The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is where tires go to die. It’s one of the last coupes with American-style V-8 thunder under its hood. The Challenger SRT Hellcat lineup’s most reserved model spews 717 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine. But there’s so much more: output from the Hellcat Redeye model’s version of this engine jumps to 797 horsepower. And the meanest, nastiest Hellcat Redeye, the Widebody Jailbreak edition, deploys 807 horsepower. All Challenger SRT Hellcats help you toward a suspended license with a hard-working eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel-drive—a configuration that is always ready to deploy billows of smoke from each of its massive, 12-inch-wide rear tires. While souped-up rivals such as the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 are more road-course friendly, the SRT Hellcat has surface-prepared drag strip energy. And a lot of it. The more everyday all-wheel drive, V-6, and smaller V-8 equipped Challenger are reviewed separately.
What’s New for 2023?
Dodge is gearing up for the final model year for the current generation Challenger SRT Hellcat by making the 807-hp Jailbreak package available on both the Redeye and non-Redeye models. All 2023 Challengers will come with a special “Last Call” plaque under the hood to commemorate the final production run before Dodge switches to a new generation of performance cars featuring electrified powertrains.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Jailbreak
The Widebody version looks cooler with its flared fenders and handles better, thanks largely to wider wheels and tires, so that’s the one we’d choose. Despite the fact that the SRT Hellcat is all about excess, we wouldn’t opt for the Redeye model that increases power to nearly 800 horses. In fact, during our testing, the Redeye wasn’t quicker than the standard Hellcat because its tires simply couldn’t put the extra grunt to the ground.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The mad scientists at Dodge’s SRT laboratory pulled a Samuel L. Jackson and went all Old Testament with the almighty Hellcat engine. The standard setup makes “only” 717 horsepower, and the version in the Redeye pumps out 797 horses. The 807-hp Super Stock model features dedicated equipment for drag racing. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the last Challenger SRT Redeye Widebody we tested roared to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and completed the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds at 125 mph. We’ve driven several Hellcats and—as expected—never got tired of tapping into the endless power supply. However, launching the unruly beast straight and true is an exercise in extreme car control. Every model had an insidious growl at startup that builds to a hellish howl under heavy throttle. The Hellcat’s distinct supercharger whine will send shivers down your spine from either fear or excitement—most likely both. These high-performance Challengers might not be the ultimate tools for a track-attack event, but they’re quick as hell in a straight line and handle well enough to hustle down twisty back roads—provided your heavy right foot knows when to let up.
More on the Challenger Coupe
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Challenger SRT Hellcat doesn’t power-slam gas like a competitive drinker—at least, not more than its competition. Its rated at 13 mpg in the city and up to 22 mpg on the highway. The Camaro ZL1 and Shelby GT500 top out at 14/21 mpg city/highway and 12/18 mpg city/highway, respectively. The last Hellcat Challenger we ran on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, wasn’t far off its 22-mpg EPA estimate. For more information about the Challenger’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Challenger interior was redesigned for the 2015 model year with a driver-centric layout, straightforward switchgear, and better materials. The SRT twins have standard leather finery, unique badging and gauge colors, and heated and ventilated front seats. Despite its roomy cabin, the plastics still look cheap, and visibility to the rear is poor. The Dodge held six carry-ons in its trunk and an impressive 15 total with the rear seat stowed. None of the cars we tested were particularly adept at storing small items, but the Challenger at least has a big center-console bin, and there’s a useful slot to stick a smartphone.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
Both models boast a Uconnect infotainment system that is simple to use and filled with features. These include navigation, a bumpin’ stereo, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The standard 8.4-inch touchscreen is usefully large and features icons that can be easily selected with a finger. There are volume and tuning knobs for quick audio-system adjustments. While the navigation responds quickly to inputs with a large onscreen keyboard, the map graphics look dated and cartoony.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The big-bodied coupe is available with a host of driver-assistance technologies. Both models have standard rear parking sensors, but most other safety equipment costs extra and not all of it is available on the Redeye. For more information about the Challenger’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available forward-collision warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Challenger’s coverage aligns with domestic rivals. However, the Camaro comes with at least a little bit of complimentary maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 2-door coupe
PRICE AS TESTED
$91,469 (base price: $78,745)
supercharged and intercooled pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection
376 cu in, 6166 cc
797 hp @ 6300 rpm
707 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 15.4-in vented, slotted discs/13.8-in vented, slotted discs
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4, 305/35ZR-20 (107Y)
Wheelbase: 116.2 in
Length: 197.5 in
Width: 78.3 in
Height: 57.5 in
Passenger volume: 94 cu ft
Trunk volume: 16 cu ft
Curb weight: 4514 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 3.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 7.8 sec
Zero to 170 mph: 27.7 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.1 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.4 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 11.8 sec @ 125 mph
Top speed (drag limited, mfr’s claim): 203 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 152 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.95 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 15 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 16/13/22 mpg
More Features and Specs