2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye
“Choose Your Poison Level“
The Dodge Challenger first entered the American muscle car scene nearly fifty years ago, evolving continually and progressively into what has become a legendary status symbol or icon since the first 1970 model appeared. The Challenger was originally available as either a 2-door hardtop or in convertible form in four levels of trim. The current design inspiration comes from the 1971 Dodge Challenger, paying homage to the nameplate’s muscle-car heritage, while adding a more contemporary and authoritative Dodge attitude.
Since “Variety is the spice of Life”, the Dodge team now serves up a variety of SRT Hellcat models. There’s the basic 707 horsepower Hellcat (The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was the most powerful muscle car ever produced. At that point); a 797 horsepower Hellcat Redeye, and the limited production Hellcat Demon that pumps out a whopping 840 horses all Demons are already spoken for.
I experienced the base Hellcat first, which at the time was the ultimate Dodge performer and was way beyond impressive. We’ll deal here with the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye here.
GETUP AND GO
Power for the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is delivered by a longitudinally front mounted 6.2-liter HEMI SRT High Output intercooled supercharged, pushrod, 16-OHV valve V8 with port fuel injection. Its 797 horsepower comes at 6,300 rpm along with 707 pound feet of torque generated at 4,500 rpm. Motive force is geared to the rear wheels through a Torqueflite eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Launch control is both impressive and scary to the uninitiated.
APPEALING RETRO STYLE
The appeal of the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is that it’s a real car with sporty, muscle car performance credentials, it has a back seat and it accommodates 5 occupants. It also has a spacious trunk, is easy to get into and out of, and it has outstanding visual appeal.
In terms of its visual appeal, starting up front, the Challenger’s fascia design represents a sinister update of its 1971 inspiration. The power-bulge hood is larger, featuring more aggressive forward-located dual snorkel inlets for enhanced engine cooling, while the vertical split-grille evokes the historic 1971 model. Quad projector headlamps give this Dodge muscle car a more detailed appearance, while a more aggressive brow “chops” the upper portion of the lamp design. Four halo LED headlamps display a cool glow from beneath the brow. Below, a wider trapezoidal front air dam and slimmer grille opening emphasize the coupe’s width, while providing the necessary cooling. Integrated projector fog lamps are pushed to the corners, also accentuating width, while helping to illuminate the road, and a duck-bill fascia spoiler helps to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
In profile, the 2015 Challenger’s signature muscular proportions and large thruster rear-quarter panels stand out from the crowd, while fender and belt lines tie together at the front and rear of the car creating a sleek look. Black sills accentuate the proportions, while the wheels fill the pronounced wheel wells nicely. In the rear is a split tail-lamp design and new rear fascia. Tail lamps feature Dodge brand’s signature LED graphic with its smooth glow of LED lights. A redesigned rear valance gives a more planted on the ground impression, while fascia-mounted oval exhaust tips provide an integrated look.
For an even more sinister and aggressive look, there’s a $6,000 “Widebody”package that includes: Pirelli P-Zero All-Season 305/35 ZR20 107Y mounted on 5-”U”-spoke 20×11-inch Graphite painted Devil’s Rim forged aluminum wheels; Widebody competition suspension and Widebody fender flares.
My Challenger Hellcat Redeye wore a Destroyer Grey metallic exterior finish, while the interior was done in Black and Demonic Red tones. The base price was set at $58,995., which rose to a final sticker of $90,040. After factoring in the “Widebody” package along with other options and the destination charge.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The newly styled interior is warm and inviting as well as performance oriented and driver focused, and the materials, fit and finish are certainly a cut above the levels offered by many competitors. It is more comfortable than a Viper, and in the case of the SRT Hellcat, the performance is superior to that of the Viper as well.
Everything about the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye combines to deliver a satisfying driving experience. The aura is definitely suggestive of the 1971 Challenger, while the technological updates reward the occupants with the latest in safety features, connectivity and infotainment. The automatic transmission’s T-handle shifter is a nice throwback to the iconic pistol-grip shifter of yesteryear, yet modern in its execution.
Perhaps the most memorable thing about the Challenger, aside from its blistering acceleration, is the intoxicating exhaust note. Romp on the accelerator, and you can’t help but smile. It’s also a blast to nail the throttle off the line (using the launch control or not) and to light up the tires. Perhaps not a nod to frugality, it’s fun to slip and slide. The prowess of the new Redeye on twisting roads and in freeway driving is exhilarating, but there’s always the risk of encountering “Officer Friendly” and a violation prize. Handling characteristics are admirable and the ride quality is surprisingly compliant, while also being exceptionally stable.
THE FINAL TAKE
Essentially, in terms of high performance and practical attributes, the new Dodge Challenger is a “no-brainer”. Whether on-road or on-track, Challenger SRT owners can personalize their drive experience via a selectable Drive Modes feature, controlled through the Uconnect system.
All in all, the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat offers a model available that’s capable of suiting nearly everyone needs from mild to wild. The SRT Hellcat Redeye is worthy of any gearhead’s lust, The 70’s were never this good, and there’s no Dodging that fact. Simply name your poison and get out your checkbook.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye
Base Price: $58,995.
Price as Tested: $90,040.
Engine Type and Size: 6.2-liter HEMI SRT High Output intercooled supercharged pushrod, 16-valve V8 with port fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 797 @ 6,300 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 707 @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission: Torqueflite eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front -Multi-link with three-mode Bilstein dampers.
Rear – Multi-link with three-mode Bilstein dampers.
Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel slotted and vented discs with ABS.
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero All-Season 305/35 ZR20 107Y mounted on 5-”U”-spoke 20×11-inch Graphite painted Devil’s Rim forged aluminum wheels.
Wheelbase: 116.2 inches
Length Overall: 197.5 inches
Width: 78.3 inches
Height: 55.7 inches
Curb Weight: 4,448 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gallons – approx.
EPA Mileage Estimates: 13 mpg city / 22 mpg highway – 15 mpg combined
Drag Coefficient: Not given
0 – 60 mph: 3.4 seconds – Top speed 199 mph