THE DODGE CHALLENGER SRT HELLCAT REDEYE REVIEW
Sure, there have already been two versions of the classic road movie Vanishing Point on TV and the big screen. But if it were to be remade a third time (We’re looking at you, “A Star is Born”), we don’t know a better vehicle to appear in the film than the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye.
Not only is it a mouthful, it is also the most powerful production vehicle to wear a Dodge badge to date.
Start with a Dodge Challenger body in white. Add the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody kit with the same fender flares found on the regular Hellcat. These help to make the car 3.5 inches wider. On top, add the dual-snorkel intakes to the aluminum hood that pay homage to the iconic 1970 Dart Swinger and 1971 Dodge Demon.
Add 305/35ZR20 Pirelli tires that are so big they get their own area code (305). Yeah. We said that.
That’s just for starters.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is currently the baddest of the bad Challenger variants found on the road today. The record-setting debut of the limited-production Challenger SRT Demon has only emboldened those at FCA headquarters in Auburn Hills Michigan to push the envelope even further.
The results are scary.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is, of course, demonic. And that’s even before it has been unchained. The first thing you notice is this is no standard Hellcat. And there are design cues throughout to remind you of that. Wherever you see the Hellcat logo, there’s also a little Redeye to go with it. (What’s a Redeye? Think of the most horrific character from books and movies with eyes so crimson that even the whites are red)
Instead, what you have here is a land-missile that is as ridiculous as it is classically designed. And that’s before you start it with the unrestrained red key. While most people are content with the 500 horsepower that flows from the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI, for a select few, some is never enough. That’s why the Hellcat Redeye is supplied with an additional Red Key Fob that unleashes the a full 797 horsepower that’s good enough for a 0-60 romp in 3.4 seconds and a quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph.
Oh, and if you need to, you can achieve a top speed of 203 mph. That’s not too bad for a sled that weighs in at 4,492 pounds. If you wanted to, you could drain an entire tank of fuel (Premium preferred) by mashing the accelerator all the way to the floor for 11 minutes. That’s one big, long drink.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s get back to some other facts.
- The 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI engine produces 797 horsepower at 6,300 rpm
- Torque is 707 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
- Dual intercoolers help to make max power in standard mode.
- SRT Power Chiller redirects air conditioning refrigerant to rapid cool intercoolers.
- Torqueflite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Challenger Hellcat Redeye is every bit like every other Challenger with more of everything. Start with the basic shell which still relies on a platform it shared with the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 and even the Mercedes-Benz E-class from the 1990s. Yes, the E-Class. This was during the “merger of equals” years where Chrysler was bought by Daimler-Benz. Like a bad marriage with children, it soon fell apart. The results are in though and we can say the kids are alright.
Inside, the Challenger is generally a larger car than its Mustang and Camaro rivals. As a result, it actually has a useable rear seat. FCA will charge you one dollar to delete it. Unless you live life one quarter-mile at a time, keep the rear seat and sell the neighbors thrill rides from the second row.
In the cockpit, the driver will find a retro-inspired dashboard complete with Uconnect 8.4 audio system. Complete with an 8.4-inch screen, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for smartphones, it’s as modern as you can imagine.
It goes, and stops.
To offset the power from the 6.2-liter HEMI engine, Dodge didn’t slough off. There’s a complete front and rear Brembo brake kit with six-piston calipers in front and four-pot calipers at the rear. So powerful, they manage to stop the car within supercar standards.
Getting behind the wheel is something you must steel yourself for. Moves from the driver’s seat must be planned and deliberate because this car is built for speed and little else. Don’t get us wrong, it does everything very well, even going so far as to impersonate a Trans-Am road racer as you usher it through left and right switchbacks. And with the Torqueflite eight-speed automatic transmission doing all the shifting for you, all you need to do is “keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel,” said Jim Morrison.
But it’s in a straight line where the Redeye earns its bones. Acceleration is tough enough to throw you back into the seat, with g-forces doing their part to put a smile on your face, whether you are happy or not.
This is a happy car.
The sound is glorious, too. A combination of throttle-induced cacophony and the urgent whirr of the supercharger, it’s a sound that will cause the hair on your neck to stand up. If you have no hair, the nerves under your skin will be firing non-stop.
This is a happy car.
Bring a change of clothing. Just in case.
This is a happy car.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Specifications.
Type: Two-door, four-passenger (or two-passenger) sedan
Power: 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine
Horsepower: 797 horsepower (Red Key), 500 horsepower (Black Key)
Torque: 707 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Fuel Injection: Sequential multiport injection with Supercharger and Intercooler
Transmission: Torqueflite eight-speed automatic transmission
Steering: Electric Power-Assisted Steering
Suspension: Front: Independent with coil springs, Bilstein shocks and a stabilizer bar.
Rear: Multilink independent suspension with coil springs, stabilizer bars
Overall Length: 197.9 inches
Wheelbase: 116.2 inches
Track Front: 65.6 inches
Track Rear: 65.7 inches
Ground Clearance: 4.5 inches
Cargo Volume: 16.2 inches
EPA Fuel Estimates: 13 city / 22 highway / 16 average
0-60 mph: 3.4 seconds
Top Speed: 203 miles per hour