The Dodge Charger is a muscle car icon. In its original form in the ‘60s, it made a huge mark in the horsepower wars. Dodge has made a few attempts since then to revive the nameplate with mixed results. The latest attempt, however, has managed to not only capture the magic of the old icon, but with the increasingly powerful special editions it's lived up to its predecessor's ground pounding power.
In 2020, Dodge gets a new SRT edition that dramatically changes the top of the tier Charger including an edition that celebrates the craziest Daytona ever made and its record-making speed. With the new upgrades comes a Charger we've never seen before including things we've never thought a Charger could do.
Here are a few of the things to look forward to when the new hot rod sedan hits dealers in early 2020.
20 It's Wide
For 2020, the new Dodge Charger SRT comes in Hellcat Widebody form. The Challenger SRT Demon had already received the wide body treatment to help it lay down its 840hp when unlocked, and now it's big brother has gotten in on the big fenders to help out with its still impressive 707hp.
19 It's Legitimately Fast
That the car is fast shouldn't really be that much of a surprise. Muscle car's stock in trade is to deliver the goods when the right foot is down. It's not so much that the Charger Hellcat is fast, it's how fast it really is. According to Dodge, it should be the fastest mass produced sedan on the market with estimates of a top speed at around 200mph.
18 The Daytona Celebrates a Legend
Daytona International Speedway has loomed large in many manufacturers performance cars ever since the first NASCAR races moved from the beach to the legendary tri-oval. Built specifically for the new super speedways of NASCAR, the first Daytona Charger was an unholy alliance of oddball aerodynamics and power. Five hundred and one Daytona examples celebrate the 50th anniversary of that legendary race car. No tall spoiler, though.
17 There Will Be No Charger Demon
Fans looking for a four door that can blow the doors off most other cars at the drag strip out of the box won't be getting a Demon powered 840hp Charger. According to Muscle Cars & Trucks FCA's Head of Passenger Cars for North America, Tim Kuniskis stressed that the Challenger Demon won't return and the engine was never going to find itself in a Charger.
16 Track Mode Still Helps You Out
During their test drive at the legendarily technical Sonoma Raceway, Autoweek test pilots discovered that even in Track Mode – which usually turns all the assists off – there's still a touch of traction control. Vehicle Development Manager for SRT Engineering told the testers that people tend to operate the gas pedal like a switch, so traction control is in there as a safeguard.
15 The Splitter Guards Are a Different Color
Some people like to leave the sticker on the bill of their baseball caps to demonstrate how new and clean it is. Likewise, there's a brand of Charger and Challenger owners who keep the bright yellow splitter guards meant to protect the car during shipping on their cars after buying them. Hoping to get people to take them off, they'll now be purple.
14 It Handles
No one is ever going to mistake the Dodge Charger for a sports car and that's by design. As the revival pony cars at Ford and Chevrolet get more and more like sports cars, the big Dodge has stayed faithfully a muscle car. Part of the big fender package though is bigger rubber and a wider track, resulting in a .96g on the skid pad and 2.1 seconds off the lap times at all curves of the Sonoma Raceway.
13 It's a 10 Second Car Out of the Box
While we may never get a drag strip darling Charger Demon, the Hellcat Widebody can still deliver the straight line goods. Dodge is claiming that the car in stock trim and pump gas will still throw you from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds – with Car and Driver clocking 3.4 seconds – and consume a quarter mile in 10.96 seconds. Now, Brian could get Dom his 10 second car at a Dodge dealership.
12 It's Not as Thirsty as You'd Imagine
Make no mistake, the Charger Hellcat Widebody is a thirsty car. With 707 hp or 717 hp for the 501 Daytona models that will be made, and 650 lbs of torque coming out a supercharged 6.2 liter engine, it will go through gas. Even with that much horsepower and that much engine, it manages 21 combined miles per gallon, which is still good for a $2,100 gas guzzler tax.
11 It's Old
The Charger is still essentially the same body from almost ten years ago and the underpinnings go back even further, some of which were already being used in Mercedes cars prior to the Charger back when Mercedes and Chrysler were briefly together. Since then, the changes in the car have generally been more in the power category.
10 It Went to Pikes Peak
Within days of the new Charger being announced, it was also announced that Wesley Motorsports had prepared one for the legendary Pikes Peak Hillclimb with Motor Trend test pilot Randy Pobst behind the wheel. Entered in the Attack 1 category, it came in just under 12 minutes.
9 It's More Than Rubber
A wider footprint and bigger meat can go a long way in creating more grip for a car and the wide body treatment has delivered that. It's not just the rubber that makes the 4,535 pound monster grab tarmac. It also has a host of suspension and braking upgrades that help the beast change direction.
8 Burnout Assist
While the Demon had drag strip specific features like weight transfer during launch and a TransBrake for those wicked quarter-mile launches, the Charger Hellcat Widebody does get some of the quarter mile goodies. The Hellcat can and will light the tires up with a generous application of the right foot, owners can also engage Line Lock to engage the front brakes for a standing burnout.
7 Stay Cool Even Sitting Still
Delivering as much ground pounding power to the road as the Charger Hellcat does can be sweaty work for an engine. Generating that much heat can be damaging to the car if you shut it off before it cools down. Don't worry, the Hellcat has you covered. The Race Cooldown system cools the air cooler and supercharger even after the engine shuts down.
6 You Can Go Supercharger-less and Still Get the Upgrades
For the SRT, which includes the supercharger and an extra three hundred horsepower and change, the widebody and suspension upgrades come standard. To get that, you'll have to fork over just under eighty grand. If that much power or that big a price tag is daunting, the widebody can be had in the R/T trim with the optional Scat Pack.
5 Electrically Assisted Steering
For the new model year, the Charger Hellcat Widebody upgraded the power steering system. Rather than the traditionally fluid pumps, it has an electrical assistance system that is also adjustable through the various modes. Test pilots were impressed with the responsiveness, but felt it lacked some key feedback.
4 All the Power for Half the Price
At just over $70k, the Hellcat Widebody is not cheap. In fact it comes in at almost double the price of the base model Charger – even the rumbling V8 in the R/T. If you're looking for something else in a sedan with the same kind of power as the Charger Hellcat Widebody, you'll have to spend six figures on a European brand.
3 More Wild Colors
Mopar has always been a little playful when it comes to the colors of their cars, creating colors that have become iconic not just for their outlandishness but also for their outlandish names such as Plum Crazy and Go Mango. Now, they've added colors such as Sinamon Stick, Hellraisin, and Frostbite.
2 It's Vin Diesel Official
Just days after Dodge introduced the new wider Charger Hellcat, the car made a second premiere in Vin Diesel's Instagram feed. Diesel is currently filming the ninth entry in the Fast and Furious franchise in which the widebody Hellcat makes an appearance with a custom hood and Demon wheels.
1 There's An Even Wilder Version
As is the custom these days, crazy has no limits. No matter how hot a car comes from the factory, there's some mad scientists somewhere who think it could be hotter. The mad scientists at SpeedKore have done just that and can deliver a twin turbocharged Charger wide body with an eye-watering 1,525 hp and all-wheel drive.
Sources: autoweek.com, caranddriver.com, motortrend.com