttle and high revs to get anywhere with any expedience. I don’t think I could adjust to something like this. I’d liken it to the time I was given the keys to a friend’s ’67 Corvette with 427 and 4-speed. It was an experience I’m glad I had, but it was also tremendously anxiety-inducing. Perhaps I’m afraid I don’t have the restraint and good judgement required to handle something like this. It sure does look like fun though.
Disclaimer for my earlier comment: No proselytizing intended. The opinions expressed in this post do not represent my opinions about what anyone else with the cash and urge should be allowed to enjoy. If ya got it and ya can handle it, have at it!
Then get an R/T Scat Pack, or even just an R/T. I know people who went from 6 cyl. cars to Scat Packs and had no problems adjusting, and another friend who went from a 6 cylinder Grand Cherokee to a 2010 Challenger SRT with a blown stroked 440 CI monster that could eat the Redeye for breakfast, and he never wrecked it in the almost 3 years he had it after it was all completed. All it takes is a little right foot control. Now he owns a near stock ’19 SP and is happy with it.
Good point about the trunk space, but I think that and the back seat sell quite a few Challengers over Mustangs and Camaros. The latter two are 2+2 coupes, the Challenger really is the last two-door sedan.
Stylewise, it shows a beneficial side effect of retro design; it’s aged well, with just enough 1970 influence to come across as its’ own thing and not scream mid-’00s at you in the same way similarly aged Nissan offerings do.
Thanks for this review Jim.
Although this would likely be the last car I would ever buy new I appreciate living in a world where this exists.
+1 – my views exactly.
Testing and buying a Tesla and a Hellcat Redeye all within a couple of weeks: the ying and yang of autodom. Thanks for taking us along for the ride; I can tell it was a blast.
My garage is a very big tent; this was quite the experience though, thank you!
It is very impressive what Dodge has wrought here, while ostensibly an “SRT” product, they seem to be much more low-key about that aspect as compared to most other makers with a similar performance department which is refreshing while developing products that most others simply can’t (or won’t) match. They certainly know their market.
Jim’s giddy enthusiasm for this car is palpable throughout this review, even as he maintains the same thorough and objective eye used to evaluate something as prosaic as the Nissan Sentra a couple weeks ago. While I would never entertain spending $92k on a car and really would not want all the attention this Hellcat Challenger attracts, I am glad they exist for those who want them. I wouldn’t mind a ride in one, though.
The Challenger remains my favorite of the retro muscle cars and turns my head every time I see one in traffic. In these late stages of the lifespan of the Detroit Three car lines, Chrysler seems to be the only one to craft a distinctly American style capable of evoking a strong, enduring attachment among its fans, while Ford featured more international influences in the last of its car lines, and GM muddles along with undistinguished blobby shapes and overwrought detailing.
Must be a hell of an ROI for FCA on these 2008 cars…
This is from five years ago, but I’ll leave it here anyway. I like 2:58 best.
Exposing those clowns now that they’ve had five years of reality slapping them in face with their unjustified sense of intellect is just mean. Very few sporty cars in history have been able to maintain their desirability and impact as long as the Hellcats have. What was the sporty Ford or Chevrolet from 2015? Or BMW? Or Mercedes-Benz? Or Audi? Or VW? What cars were those brands using to justify magazine covers two years ago? Maybe their fans know, but nobody else old enough to actually drive does.
You’re mistaken; I didn’t post it to “expose” anyone, I posted it because I think it’s funny because true.
YMMV, of course.
How many years of contradictory evidence to you ignore before abandoning something as being true? They expressed opinions about who would buy Hellcats and how fast they would lose interest. I don’t know anyone who fits their description of a Hellcat buyer who is a Hellcat owner, and we are years past when they said the Hellcat window of desirability would pass yet here we are all reading a review of a Hellcat in 2020.
…YMMV, of course.
(Psst: they said a lot of things in that vid. Some of them are funny. Some of them are true. This isn’t a court of law, uh, counsellor, so pouncing on something they said and triumphantly declaring it as the smoking gun that sinks their whole case is sort of…well, I guess if you’re having fun, that’s what matters.)
The Hellcat aged better than that channel did. I can only take so many despondent hipster car reviews with a first person view before mashing the unsubscribe button to get them out of my recommended videos.
If you go back and read some of the original 2009 Challenger R/T reviews, it’s amazing to me that they are writing about basically the same car made today. They predicted “failure”, “A 5 year at best run”, etc. When I saw the concept in 2006, I knew if they put it into production, I would own one. I’m on my second one now. Every single time I drive it I smile. I love the thing. From it’s looks to it’s power, to the amazing 8 speed auto, and the super upgraded brakes. The only negative is I still get questions about it. Even all these years later, it’s like a magnet, older guys especially, but people of all ages are drawn to it like moths to a flame. Two guys grilled me about it on Sunday afternoon as I came out of the grocery store. They were about 30. Before that, a 17 year old asked me all about it as I came out of the podiatrist’s office. At least it’s not at the level it was when I bought my first Challenger in Nov ’10, I got asked questions almost daily, had people yell things at me about it at lights, etc. Only one negative comment, “It must not get very good mileage!”. I wanted to smack that punk!
I like how that video is exactly 7:07 in length…
Well, didn’t you win the autojourno lottery? But some of us are disappointed that we didn’t get to read about a thrill ride well into the upper half of the speedo. What, there aren’t long straight deserted roads in Colorado? I’m sure that CC’s bail bond program would have come to your rescue had things gone awry. Or maybe I’m thinking of the funeral benefit. Whatever, we have total faith in you.
