Around here, the redeyes we’re used to, are those of our staffers after staying up too late the night before watching playoff baseball; or that flight back from a west coast press trip that arrives just in time to make it into work. None of those are any fun. Now, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, now that’s a whole different story!
Your first thought of this 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye might be, “how different can it really be from all of the other Hellcats you’ve seen on MotorWeek?” Well, quite a bit actually, but not the basics.
No gettin’ around it, the Challenger is still big, still obnoxious, and still riding on the same basic chassis since 2008.
To get a Redeye version of the Challenger Hellcat, you don’t have to go the widebody route, but we do recommend it; all the better to take up as much road as possible with.
The real story here, is that all of the Demons have been built by now; but apparently Dodge still had some engines left over, thus the Redeye. So, I guess you could say this Challenger has been demon-possessed, to the tune of 797-horsepower, plus 90 over the standard Hellcat, and 54 added lb-ft of torque at a high flying 7-0-7. Not the full 840-horsepower of the Demon, but you don’t have to burn high octane gas either. And most of the Demon’s internal and external upgrades remain in place.
So, as in the Demon, this requires the TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission.
As you’d expect, traction is in short supply with street tires; smoky burnouts happen from basically just looking at the throttle.
After a few runs both with and without launch control, our best 0-60 time was 3.7-seconds, and that was with the standard 2.62 rear gears. A 3.09 rear is also available if you’re looking to shave another few tenths off, and are okay with a slightly higher cruising RPM.
Speed accumulates rapidly down the strip; and if this engine sound and supercharger whine were available as a Spotify playlist, it’d be on constant rotation in our office. Our best ¼-mile time was 11.4-seconds at 126 miles-per-hour.
And while the Hellcat was never designed to get around a race track fast, it didn’t stop us from going to Summit Point Motorsports Park for a track day. Well two actually, as our first attempt got rained out.
Now, you don’t need wet pavement to have some crazy sliding fun with any Hellcat, but since the opportunity presented itself…
Day two provided dry pavement, and with Track mode on, we were able to gather much more info about the Redeye’s real character.
The suspension is firm, steering is pretty responsive, and there was more grip in the corners than we were expecting. The 8-speed works very well, providing almost PDK-levels of telepathic intuitiveness.
Bottom line, the Redeye can be driven hard a fast through corners, with smooth throttle inputs needed to keep the rear in line. Or, you can mash the gas, counter steer the heck out of it, and have a blast shredding the rear tires.
As we’ve stated before, this chassis is very predictable, and fairly forgiving; so it’s not as if there’s a knife edge you have to try to balance on.
The only thing preventing this from being an awesome track machine, is the brakes; and oh, maybe a half ton of heft too. There’s close to 4,500-lbs. here, so the standard Brembos were truly working overtime to slow us down at the end of the straights.
Now, if you’re going to drop $72,745 on a muscle car, it may as well be this one. And technically, the Redeye is Customer Preferred Package 27Z, which adds $11,000 onto the standard Challenger Hellcat.
Just like having too many different flavors of chocolate, you’ll get no complaints of another Hellcat from us. We never get tired of driving this retro-flavored muscle car; but it can be tiring, trying to come up with new ways to describe its awesomeness. This 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is built with one thing in mind, dominating pavement and making sure everyone knows it’s doing it.
Engine: 6.2 liter
Torque: 707 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
1/4 mile: 11.4 seconds @ 126 mph