2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT. Courtesy photo

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT. Courtesy photo

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT | Car review

OK folks, buckle your seatbelts.

This week’s tester is the 2020 Dodge Charge SRT Hellcat Widebody, the most powerful, and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

You want power? You want noise? You wanna be the bully on the block?

The Charger Hellcat is your ride.

Powered by the proven, supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine with its best-in-class 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, and mated to the standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, the new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat delivers a top speed of 196 miles per hour.

Hellcat accelerates from 0-to-60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds, 0-to100 miles per hour in 8.1 seconds, and 0-to-124 miles per hour in 12.4 seconds. To protect the innocent, I will not acknowledge my top speed.

With a spacious backseat, the Hellcat seats four adults, five in a pinch, and technically qualifies as a family sedan. I believe you annual insurance bill might indicate otherwise. Of course power and speed comes at a price, and my week of hotrodding netted a 15 miles per gallon in combination of city/highway driving.

Although the world market is shifting from cars to SUV’s and pickups, there will always be a place for the muscle car. And being an old-schooler that remembers the Chargers from the 60’s, this rear wheel driver added a little giddyup to the ol’ boys’ step.

The Hellcat even has a “launch” button, for crying out loud. Designed for on track drag racing, the button brings up the Hellcat’s Launch Control menu, which is designed to help a driver make faster zero-to-60 mile per hour and zero-to100 mph runs. On a model equipped with a stick shift, you can set the RPM that the engine will hold before launch. It also mitigates tire slippage and helps with straight-line acceleration.

Performance improvements start with a 3.5-inch wider body, which makes room for new 20-inch by 11-inch carbon black forged wheels riding on wider, stickier Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires. The Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody also features an SRT-tuned Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping competition suspension, new electric power steering, stiffer springs, larger sway bars, retuned shocks, several race-inspired technologies and Brembo brakes, all designed to deliver performance numbers never before seen on a Charger.

Push the start button on this bad boy and deep exhaust notes rumble past your ears, and maybe a couple neighbors. At first, driving the Hellcat was akin (I would imagine) to breaking a bucking bronco. The Hellcat wants to run, and run, and run some more.

No sooner has I left my neighborhood for the first time, and what do I notice in the rear view mirror? A suspicious Dodge Charger following. And yes, it turned out to be a City of Seattle police car. But, luckily, I was minding my p’s and q’s.

The race-inspired Hellcat interior is highlighted by standard, heated and ventilated Laguna leather front bucket seats wit embossed Hellcat logo. Extra-wide side bolsters keep everything in place when cornering at speed. A new “Carbon & Suede” package adds real carbon fiber accents to the instrument panel and console bezels and Dinamica suede headliner, sun visors and A-pillars.

Beyond its menacingly wide stance, the newly designed front fascia on the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody includes a new mail-slot grille, providing the most direct route for cool air to travel into the radiator, to maintain ideal operating temperature even in the hottest conditions. New side s

ills connect the front and rear fascias to help amplify the integrated design. And a new rear spoiler, unique to the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody, is designed to create aero balance with the new front-end design. New this year are two-piece satin chrome SRT Hellcat fender badges.

I’m skipping creature comforts and safety features in this review, because, really, who cares? Let’s leave it with Dodge does not skimp in those areas. But, frankly, they are not near the top of the list of Hellcat buyer concerns.

Test drive a Hellcat and you will return a believer – and buyer.

Base Price: $71,149

Price As Driven: $73,225

Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.

Contact writer Larry Lark: lrwheels57@gmail.com


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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
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