It’s hard to stay on top in the muscle car wars, and the 2020 model year will see an assortment of new offerings meant to push the performance envelope.
We’ve already heard about Ford’s new Mustang Shelby GT500, and Chevrolet has finally confirmed it will come to market with the mid-engine version of the Corvette it has been teasing us with for the better part of a half-century. Now, Dodge is firing back with two new entries, including both the Charger Scat Pack Widebody and, for anyone looking for what it calls the “most powerful and fastest production sedan in the world,” there’s the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody.
The new sedan, which sees its wheels flare out another 3.5 inches, shares the same, 707 horsepower supercharged V-8 as the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody that made its debut in 2017. And, along with its 20×11-inch Pirelli tires, it adds technical features like Launch Control and Line Lock to ensure all 650 pound-feet of torque make it to the pavement.
The heart of the Charger Widebody is, of course, that 6.2-liter supercharged V-8. As with the Challenger version, it’s paired with a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic sending power to the rear wheels. No manual option, the last stick shift from Dodge vanishing years ago.
Dodge says it is adding four performance-oriented technologies to the 2020 sedan:
· Line Lock engages the front brakes to hold the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody stationary, but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires;
· Launch Control, easily accessed from a switch on the dashboard, manages tire slip while launching the vehicle to allow the driver to achieve consistent straight-line acceleration;
· Launch Assist uses wheel speed sensors to watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and, in milliseconds, modifies the engine torque to regain full grip;
· And, to help out after a hard run, Race Cooldown keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after the engine is shut off by running the intercooler pump and radiator fan.
Like most modern muscle cars, the Widebody is designed to handle a street course, as well as a dragstrip. So, it also gets stiffer springs, larger anti-sway bars and retuned shock absorbers to allow it to handle well on a track or on winding roads. And Brembo brakes will help it quickly scrub off speed without fading under repeated hard braking maneuvers.
As for the tires, they’re sticky 20 by 11-inch 305/35ZR20 Pirelli, the wheel flares extended 3.5 inches to make the necessary space.
Drivers can select from a variety of modes to tune steering, throttle response and transmission behavior, among other vehicle attributes. That’s handled by using the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen display.
Dodge claims its latest muscle car can hit 60 in just 3.6 seconds, and tops out at 196 mph. It can also come to a complete stop from 60 mph in just 104 feet, thanks to the standard 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece front brake rotors with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.
Along with the Charger Hellcat Widebody, Dodge on Thursday revealed a Scat Pack Widebody version of the sedan. It features the same, wider body flares as the Hellcat, but is powered by a 392 cubic-inch Hemi V-8 making 485 hp, the automaker says.
“It features its own upgraded specially tuned suspension,” Dodge said in a news release, “with Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping, standard EPS with selectable steering tuning, and wider wheels and tires to reach unprecedented levels of lateral grip, acceleration and braking, delivering its best on-road and on-track performance levels ever.”
The Charger Scat Pack Widebody edition will hit 60 in 4.3 seconds and turn a quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds. Dodge claims it can cut lap times on a 2.1-mile road course by 1.3 seconds.
Pricing won’t be released until later this year but, to offer a hint, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody starts at $72,590.