Perhaps it’s not too subtle. How subtle can you be barreling down I-95 in a widebody Hellraisin’ purple 2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye? Between the looks, the sound and the sinister stance, it’s one of the bad-assiest sleds on four wheels today. It’s a bit older in car years. Here’s the Napleton News take on this instant classic.
The Dodge Challenger is (technically) over 20 years old.
Let’s start with a history lesson. At one point, in the mid-1990s, Dodge was part of the Daimler-Chrysler Group of companies that was responsible for Mercedes-Benz, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram, among others. A new Mercedes-Benz E Class vehicle was in the pipeline. In order to integrate technologies and share costs, Dodge sent a group of engineers to Germany to take part in the development of a new LH platform that supplants the E Class, Dodge Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300. So there’s a little German in your Stellantis product today.
With the 2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye, there’s also a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that delivers 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque, when operated with the “chipped” red keyfob. It arrives with a six-speed Tremec transmission as standard. An 8-speed automatic transmission from ZF is the optional piece of kit that our Redeye was equipped with.
It includes an SRT adaptive suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers and Brembo performance brakes.
How does the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye look?
Like a fine wine that continues to get better with age, the Challenger Hellcat Redeye continues to age gracefully, if in a muscular sort of way. In other words, if you liked the original 2008 model, you will absolutely love the 2022 (and 2023) models, too.
Our tester included the full wide-body treatment with wheel flares, a more prominent under-bumper intake, front lip spoiler and rear decklid spoiler. Add a set of bronze alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero performance tires and you’ll have a Challenger that corners and runs as aggressively as it looks.
We have to say, we really liked the Hellraisin purple color scheme which was accented by a matte black hood, front splitter and rear decklid spoiler. It was, um, subtle. Yes, there’s that word again.
What’s inside the Redeye?
The Redeye has a roomy, and possibly modern, interior. That’s expected with a car that dates back to 2008 and hasn’t really been updated since. There is plenty of room in the second row. It’s a two-door vehicle, but the reality is it is still a two-door model from another time.
Still, it is a good roadtripper and can swallow a lot of cargo in its 16.2 cubic foot trunk.
Electronically, the Hellcat Redeye includes Dodge’s Uconnect system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Add to that an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, with controls for heated and ventilated seats. USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity and a 19-speaker/900 -watt Harman Kardon audio system help round out the package.
Although our sample included one, a rear seat could be deleted if your intentions were more sporting related.
Behind the wheel of the Hellcat Redeye.
A neighbor called it obnoxious. That was his take when we pushed the starter button waking the 797 horses from their slumber. The feel inside is decidedly, um, retro, when compared to other more contemporary competitors. But that’s okay. An Alcantara steering wheel offers a sure-grip feel that keeps hands firmly placed. One disappointing feature was the gear selector lever: Instead of one of the spring loaded levers we see in many vehicles today, this lever must be firmly placed in the proper gate before moving the car. You’ll get used to it over time; we just think it’s overdue for an update.
The power from the Redeye may not be as stout as that from the Challenger SRT Super Stock that is more drag race-oriented than the road-going Hellcat. The SRT Super Stock checks in with 807-hp and a top speed of 168 mph, while the Redeye holds its own with a 797-hp supercharged V8 that trips the times at just over 203 mph.
The 2023 Challengers will include specialty “Last Call” models in limited-edition numbers of some of the more popular Challenger and Charger vehicles. The following year promises to be full of surprises: These include new engine technologies like twin turbocharged inline-6 cylinder Hurricane models that are capable of at least 500-hp. We can’t wait.
This Challenger Hellcat Redeye is a link to the past with a look to the future of performance muscle cars. If the past is an indicator of what is yet to come, count us in.
2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye
|2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Specifications
|6.2-liter Supercharged V8
|797 hp @ 6,300 rpm
|707 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
|ZF 8-speed transmission
|16 mpg (13 city/22 hwy)
|Short and Long Control Arms/Multilink
|Rear Seat Delete Option
|3 years/36,000 miles
|5 years/60,000 miles
|NHTSA Safety Rating
|Max Seating Capacity
|16.2 cubic feet