The Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody provides Dodge one thing no different American rival affords: a full-size sedan with astronomical horsepower. Ford is getting out of the sedan enterprise altogether and Chevrolet is trimming again its portfolio, with each corporations shifting focus in the direction of crossovers and SUVs. Fortunately, Dodge is not following that lead.
Greater than wider hips
The brand new-for-2020 Widebody provides 3.5 inches of width in comparison with the standard Charger. Along with the fender flares, the Widebody will get a singular entrance fascia with mail-slot grille offering extra direct route radiator cooling, in addition to a brand new rear spoiler and aspect sills to raised mix with the added width. The result’s a extra menacing design that will get many nods of approval wherever this sedan goes.
Apart from a extra hulking stance, the broader exterior shell permits for the set up of thicker wheels and tires. Within the Hellcat’s case, the beforehand normal 20-by-9.5-inch wheels wrapped with 275/40-series tires are changed by 20-by-11-inch wheels coated in 305/50-series rubber.
2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody: Sharper seems and dealing with
A brand new wheel and tire bundle additionally means the engineers needed to rework the Hellcat’s suspension, leading to new tuning for the three-mode Bilstein adaptive dampers, 32% stiffer entrance springs and bigger anti-roll bars. Different chassis tweaks embody a multi-mode electrical energy steering system instead of the outdated full-hydraulic setup, in addition to brake upgrades with six-piston entrance Brembo calipers biting down on 15.4-inch, two-piece rotors.
What’s the results of chassis revisions and meatier rubber? A way more competent Charger that instills extra confidence by way of corners. With Observe mode activated, steering response is sort of rapid, and the dampers preserve the 4,587-pound huge boy from being clumsy in turns. The Pirelli P Zero tires’ wider contact patches give the Charger commendable stick earlier than the fronts start plowing ahead, and brake muscle is stout, shortly getting the automobile slowed down. The place the Charger’s measurement cannot be disguised is underneath braking and side-to-side weight transfers, however keep away from slalom workouts and you will be advantageous.
The Hellcat Widebody is actually stiff in Observe mode, transmitting impacts from each highway rut into the cabin. Moreover, in Observe mode, the steering weight is on the heavy aspect for road use — except you need Popeye-sized forearms. Summon the Hellcat’s Sport setting for the most effective stability of efficiency and luxury. You will need Avenue mode for the gentlest conduct, however be forewarned that trip high quality is not magic-carpet soft and the steering nonetheless has fairly a little bit of weight with a small lifeless spot on middle.
Visible and dealing with adjustments apart, the principle motive anybody buys a Hellcat is for the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 underneath the hood. It nonetheless makes 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque for 2020, however maintain out for a 2021 model and you will get 717 hp within the Hellcat and 797 hp within the new Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye.
The extra highly effective 2021 SRT Chargers will not arrive in sellers till Spring, that means if you’d like a Hellcat now, it’ll be an instance with 707 horses, which is tough to poo-poo. Not with a 0-to-60-mph time of three.6 seconds and a 10.96-second quarter-mile run. The Charger Hellcat is a brute that makes the appropriate noises burbling at idle, which turns into supercharger whine throughout acceleration with a menacing exhaust notice as well. Throttle response is sort of immediate, and a tidal wave of energy is offered in any respect components of the rev band to forcefully push this sedan ahead or spin the rear tires for smokey burnouts and donuts.
Energy is routed to the Hellcat’s rear wheels by way of an eight-speed automated transmission that, in Observe mode, rips off fast however not utterly seamless shifts. You’ll be able to shift it your self with the steering wheel-mounted paddles, which supply respectable response to instructions and rev-matching on downshifts. My recommendation is to let the pc do all of the shifting, although, as a result of the transmission could be very properly programmed.
For the instances you are not looking for a pleasant piece of pavement on which to carry out smoke exhibits, the Avenue setting provides the drivetrain a extra mellow persona. Gearbox shifts are smoother and barely muted. Not surprisingly, the most important strike towards the Charger SRT is poor gas financial system, which is clear with how quickly the gas gauge needle drops. EPA gas financial system estimates have this 707-hp beast returning 12 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 21 mpg on the freeway — numbers low sufficient for the Charger to be slapped with a $2,100 fuel guzzler tax. Does that matter to a typical Hellcat shopper? Not going.
Similar because it ever was
Inside is the place the Charger is exhibiting its age. It is roomy, with a simple structure and clearly marked controls. The entrance bucket seats are snug with beneficiant aspect bolsters and trimmed with good leather-based, whereas numerous soft-touch surfaces, an non-obligatory suede headliner and actual carbon fiber trim convey some premium touches to this take a look at automobile. There’s additionally a pleasant huge trunk within the again with 16.5 cubic ft of house. Sadly, the inside design is a bit stale now and there are some budget-rate areas, such because the hole window controls and flimsy plastic decrease door panel compartments.
What is not stale is the Uconnect infotainment system with its crisp-looking and responsive 8.4-inch touchscreen controlling a bumping 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio setup, navigation system that shortly calculates routes, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And to maintain anybody phones or tablets from going lifeless within the Charger, there are quite a few USB and 12-volt shops inside simple attain of individuals in each rows of seats.
Sadly, anybody in search of an enormous driver-assistance tech menu can be dissatisfied. The Charger Hellcat comes with the federally mandated backup digital camera and normal blind-spot monitoring and that is it. Issues like adaptive cruise management, lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning usually are not accessible.
Huge efficiency bang on your buck
Actually, when you concentrate on what the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody brings to the desk for $73,590 (together with $1,495 for vacation spot and fuel guzzler tax), it is a efficiency cut price. And that is even more true with the Widebody, which permits the Charger to take corners in a good vogue due to its suspension adjustments and larger tires.
The Hellcat Widebody tester pictured right here stickers for $83,150 with a handful of choices that I might gladly depart off, similar to totally different wheels, a sunroof and a few small visible upgrades. My splendid automobile retains the Frostbite paint job seen right here, although, in addition to the $1,595 Carbon/Suede Inside Bundle. I will additionally preserve the nice $1,995 Harman Kardon Audio Group, bringing my splendid automobile’s backside line to $77,180.
Sure, the Charger Hellcat Widebody has loads of shortcomings, however once I stroll in the direction of this menacing machine within the car parking zone, I do not take into consideration them. Once I interact launch management and let the supercharged V8 rocket me ahead, I additionally do not take into consideration them as a result of I am too busy laughing with glee. The Charger Hellcat Widebody is an immensely entertaining machine.
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