by Maxwell B. Mortimer | Car and Driver
- For 2021, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat goes one step further with a Redeye version that adds 80 horsepower over the 2021 Charger Hellcat’s new 717-hp rating.
- FCA calls this the fastest and most powerful production sedan on today’s market, and its new top speed—203 mph—is convincing in that regard.
- The Charger Hellcat Redeye should cost just over $85,000 to start; orders will be taken this fall, with the first vehicles arriving to customers’ driveways in early 2021.
Dodge has just announced that it will now offer the Dodge Charger Hellcat in Redeye form, and really, it’s about time. Consider this, before today, the Charger Hellcat (or Charger Hellcat Widebody) was already the fastest and most powerful production sedan on the market, so it should come as no surprise that adding another 80 horsepower and 57 lb-ft of torque, and a new top speed of 203 miles per hour only further cements those accolades.
To make those gains possible, some notable changes are made to the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8: first, the 2.4-liter IHI supercharger is replaced by a larger 2.7-liter example. It produces more boost, too—14.5 psi compared to 11.6 psi—then the redline is increased from 6,200 to 6,500 rpm; in order to utilize all of that air, the Redeye needs more fuel too, so instead of one dual-stage fuel pump, the Redeye gets two; finally, the Redeye’s engine features stronger rods and pistons, improved oiling capability, and a more robust valvetrain. The all-new performance hood, mail-slot grille, and cold-air intake plumbed near the wheel liner on the Charger Redeye allows for 18 percent more air flow over the normal Hellcat engine. All of those changes translate to a total output of 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque.
Not helping in getting all of the Charger Redeye’s power to the ground are its standard all-season tires. Summer tires, which should be mandatory with this much power, are available as an option. The massive tires on 20-inch by 11-inch-wide wheels shrouded by the burly fender flares give the Redeye a menacing road-hugging look, in addition to their obvious performance advantages. Beefier axles and a strengthened driveshaft provide increases in torque capacity of 20 percent and 15 percent respectively. Aiding in the dispersal of heat, the SRT Power Chiller makes use of the car’s A/C by diverting chilled refrigerant to an exchanger where engine intake air is cooled by as much as 45 additional degrees. Dodge says it expects the Redeye to do a quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds at 129 miles per hour, although that’s on a sticky, prepared drag-strip surface. In our testing, in street conditions, that doesn’t seem likely, as we’d expect the tires on the Redeye will be quick to be overwhelmed by wheelspin. The best we could get out of the Challenger Redeye was an 11.8-second 1/4-mile run at 125 mph.
Even if the Charger Hellcat Redeye, which comes only in widebody form, doesn’t better the zero-to-6o-mph or 1/4-mile times of the normal Charger Hellcat, it’s still the only sedan in production with almost 800 horsepower and four doors. And it will still do epic burnouts and lay a beating on many lighter, more expensive cars.
Dodge hasn’t given us any word on pricing yet, but we expect it will start around $85,590, with orders opening in the fall and vehicles starting to arrive early in 2021. The Charger fans out there have been begging for Dodge to put this engine in the Charger and give it the proper Redeye treatment pretty much since the day the Challenger Hellcat Redeye debuted, and that day has finally come.