(This review has been updated to reflect that Bondurant High Performance Racing School is now Radford Racing School.)
Braindead government lemmings are dictating that we must all drive electric vehicles someday, despite the fact approximately 40% of drivers live in apartments, townhouses and other places that lack a place to charge one.
This disconnect appears to be worrying no one in Congress, whose priorities lie in acting like petulant children, rather than the legislators they are alleged to be.
Into this vacuum drives the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, the last gasp of the old order. It’s a final rallying cry for the internal combustion engine, full of snarl, menace and shredded tires.
Because we live in absurd times, the fastest gas-powered sedan in the world doesn’t wear some exotic European nameplate with a name overwhelmed by vowels or consonants. Instead, it comes from Dodge. You remember Dodge, the company that gave us the Dodge Dynasty? You’ve come a long way, baby. By this point, the Hellcat is a known commodity, an illogical but seductive slab of automotive speed cloaked in sedan sheet metal.
For 2021, there are minor updates. The Charger Hellcat gets an extra 10 horses this year, and is now rated at 717 horsepower, while the Hellcat Redeye now receives equipment from the limited-production 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon that includes an upgraded torque converter, larger supercharger, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, high-speed valvetrain, fuel injection system and an improved lubrication system among its 25 major component upgrades.
Opting for this top-of-the-line Charger nets you the Widebody, with 3.5 inches of fender flares, wider 20-by-11-inch lightweight black wheels on Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires, and a new functional hood scoop and a mail slot grille keeps things cool when the performance turns hot.
As you’d expect, the Charger Hellcat Redeye is festooned with the typical body kit dross, although given this car’s performance, it’s worth having. Certainly, this is a not a vehicle for those who prefer to keep a low profile.
Given that the Charger also does duty as a barebones cop car, it pays to gussy up the interior along with the driveline. That’s why the opting for the $1,595 Carbon/Suede Interior Package and $995 Alcantara Package will help you forget the Charger starts at a price point 67% lower than this fast, ferocious feline.
That feeling is noticeable by this car’s interior trim, with a design that’s beginning to feel outdated, especially the 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen. But it’s lined in leather, with large, comfy heated/ventilated seats, real carbon-fiber interior trim and ample legroom. Headroom isn’t as generous, but enough for all but the over-tall.
The Charger SRT Hellcat’s fierceness comes from its supercharged overhead-valve 6.2-liter V-8 that generates 717 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Pay another $8,600 and you’ll get the Hellcat Redeye, with 797 horses and 707 lb-ft of torque.
The results speak for themselves: 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 203 mph. If you’re going to drag, Dodge quotes a quarter-mile elapsed time of 10.6 seconds at 129 mph. An 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard — a lawyer to bail you out of jail is not.
Launch Control, Launch Assist and Line Lock are standard. Launch Control manages tire slip while accelerating, Launch Assist uses wheel speed sensors to modify engine torque to regain full grip, while Line Lock activates the front brakes while stopped but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout. There are also SRT-tuned damping modes: Auto Mode for a compliant ride, Sport Mode for firmer handling, and Track Mode for the least compliance and maximum handling.
Safety and Technology
Driver assistance safety features include forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist. While NHTSA has not crash-tested a 2021 Dodge Charger, the IIHS has, giving it good ratings for all crashes except small front overlaps, where it rates a marginal. Headlight performance is rated poor.
Tech wise, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, although the Uconnect infotainment system is older than the one used on Durango Hellcat. It still works well and is easy to use. But for this kind of coin, the newer system should be standard.
This is a classic, grin-inducing American muscle car, able to generate stupid amounts of torque and speed, making it ideal for going straight, less so while cornering. The steering doesn’t feel as sharp as the rest of the car, but it’s more than livable. This is one hard tiger to tame, one whose seduction is hard to ignore. Ride quality is excellent for such an athletic beast, although fuel economy is meager — as you’d expect — and premium unleaded fuel is required. But some things in life are worth paying for.
Given the amount of power produced, opt for the summer tires over the all-seasons for better grip. And grip is the ultimate problem on any Hellcat — retaining it, that is. It’s far too easy to get sideways if you don’t know what you’re doing. This makes the free full-day session that SRT buyers receive at the Radford Racing School in Chandler, Arizona, a must.
2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Specifications:
|L: 201 inches/W: 78.3 inches/H: 57.6 inches/Wheelbase: 120 inches
|6.2-liter supercharged high output Hemi V-8; 8-speed automatic transmission
|12 mpg city/21 mpg highway/15 mpg combined
|797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $69,995; As tested: $91,960 including $1,495 destination and delivery charge
If you’re looking for supercar power in a four-door sedan powered by gasoline for less than six figures, you have one choice. Its performance will astound you, particularly since it’s spacious enough to haul the family while you’re hauling ass. Its performance is so incredible, it now tops the Highway Loss Data Institute’s list of vehicles most likely to be stolen. Yup. It’s that good.
2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody — Frequently Asked Questions
How fast is a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye?
The fastest production gasoline-powered sedan in the world, this Charger will accelerate to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 203 mph.
What’s the difference between the Hellcat and the Hellcat Redeye?
While both use the same supercharged V-8 engine, the Redeye’s engine has an additional 80 horsepower and 57 pound-feet of torque. It also receives 25 major component upgrades, including a stouter torque converter, larger supercharger, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, high-speed valve train, fuel injection system and an improved lubrication system. It has a higher redline — 6,500 rpm vs. 6,200 — and an extra fuel pump to expedite the increased fuel flow.
What does SRT stand for?
Street & Racing Technology