Hits 100km/h faster than you can say its full name.
American carmaker Dodge has refreshed its Challenger SRT lineup ahead of the 2019 model year, bringing lots of little updates to make the range a little more liveable. What’s more, they’ve added perhaps the one thing that the Challenger SRT range wasn’t exactly wanting for: More power.
The Challenger SRT range now includes a new ‘Hellcat Redeye’ variant sitting at the very top of the range, which Dodge claims is the “most powerful, quickest, and fastest muscle car.” And under the bonnet of this ‘superlative’ muscle car lies the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 mill out of the Challenger Demon, putting out an astonishing 594kW and 959Nm, stopping just 32kW short of the Demon.
Power goes exclusively to the rear wheels via an uprated 8-speed automatic gearbox, which allows the Redeye to go from naught to 100km/h in a scorching 3.4-seconds before topping out at 327km/h.
The Hellcat Redeye’s managed to achieve those colossal numbers though a series of carefully-calculated mechanical revisions. The biggest update is perhaps the 2.7-litre supercharger, the upgraded pistons and con-rods, and a new injection system, as well as a retuned valvetrain and lubrication system. As a result, boost pressure is up from 11.6psi to 14.5psi, and the tachometer now redlines at 6,500rpm (previously 6200rpm).
The ‘standard’ Challenger SRT Hellcat has also received a power boost, albeit a more modest 7.5kW one (up from 527kW to 535kW). The big change needed to hit that figure came in the form of a left-hand air intake that effectively provides a ram-air effect into the engine. Interestingly, Dodge glossed over telling the media of its new 0-100km/h time, which to us suggests that it isn’t markedly improved over the outgoing Hellcat’s time of 3.6-seconds.
There’s a new Widebody Pack for the SRT Hellcat that adds some 90mm to the width of the Challenger, and also includes things like stiffer coils up front, revised dampers, and enhanced anti-roll bars. As a result of all of that, the Hellcat can now fit wheels that are some 11-inches across to improve grip to no end.
There’s also a new 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system that’s standard across the range, as well as a standard Power Chiller for the Hellcat Redeye (it uses the A/C system to feed cool air into the supercharger), as well as an After-Run Chiller that’s standard on the regular Hellcat that keeps the cooling fan and pump running after the car’s been driven hard.
It’s a shame that until the next-generation model arrives, the Challenger will remain an elusive beast for us in Australia. That’s likely good news for the Mustang, as it means there’s no solid contenders to challenge its place as Australia’s fastest-selling sports car.