2019 is shaping to be a big year for Dodge and its growing family of muscle car offerings. The highlight of course is the Dodge Challenger, and the new model year will bring more power and substance to this iconic two door as well as an all new range topper that is eager to carry on where the limited production Dodge Demon left off.
The big story here is the all new range topping model the 797 horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. This monster leaps to fill the gap left by the departing limited production Dodge Demon. This sinister vehicle did not leave Auburn Hills quietly, and left an enviable inheritance for the Redeye to enjoy. This includes the familiar yet insanely powerful 6.2 liter supercharged V8, which is detuned slightly for Redeye duty, and also boasts 707 lb-ft of torque. An eight speed automatic is the sole transmission choice, but an upgraded torque converter helps increase torque multiplication by 18 percent which should please drag racers.
Dodge is quick to point out that the engine has benefited from 25 different component upgrades including a larger 2.7 liter supercharger, strengthened pistons and camshafts, and so much more. Overall boost pressure has also gone up from 11.6 psi to a lofty 14.5 psi which is a vast improvement over the old Hellcat, and should allow the Redeye to be the last word in the muscle car wars (for now.)
All of these upgrades results in impressive performance, with the Redeye making the dash to 60 mph in an impressive 3.4 seconds, before reaching a lofty top speed of 203 mph. The quarter mile rockets by in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph,which puts the Redeye very close to matching the time set by its demonic sibling. Curiously, at full throttle, the Redeye consumes all its fuel in just 11 minutes, but still manages to achieve 22 mpg in normal freeway driving. We chalk this up to brilliant engineering, as well as liberal use of ones right foot, though look for many buyers to shun Prius like driving for the sake of pure unadulterated speed.
As mentioned earlier, the Redeye ushers in a new regime of muscle, with the rest of the Challenger lineup being revamped for 2019. The "base" Hellcat model now boasts 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque thanks in part to a similar tuning regime. A new dual snorkel hood channels more air into the engine, and is also a subtle tribute to vintage models like the 1971 Dodge Demon. Meanwhile, the Challenger R/T and Scat Pack variants get in on the Widebody act for 2019, and allows this once Hellcat exclusive touch to appeal to more customers. Like before, the package brings wider wheel flares and bigger tires which makes the Challenger more muscular looking, and boosts handling at the same time.
Production of the 2019 Dodge Challenger lineup is expected to begin this fall, with the first units arriving in showrooms by the fourth quarter of the year. While we are disappointed that the switch to an all new Alfa Romeo based platform has been delayed, The current suite of updates should still please the Dodge faithful, and make the wait for its eventual appearance much more enjoyable. In the meantime, Dodge has released a brief video titled "Triple Threat" which can be seen below, and sheds more light on the new Challenger lineup.