The Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT Redeye: The Muscle Car Lives
Does the muscle car live? Ask Chevy and they’ll show you the Camaro. Ask Ford and they’ll show you the Mustang. Ask Dodge and there's the Challenger and the Charger. With those two, you get the SRT, the Demon and the Redeye. The muscle car lives and here’s more proof. I took it on the streets for my usual test drive for the web episodes, but there was nothing usual about this car.
I had to take a moment to contemplate what I’m getting myself into, how do I keep myself under control with a the power, the sex appeal and the raw temptation. Will this car make me its love slave? What the heck. Let's take it to the streets and see what happens.
The Charger Hellcat Redeye, is an INSANELY powerful 797-hp rocket on four wheels that exude a level of cockiness, nostalgia and excessive testosterone...and I LOVE IT! With a claimed top speed of 203 mph, this is the fastest and most powerful production sedan ever sold. power, it's barely usable on most roads - Testing my right foot's restraint. I'm confessing that 707 pound feet of torque can provide a rush that is addictive.
The Hellcat is Boos, but the Redeye is really special due to its engine; with 90 more horsepower under the hood and to achieve that extra power, the Redeye has a larger 2.7-liter screw-type supercharger that produces 14.5 psi of boost. Regular Hellcats have a 2.4-liter supercharger and 11.6 psi of boost.
The Redeye edition has a higher redline with an rpm of 6500 compared to the Hellcat’s 6200 rpm. To feed this hungry, angry beast, it has two fuel pumps instead of one, so you can guess that it rates about 13 mpg right? Important internal changes that also increase the power and strength in the Redeye include stronger connecting rods and pistons; a stouter valvetrain, and increased oiling capability. To handle the power, the Redeye's drivetrain receives strengthened componentry as well, including, according to Dodge, a 15-percent stronger driveshaft and 20-percent stronger axles.
On the straightaway, it reached 0-60 mph in about 3.5 seconds, and hit 100 mph in just 7.5 seconds. I must give big respect to a muscle car weighing in 4654-pounds that can do that. Its a time worthy of a supercar.
There’s some impressive ground-breaking performance technology at work in the Redeye. Like getting more power out of the air conditioner - yup. Ok, I know you're asking...How does the air conditioner help increase power to the engine? I can’t wait to tell you. Cooler air in the engine makes for more power. Conversely, heat is the enemy of any high-performance powertrain, so Dodge//SRT engineers found more ways to keep the intake air as close to the optimum temperatures as possible. That brings us to The SRT Power Chiller.
The world’s first to be featured on a production vehicle, or - the power chiller - the largest functional cool air intake system in ever used on a production car. It uses the AC refrigerant to cool down the super charger, the power chiller induces air intake temperatures by 45 degrees
In other words The systems switch into Drag Mode and the air-conditioning refrigerant is redirected from the interior cabin to a chiller unit mounted by the low-temperature circuit coolant pump.
The coolant, after already being cooled by ambient air, flows through the chiller unit and the heat exchangers in the supercharger. The after-run chiller system turns on the radiator fan and intercooler water pump to reduce temps when the car is off. Cooler air means denser air in the blower and that means more air in the cylinders. On the hot Florida streets, the other cars are choking on hot humid Florida air, while I’m driving a beast that thinks it in Alaska due to the Power Chiller.
To have a fast powerful car, you better have great brakes. Brembo does the trick. In 70-to-zero-mph braking, it stopped at 155 feet - average for a sedan that size.
Let’s see how it feels on the figure 8. The reason I insist on taking the cars I test drive through the figure 8 is simply because the stress of the effort reveals a lot about a car from the tires, the engine, the seats and the steering. Its a fun activity as well because I get to experience the car more intimately and learn about the intuitiveness of the vehicle.
I’m feeling for its response, turning ratio, how it handles rigorous turns, challenging circles and demanding cornering. It was tight on the turns and ready for short sprints and hard corners. Its wide, and the 305-section-width tires provide 0.93 g of grip like the Hellcat. In spite of the low-speed hard turns on the 8, I’m not feeling too much lean and g’s from the driver's seat. Its at home on the track.
The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye’s supercharged high-output engine is paired with the proven and robust heavy-duty Torque Flite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission. Its important to remind you that the 13 miles per gallon rate that we reported earlier has a lot to do with driving style, and general traffic conditions that impact fuel consumption, but that massive muscular engine need to be fed.
