Dodge has revealed that they are reshaping the sharp end of their Challenger lineup by adding one new model, doing away with another and adding more power and a host of new features to several more.
With the introduction of the Hellcat Redeye, Dodge has combined many of the best facets of the Hellcat with the track oriented Demon to come out with a “super Hellcat” of sorts.
“It’s a Hellcat that’s been possessed by a Demon,” says Steve Beahm, head of Passenger Car Brands-Dodge, SRT, Chrysler, and Fiat for FCA North America. “We’ve got a Hellcat body, basically suspension and platform, and then we’ve got the Demon engine,” Beahm says in an interview with Motor Trend. “It’s a little bit different calibration than the Demon engine.”
In the Hellcat Redeye, the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 churns out 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful production V8 now that Dodge has stopped production of the Demon.
In Redeye configuration, the engine features the largest factory supercharger of any production car at 2.7 liters, a maximum boost pressure of 14.5 psi, a 6,500 rpm redline, two dual-stage fuel pumps, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, high-speed valve train, fuel injection system and lubrication system, and is mated to the TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission. Internal changes to the transmission include an upgraded torque converter that delivers an 18 percent increase in torque multiplication when compared with the standard Challenger SRT Hellcat. The SRT Hellcat Redeye offers two final drive ratios, a standard 2.62:1 or available 3.09:1 for enhanced launch capability.
Another engine feature is the SRT Power Chiller, which diverts the air-conditioning refrigerant from the interior cabin to a chiller unit mounted by the low-temperature circuit coolant pump. Charge air coolant, after being cooled by ambient air passing through a low-temperature radiator at the front of the vehicle, flows through the chiller unit, where it is further cooled. The chilled coolant then flows to the heat exchangers in the supercharger.
The After-Run Chiller, an industry first, minimizes any heat soak effects, allowing the engine to stay in optimum operating temperature. When the engine shuts down, the After-Run Chiller, now standard across the Challenger SRT Hellcat model lineup in 2019, keeps the engine’s cooling fan and low-temperature circuit coolant pump running to lower the supercharger/charge air cooler temperature. The driver can track the supercharger coolant temperature on the SRT Performance Pages in the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen and know in real time when the supercharger is at the optimum temperature for another run.
Dodge says the Challenger Redeye now holds the title of quickest muscle car in production, with a claimed 0–60 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph, with a top speed of 203 mph. The Demon, capable of 840 hp and 770 lb-ft on high-octane race fuel, has a claimed 0-to-60 mph in 2.3 seconds. Its 3,300-unit production run ended in May.
“In terms of performance, the Demon was intended for the track even though it was street legal,” Beahm notes. “ The Redeye grew out of a desire to provide a car that would be out on the road, not just on the track or in somebody’s garage. Dodge designed the Redeye as a mainstream vehicle with a lot of the same performance features in the Hellcat or Demon.
The Redeye “is a wide body as well, so you get the 3.5-inch-wider wheels, more rubber on the ground,” continues Beahm. It has Pirelli P Zero tires. It does not have the Demon’s Drag mode suspension tuning for weight transfer on launch or TransBrake which mechanically locks the output shaft of the transmission as the throttle goes up to build and hold more power for launch in Drag mode, but the Redeye does have line lock.
On the exterior, the Redeye features a new dual-snorkel hood that pays homage to the distinctive Dodge design themes from some of its most famous muscle cars, including the 1970 Dart Swinger and 1971 Demon. Dual carbon or gunmetal stripe packages have been tailored to enhance the new dual-snorkel hood design. The Hellcat’s Driver-side Air Catcher headlamp is retained and an inlet near the wheel liner has been added.
“We designed the SRT Hellcat Challenger’s new dual-snorkel hood to focus on another key historical Mopar design element and pay homage to our past with a modern interpretation that looks even more sinister,” says Mark Trostle – Head of Performance, Passenger and Utility Vehicle Exterior Design, FCA US LLC. “Whenever we design a new exterior element, we work hand-in-hand with the SRT engineering team to ensure that everything we create resonates with SRT DNA, is functional and meets their performance goals.”
