2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody First Drive Review
They told us the Hellcat Redeye Widebody is a “Hellcat that’s been possessed by a Demon.” But what I’m telling myself is, Save it for the track. I hadn’t even put the pedal all the way to the floor, and the world around me had warped in my peripheral vision. I peeled my skull from the headrest and contemplated the supercharger under the double-snorkel hood in front of me force-feeding air to the’s 6.2-liter Hemi V8, producing a hair under 800 horsepower. With my stomach returning to its usual place, I tried to summon the patience not to roast the tires again.
Relax, enjoy the drive, explore the car, and save the rest for the track. I tried to restrain myself from adding to the many strips of rubber already smeared across the hilly, meandering roads between Portland, Maine and Club Motorsports across the state line in New Hampshire. But then there’s always another stop sign, and something possesses me to misbehave again as I pull away.
The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye includes a number of borrowed features that helped the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon slap me in the back of the helmet back at Lucas Oil Raceway. It has the same displacement Hemi with a 2.7-liter supercharger providing 14.5 PSI of boost. That pressure is thanks in part to the “Power Chiller,” which diverts the A/C refrigerant to cool the air intake. It offers the torque reserve system for explosive launches, as well as the strengthened driveshaft to handle it all. It won’t do a wheelie, but it’ll scream in your face as it hurls you straight to jail.
At speed in Sport transmission mode, the engine drones loudly as it holds slightly higher revs, and the shifts give you a gentle kick in the small of your back. With traction set to Sport — or, even better, Track — the Redeye will happily spin its rear tires pulling away from a stop sign to the delight of the bored construction crew egging you on.
I threw in the towel at the track long before the cars began to tire, and just as it began to rain. One of the Dodge crew sent us off with a fantastic burnout in one of the cars. After that, I got back into another Redeye for a relaxing, comfortable drive back to Portland, happy to know that unlike the Demon — which will go down in history as the rare, niche car it is — the Hellcat Redeye will get a longer run to test the grit of true automotive thrill-seekers.