Hellacious, it may be, but with a mere 707 horsepower, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is no match for the raw, blistering power of the new Dodge Demon. But it’s about to come a little closer.
The Detroit muscle car brand is about to up the performance ante with yet another entrant into its Hellcat family: the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. Call it the Challenger Widebody for short, suggests Jim Wilder, head of the development team, noting it takes nearly as long to say the muscle coupe’s full name as it needs to launch from 0 to 60.
The latest entry into the Dodge muscle car family is designed to squeeze out every ounce of performance out of the Hellcat motor, a 6.2-liter monster that – until the Demon debuted – laid claim to being the most powerful factory-built vehicle ever.
(For the NY debut of the the world’s fastest production car, the Dodge Demon, Click Here.)
While the Widebody doesn’t make any changes to the Hellcat engine, it nonetheless enhances the Challenger’s performance substantially, Dodge claims. That means a 0 to 60 time of 3.4 seconds a tenth faster than the original Hellcat, while the Widebody runs the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds, a three-tenths improvement. On a 1.7-mile road course the development team used, the Widebody cut two seconds off lap times, equal to a full 13 car lengths over the standard Hellcat.
Lateral grip jumps from 0.93Gs to 0.97, though top speed does slip slightly, to a mere 195 mph compared to the original Hellcat’s 199.
Credit several factors:
- The Challenger Widebody features new 20 x 11-inch “Devil’s Rim” split-five spoke aluminum wheels riding on 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires, compared to the stock Hellcat’s 305/35/ZR20 rubber;
- To make room for those fat wheels and tires, the Widebody adopts the same, flared fenders introduced on the Demon, adding another 3.5 inches of width;
- The front fascia has been modified to account for the wider wheel flares, though that did slightly reduce the car’s aerodynamics;
- The Hellcat Widebody also swaps its hydraulic steering for a new electric power steering, or EPS, system – which adds the advantage of having three separate modes, including one that increases boost for parking and driving in low-speed traffic.
(Student designers help Dodge get a look at its future. Click Here to see what they have in mind.)
“The new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody completes our strongest Dodge muscle car lineup in history,” said Tim Kuniskis , head of North American passenger car operations for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, ahead of the new model’s unveiling at a Tuesday preview of FCA’s 2018 line-up.
One of the key differences between the Dodge Hellcat Widebody and the Dodge Demon is that the new model is designed for both straight line and road course racing. The 808-hp Demon is essentially a street-legal dragster.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody will go on sale late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter, according to Wilder. Look for a price of $71,495, including $1,700 gas guzzler tax, plus another $1,095 in delivery fees.
(How much for a Dodge Demon? Click Here for the final numbers.)