So what’s the verdict?
The 2020 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody is both too much car for my driving abilities and exactly the big V8’ed two-door I might choose for low-key cruising, given its pleasing exhaust noises and ultra-comfy seats.
Quite a paradox, don’t you think? But if you think a bit more, it’s a super-American take on a performance machine: throwback styling, couch-potato comfort, massive horsepower, a set of rear wheels that do not want to stay stuck to the pavement, and scads of advanced technology keeping it all in check.
Making a Hellcat into an SRT Redeye Widebody Hellcat adds $17,600 to the sticker price and brings everything from an engine chiller to a special speedometer that’s registered to 220 mph to the party. The car is aimed at dedicated horsepower aficionados who are likely to straight-line race this sucker from time to time, but who might also want to go around corners.
In that respect, this Challenger is … well, challenging. In Track mode, you have to engage launch control or you’ll lose the back end immediately. Like the 755-horsepower Corvette ZR1, you instinctively dial back your ambitions, which ends up curtailing much of the horsepower. Which is OK, because you can have lots of fun surging the tachometer and listening to the supercharger spool up, again and again. The sweet symphony of a big Hemi remains something special in the automotive world.
I’ve driven the over-muscled Mustangs and Camaros that are the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody’s natural rivals, and as with other Dodges, I’ve found that the Challenger is very much its own animal. It’s the most overtly obnoxious of the group, but it also does a fine job of harboring its tech without undermining its stonking premise.
In other words, it makes no compromises to 21st-century life. Except that it does, converting those compromises into something innovative: controlled fury, most of the time.
That’s pretty unique, and an obvious selling point. So if you’re in the market for a dinosaur that’s evolved, the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody could be your beast.