I will echo others at being impressed at what pre-Stellantis Chrysler/FCA has done with this car. From your description the interior quality is really impressive, something that has not been a tradition Chrysler strength in a long, long time.
Maybe you will get another one when they have it up to an even 1000 horsepower.
There are plenty of straight roads and also everyone around here seems to suddenly drive a black Ford Explorer for some reason. Some things are best discussed at the next meetup… 🙂
So are you saying it needs to be reasonably close to Ft. Collins as all potential attendees may no longer have a driver’s license?
I can always take the Bustang down to Denver….
Haha, no, my license is perfectly intact, it gets checked every week before keys get handed over…You seeing reviews means my license is valid!
I do have to say that it is surprising that the lawyers let them sell these and even more surprising that they let a journalist have one for a couple of days with a warning e-mail and not a 17 page hold harmless release signed by you and your next of kin.
However it sounds like a fun 48 hrs.
Did the wife have call and ask if you were ever coming home, because it shouldn’t take you 4 hours to make a run to Home Depot for some screws.
It is surprising that the subwoofer is held down at least partially by the hold down for a spare tire. I also have to wonder how much the cover dances if you really crank it up.
That’s one fat hell of a cat! Very brutal, and another great JK review.
Once in a while, one can spot the more plebeian Challenger and Charger versions on our roads. Mustangs are thicker on the ground, but these are offered through the Ford dealerships. I have yet to come across a late model Camaro.
As the owner of a 45k mile ’74 Challenger, I really appreciated the retro version of the new Challenger (unlike the 4 DOOR Charger!). Even though it’s larger than the original, they got the look right. As the horsepower ratings increased, I kept thinking, Why? you can’t legally use it, so what’s the point? Reading Jim’s descriptions of the sights/sounds/reactions/etc. were like a cold drink on a scorching day! At $92k, one of these is NOT in my future (even though I LOVE the color!), and my driving skills could be satisfied with a less potent version…..BUT I CAN DREAM!!! 🙂
Did the ’74 Challenger meet 5-mph impact bumper requirements with the use of those over-riders? If so, why didn’t Detroit stick with them? They look so much lighter and more attractive than most addenda added to 1973 designs to comply with the insurance companies’ bought regulators.
The bumpers themselves are also extended further outward, which you can see with the filler panels between them and the fenders
I can’t count how many times I’ve bashed my knees on the bumper pads when walking around the car! The ’73 versions are about 2″ shorter, as the requirement was only 2.5 mph IIRC. 🙂
Apparently Chrysler was able to get an exemption, as the ’74 ‘E’ bodies were the last of their kind. 🙂
I find it funny how these crazy supercharged versions thoroughly overshadow the 392 NA models, even those have more horsepower than anyone ever will need. Ever the contrarian I am those are what I’ve been eying, I just like the visuals and handling/braking upgrades, and I can actually put the pedal fully to the floor occasionally. And this widebody thing is just a little much for my taste, I think it works better visually on the Charger.
It’s a rather tortured analogy but the Challenger reminds me a lot of the SN95 Mustang in its market position and evolution, both were relatively practical coupes and the tiers of packages more or less lined up. V6 = SXT, GT = R/T, SRT = NA Cobras, Mach 1 = scat pack, 03/04 “terminator” = Hellcat. The latter really gave me that epiphany, even the widebody flares look like New Edge Mustang fenders, there are a few other visual elements that echo. Plus SRT, SVT…
I know I shouldn’t and it wouldn’t fit or suit our roads or my current vehicle usage in any way, but I want one. In blue, with a tan interior. Don’t care about delivery mileage.
I never expected to sat that about an evolution of a 12 year old Dodge.
Jim, I’m incredibly jealous of you these days… Alfas, RAMs and now Hellcats.
When I dream about modern ponycars these days, this is the car I dream of. FWIW, I think FCA has schooled the other two here in the US about how to keep an older platform fresh. Up until the last several years, I got the underlying feeling that the rest of the automotive world was trying to be more like Toyota. FCA saw their lineup, saw their options and went with: Screw that! They’ve gotten more mileage out of a 6.2L supercharged V8 than I ever could have imagined.
I remember when the first Hellcat Challengers were released, I thought to myself: Who are they kidding? No one in their right mind needs 700HP for the street. It’ll be expensive to buy, own and run. This will be a flop… Just like personal computers and the internet (to name two) things I thought were stupid, actual events have proven to me that my predictive powers are fairly useless. In fact, I WOULD like to have a 700 HP car, but only in a dream world. But a 485 HP car, that could happen… Hello Scat Pack…
Great review, Jim.
I’d never do it justice, but would enjoy something like 48 hours—though preferabky on wide-open western roads where I’d be a danger only to myself.
Some especially entertaining comments as well, today—I enjoyed every word!
I hate modern cars. I don’t like the styling, I don’t like the modern computery air they are filled with, I don’t like the ever increasing reliance on modules to do everything, I dislike the very idea of electric cars, and I dislike touch screens on dashboards. I think the 03-11 Town Car was peak automobile for normal use. That said, if someone forced me at gunpoint to drive\own a modern car, the only choice would be Challenger. Probably not this one, cause I don’t need 800 net hp, but one of the midrange versions.
That was a great review. For my needs if I were looking for a brand new car, it would be the most basic stripped down V6 Challenger and I would be quite happy. 300 horsepower is a good bit more than either of my 318s and my 3.5 and plenty enough for me.
While I work on my own ancient fleet of Mopars myself, by the time we get to a car like this, I would hope that if I bought such a vehicle, my budget would include paying others for repairs because I would own it long enough for that to be a consideration, and the complexity of the Challenger would be way beyond anything I currently have as the newest thing I drive is a 2002 Concorde Lxi.