Hard to believe it was 5-years ago we demolished the turns of Roebling road raceway, with what was then a brand new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. And to this day, it remains the most powerful and fastest mass produced sedan that money can buy. But that doesn’t mean FCA has stood still; make room for more hellcat…and this one flies with the spirit of Daytona.
Time to take the ol’ family sedan out onto the race track. Well, not exactly. This Dodge Charger does indeed make a great family car, but this 2020 SRT Hellcat Widebody, is designed with more than just carpool duty in mind; and is actually a great track car.
As you may have guessed from the name, this Charger now gets the Challenger’s Widebody treatment, which includes not only extended fenders for a more aggressive stance; but, wider 20-inch wheels, upgraded Brembo brakes, and unique suspension tuning. As well as, new front and rear fasicas to smoothly integrate the broader fenders, and create a more menacing looking Hellcat.
In fact, it turned out so great, that going forward, all Hellcat Chargers will get the Widebody treatment.
Now, this particular Charger is also a limited Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition built to honor the record-braking 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, the first car to average a 200 mile-per-hour lap. Though Buddy Baker actually set that record at Talladega in 1970.
But, you can join in the celebration with some decals, a unique Daytona deck lid, and 717-horsepower from the now familiar 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8. That’s 10-additional ponies, which comes from a slight retuning. Torque remains at 650 lb-ft.
It still sounds as mean as ever, especially when barreling down the straight of Roebling Road Raceway at wide open throttle, well into triple digits.
It’s still big, soft, and comfy while you’re doing that; and it doesn’t even feel like you’re going very fast, until you’re halfway into a corner, and then you realize, “holy moly, it’s on”.
Nothing but good old American muscle here, and you feel every bit of it when you mash the throttle. So, yes it can be a handful, but it’s still a sheer joy thrashing this thing around a race track.
It is intimidating, and can get away from you in a hurry; but at the same time, it’s so predictable you feel in control at all times. Throttle induced oversteer is always just an inappropriate breath of throttle away. So, you could drive around the track with gentle inputs; you know, the “whole egg under your foot” thing. Or, you could just hammer on and off, treating the throttle like some kind of epic-power light switch of awesomeness, and deal with the consequences. You can guess which one is more fun.
Surprisingly good steering feel keeps the smoky sideways fun times rolling. America the beautiful indeed.
And when it comes time to use that other pedal at your feet, the brakes are quite confidence inspiring; but after continually searching for their limits deeper and deeper into corners, they will start to fade a bit.
SRT Performance pages give you lots of options for customizing your preferred setup, as well as dialing in launch control.
Getting off the line on street tires with any expediency is still a difficult process, as power delivery is relentless. If you can’t do a burnout in a 700-horsepower rear-wheel-drive Chrysler product, then there’s no hope for you. It basically wants to leave marks on whatever pavement it comes in contact with.
Modulating the pedal to get as much traction as possible, 3.6-second 0-60s are achievable according to FCA. But, we were unable to get under 4.0-seconds here on Roebling’s slick front straight, with a ¼ mile time of 12.1-seconds at 124 miles-per-hour.
Now, all of this hammering down and around the track sounds like a lot of work, but the Charger makes is about as easy on you as possible. The leather and suede performance seats are quite supportive and comfortable.
And when not on a track, and just going about daily duties, you’ll find blue accent stitching, Daytona logos, and genuine carbon fiber about the cabin; as well as a big Uconnect touchscreen for keeping you in touch with everything.
Pricing starts at $75,635; less than 5-grand over a base Charger Hellcat. And production is limited to 501-units, just like the 1969 Charger Daytona.
A lot of things have changed since the Charger Hellcat debuted for 2015, but it was just another step in a journey that began back in 1969. A journey worth celebrating with the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition. It’s still one of the best ways we’ve found yet to burn through a tank of gas, and gets to 60 quicker than you can say its name.
Engine: 6.2 liter
Torque: 650 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.0 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.1 seconds @ 124 mph