In addition to the new dual-snorkel hood, the exterior of Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye receives enhanced badging with a sinister red jewel-like eye design on the Hellcat that jumps off the Midnight Grey Metallic finish fender badge. A die-cast SRT emblem on the supercharger housing also features the new Redeye logo.
The 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye has several unique interior features, including a 220-mph red speedometer, an SRT Hellcat Redeye logo splash screen, Light Black Chrome instrument panel badge with SRT Hellcat Redeye logo and SRT Hellcat Redeye logos on the key fobs.
Much like the Hellcat, the Redeye is not a special edition or limited run, and is not limited to preset volumes. Beahm expects the Redeye to account for 7 to 8 percent of total Hellcat sales. Redeye production begins in Brampton, Ontario this fall. Deliveries are expected by the end of the year.
The Hellcat sees some tweaking for 2019 also. It boasts a power increase to 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque. This is made possible with the same dual-snorkel hood that the Redeye has. The left snorkel goes straight into the induction system and allows the produce the extra 10 hp.
Unlike the automatic only Redeye, the Hellcat will continue to be available with both the standard Tremec six-speed manual transmission and the TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission to handle the immense horsepower and torque output.
2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat models come loaded with standard performance features, including:
- Adaptive Damping Suspension — SRT-tuned Bilstein three-mode Adaptive Damping Suspension system includes: Auto Mode = sporty but compliant ride; Sport Mode = firm, maximum handling; Track Mode = firm, maximum handling plus performance shifting and gear-holding feature.
- Braking system — braking power comes from the standard Brembo brake system with two-piece, 15.4-inch front rotors and six-piston front calipers for outstanding heat management, thermal capacity and longevity.
- Electric power steering (EPS) — electric power steering delivers better steering feel and ease of turning efforts at parking lot speeds. It can be calibrated to optimize steering effort for a variety of driving situations via settings in the SRT Performance Pages.
- Launch Assist — launched on the Challenger SRT Demon as a factory-production car first, Launch Assist helps resolve one of the biggest challenges to clean launches and driveline integrity – wheel hop, which happens when tires quickly slip and regain traction at launch, rapidly storing up and releasing energy in the driveline. These high torque spikes can quickly and severely damage driveline components, and up until now, the only solution was to back out of the throttle. The 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat models use the wheel speed sensors to watch for signs that the tires are slipping/sticking. If hop is detected, the engine control module momentarily reduces torque to maximize traction almost instantly – without the driver having to lift the throttle. Launch Assist reduces loads in the driveline from wheel hop by up to 20 percent.
- Torque Reserve — becomes active once the engine speed passes 950 rpm. The system closes the bypass valve, “prefilling” the intake with boost, manages fuel flow to cylinders and manages spark timing to balance engine rpm and torque
- Launch Control — holds the engine at optimal launch RPM and waits for the driver to release the brake. Launch Control then uses engine torque management to optimize wheel slip for maximum acceleration. All 2019 Challenger models with Launch Control receive an improved system that increases hold time from five to 10 seconds for optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration
- Line Lock — engages the front brakes to hold the Challenger stationary but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires. The system will also let the driver perform a controlled rolling burnout and can engage for up to 200 rear wheel revolutions
- Larger induction air box — with three sources of intake air: new dual-snorkel hood, driver-side Air Catcher headlamp and inlet near the wheel liner
- SRT Drive Modes — accessed via the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, drivers can tailor their experience by adjusting horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering effort, paddle shifters, traction and suspension settings. SRT Drive Modes offer selectable settings for Street (Auto), Sport and Track. There is also a Custom setting for the driver to select individual preferences
- SRT Performance Pages — bring critical vehicle performance data to the driver’s fingertips, including a real-time dyno graph, g-force heat map and much more
In order to make room for the Redeye addition to the SRT line, Dodge has quietly killed off the normally aspirated SRT 392 ci Hemi V8 model, so that all SRT Challengers now have a supercharged powerplant.
