By Sandeep Gill
I get to test many vehicles on an annual basis, from uber-luxurious vehicles to really exotic ones. In this process, what occurs to the human mind is that you become numb to what speed means and how vehicles accelerate. However, every so often, you are presented with a vehicle that makes you recalibrate what power, speed, and acceleration means, a vehicle that, to a certain degree, frightens you. The Dodge Charger Hellcat is a vehicle that belongs to this rare company. This vehicle is designed for the purpose to overwhelm and dominate. It commands respect from its driver and is not meant for the faint-hearted. Hence, it carries the badge of being the most potent and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world. How much power, you may ask…797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque.
This power is derived from a 6.2L Supercharged Hemi V8 that first debuted in the Dodge SRT Demon. It is crammed under a bulging and ventilated hood that likely required Doge to smear butter all over it just to shoehorn this massive V8 into the body. It connects to a TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. A set of 20-by-11-inch wheels riding on a wide 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires attempt to transmit this power to the ground to produce forward momentum. If you have a dry enough road and use the Line lock feature to heat up those massive 305’s and you can get that rear end to hook up just right, you will be rewarded with a rocket ship ride to 100 km per hour in 3.6 seconds and break the quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds. This burst of speed is met with an orchestra of sound mixing V8 glory at its best, and a supercharge whine (more like a scream) that will frighten the neighbor’s pit bull. Everything about the Hellcat Redeye Widebody is designed for straight-line speed, with features like:
- Launch Control – 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.
- Line Lock – engages the front brakes to hold the vehicle stationary but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires.
- Torque Reserve closes a bypass valve to prefill the supercharger, manages fuel flow and spark advance to balance engine rpm and torque and generates a reserve of torque delivered upon acceleration from a standing stop.
Race Cooldown – keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after the engine
- is shut off by running the intercooler pump and radiator fan
Inside the Charger, Hellcat Redeye Widebody looks much like lesser versions. It receives an enhanced steering wheel with paddle shifters, an 8.4-inch Uconnect screen, and performance bolstered seats. Sound is courtesy of Harman Kardon audio system with amplifier and 19 GreenEdge speakers with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The Redeye also provides a full suite of safety features like Full-speed Forward Collision Warning–Plus, Adaptive Cruise Control–Plus with Full Stop and Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist.
If there is a brand that has embraced the muscle car and dedicated itself to producing extreme versions of their entire lineup of vehicles, Dodge is it. The Redeye Widebody is a tribute to straight-line power, burnouts, and doughnuts. It screams in the face of economy and environmentalism like no other car can, and that’s what makes it endearing for a car enthusiast. In an automotive era that is seeing the shift from internal combustion engines to electric and hybridized vehicles, the Redeye Widebody is the last hooray that we love about the muscle car; speed, burning rubber, and noise. Enjoy it while we can because as of 2023, we will no longer see it again.