Standard on every Dodge Charger model is the innovative Torque Flite eight-speed automatic transmission. Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye features an aggressive, modern Widebody exterior with fender flares integrated into the front and rear facias, which adds 3.5 inches of width over the wider wheels and Pirelli tires. All those features impact the mileage, and performance. Brembo high-performance brakes are among the best in the industry, and there they are on the Redeye.
Inside, the driver gets treated to an easy to appreciate cockpit.
The sporty leather steering wheel is fat and fun to grip with the SRT badging in the middle. It has the usual controls where they belong.
I loved the red touches on the tachometer and speedometer - very inspiring.
Sports gas and brake pedals - metal with rubber grips - yes!
The Bold infotainment and information screen has more than enough options, controls and readouts - I spent way too much time playing with all the varieties as I learned about the car (see more below)
Stop start button and air controls down the center stack - simple and effective.
Look closer at the design details like the textural driver reader out casing with the classy silver trimming. There's stitching on the leather that wraps all the way around to the top shelf cover of the dash. That dynamic red center of the driver gauges is sexy, sporty, so inspiring, gets you in the mood for driving right?
The steering wheel
Made for easy handling too
Trimmed with stitching, silver lining and the badging
Paddle shifters on a car like this can make a normal guy or girl feel like a superhero - paddle shifters - yes
The center console is dominated by the info screen
Performance readouts, Track - sport- custom - auto; all kinds of details available at thee touch of a finger
The sport option - at a touch - gives you the horsepower, Transmission and paddle shifter status, traction, suspension and steering option status. This option was nothing short of AMAZING
The same with the track status, auto and so forth
The gradient design frames the infotainment system
There’s the climate readout, seat ventilation and circulation.
Various controls i.e. Navigation was one of many.
There are knobs below that area that connect to the climate readouts and performance modes among other items.
The stick in the center is designed for the sports car driver
There is plenty of storage in the front driver, passenger side of the car.
The phone charger port is right under the climate controls on the center stack.
There are two cup holders with silver trimming to add a touch of class
SRT Badging on the passenger side over the glove compartment
The seating and comfort
The seats are exquisite. They come in beautiful soft Baccara lounge type seats that are quite comfortable. They add a unique classy feel the the car that makes for a really nice ride that feels good. There's the Redeye badging right in the center of the seats. Sometimes we underestimate the beauty the functionality, the safety ques and of course what it means to sit in the seat of a high performance muscle car.
The door design matches the seat perfectly with two tones, stitching and silver trim, a black leather armrest with window controls in front of it. Down below, more storage space and cup holder, a big speaker stored in the bottom right. The back seats have enough leg room for a guy like me; 6'3. There's room to seat three, and storage in the doors and the back of the driver and passenger seats. The climate controls for the back seat passengers are available right in the middle of those seats as well as USB charger ports for passengers in the back seats. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Sedan features a trunk space of 16.5 cubic feet which is average for a sedan. The trunk can hold at least two large suitcases and a few small backpacks. Lower the rear seats for more storage
The Charger Hellcat SRT Redeye is not a luxury car. There are luxury touches, sure, but the bulk of this car's $86,070 sticker price goes to the screaming, whining, 797-hp burnout maker under the hood. That's obvious looking at some of the scratchy plastics on display, but Dodge does an excellent job of disguising the Charger's more modest entry point and fitting the Redeye with beefy touchpoints, thick, supportive seats, and subtle reminders you scored the fastest production sedan ever built.
Dodge charges for the experience. Our test car's total price came out to a tear-yanking $90,060. Without some of the options, and you’ll arrive somewhere around a less painful $82,885. The legendary Lee Iacocca (Pictured below) once said "If you can find a cheaper 797-horsepower car, buy it." I agree.
People on the streets notice that little Hellcat logo with the red jewel in the eye. You can’t help but feel pure excitement when someone pulls up beside you for a stare down, until they see that Redeye logo.
I'm ashamed of myself for the things I said in exhilaration while driving the Charger Hellcat Redeye. It brought out the best and worst in me and I’ll have to deal with the guilty pleasures it delivered down to my soul - there are few thrills left in the world like the thrill of driving an over the top beats of a muscle car that has the futuristic performance technology with the boldness of the old-school era of performance.
This isn't the first time I've test driven the Charger. I know this car and love it. There’s no boredom whatsoever, whether you’re driving to the supermarket or taking the expressway, freeway, highways - whatever, it's going to be fun, exciting, and at certain points in the ride, THRILLING. Yes, This car is special.
By Tony C. Lesesne