But that does not spell the end of the 485 horsepower, 392 ci V8 in Challenger form, as it becomes the standard engine in the new 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack.
All Challenger R/T Scat Pack models get a new look, courtesy of the 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat. The power-bulge aluminum hood features a dedicated air intake flanked by dual-air extractors to ensure removal of heat and reduced air turbulence in the engine compartment. Standard illuminated Air Catcher headlamps feed additional air directly into the engine bay.
Also for 2019, R/T Scat Pack buyers can leverage the on-track performance capabilities of the SRT Hellcat Widebody. Featuring the same fender flares from SRT Hellcat Widebody, which add 3.5 inches to the overall width, the new R/T Scat Pack Widebody rides on sticky 305/35ZR20 Pirelli tires mounted to 20 x 11-inch forged “Devil’s Rim” aluminum wheels.
Many other high-performance features are now standard on all a Challenger R/T Scat Pack models, including Launch Control, Launch Assist, Line Lock, SRT Drive Modes and SRT Performance Pages.
The Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody adds an SRT-tuned chassis, featuring stiffer front springs, retuned shock absorbers and larger sway bars in both front and rearSRT-tuned high-performance adaptive damping suspension, front fascia with integrated splitter, and the rear spoiler from the Hellcat.
The Challenger R/T Scat Pack’s superb stopping power comes from the SRT-engineered Brembo brake system with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers, resulting in 60-0 mph braking performance improving to 108 feet (from 111 feet).
As a result of all these changes the R/T Scat Pack Widebody delivers its best on-road and on-track performance ever, with an improvement of close to 2 seconds per lap or 12 car lengths compared with the R/T Scat Pack. In a quarter-mile comparison, the new Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody gained .2 seconds, running 12.1 seconds E.T. at 112 mph.
Exterior badging on the R/T Scat Pack includes new Scat Pack Bee badges that face forward on both fenders. Challenger script and R/T logos flank both sides of the front grille.
Inside the performance interior are front seats that feature the Scat Pack Bee logo embroidered into the seat backs; new Dark Dub Plate finish on instrument panel and console and new Liquid Titanium accents on the steering wheel, shifter and cluster bezels.
Finally, the 2019 Challenger R/T and new GT rear-wheel-drive (RWD) models see their performance capabilities enhanced with standard Super Track Pak features, including performance suspension, enhanced steering, 20-inch Granite Crystal painted wheels, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters (with automatic transmission), performance hood and front splitter and performance bolstered cloth Houndstooth seats.
Available on both the Challenger R/T and GT RWD models for 2019 is the Performance Handling Group, which brings enhanced braking and handling capabilities. On GT RWD, the Performance Handling Group features four-piston Brembo brakes (front and rear), wider 20 x 9-inch Black Noise wheels and a larger rear sway bar for improved driving experience and reduced understeer.
The Performance Handling Group on the Challenger R/T adds upgraded springs, sway bars, Bilstein shocks, bushings and mounts, helping to improve performance and response during spirited driving. For the driver looking to get even more out of the Challenger R/T model, the new Performance Plus Package adds track ready 20 x 9.5-inch forged wheels riding on 275/40ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires, limited-slip differential and enhanced handling balance for improved cornering performance.
All Dodge Challenger models will have a wide array of exterior colors and stripes from which they can choose to customize their muscle car. Fourteen different exterior colors are on offer for 2019, including B5 Blue, Destroyer Grey, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, Indigo Blue, Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy, TorRed, Triple Nickel (new), White Knuckle and Yellow Jacket.
Available interior colors include Black, Black/Caramel, Black/Ruby Red, Demonic Red and Sepia.
For more information on the 2019 Dodge Challeneger and SRT lines, go to www.dodge.com