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2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat and Scat Pack Widebody Reveal

Everyone knew the Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack were coming, and this week, they were revealed.

Now, I’ve driven just about every version of FCAs LX platform of vehicles since their release in 2005. I put almost 70k on a 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8 (remember those?), raced multiple Challengers in the One Lap of America (392 Shaker & Redeye), romped on many a Chrysler 300, and even shelled out a ton of my own money to purchase an 840-horsepower Dodge Demon back in 2018.

Understand that this has nothing to do with me being “brand loyal” per say, but more so, it has to do with the fact that I truly enjoy these vehicles for what they are. That being, big, brash, and honest American muscle cars that deliver power and torque, along with speed — and a giggle factor that’s often hard to calculate.

Charger Widebody

That brings us here, to the 2020 Dodge Charger widebody twins.

As the owner of a 2018 Dodge Demon, I’ve been asked if I felt that Dodge was taking the widebody thing too far. My answer? Absolutely not, and I’ll get to why in a short while. Before I do though, let’s go back in time and take a look at what, and more importantly why, I think these cars are so good.

Charger Widebody

When the original Charger SRT8 was released in 2006 it sported a 6.1-liter HEMI V8 that produced 425 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque through a five-speed automatic transmission. It wore a 245/45-series tire up front with a 255/45-series in the rear. Both were mounted on — large for the day — 20-inch alloys. It also hit 60 mph in five seconds flat, pulled 0.87g on the skid pad, and with a 165 mph top speed, could hardly be called slow.

Once it hit the track though, things got a bit more complicated, due to an almost 4,300-pound curb weight. With non-adaptive Bilstein suspension along with four-piston Brembo brakes, the Charger was a great first attempt at building a proper performance sedan. It also showed that the company was headed in the right direction and taking their Street and Race Technology division (SRT) very seriously.

Charger Widebody

2012 brought forth the next generation of the Charger SRT8 with a full-body restyle, and a brand new 6.4-liter 392 cubic inch HEMI V8. Power over the outgoing 6.1-liter was bumped by 45 horsepower and 50 lb-ft of torque, but unfortunately, the brakes and suspension remained largely unchanged, with the exception of stiffer spring rates front and rear.

Regardless, the Chargers performance numbers did increase. The jump to 60 mph now took just 4.3-seconds, and it performed better on the skid pad, to the tune of 0.89g vs 0.87g, and thanks to new, more aerodynamic body work (along with that extra horsepower and torque), the Charger saw an increase in top speed to 175 mph. Things were getting better.

That brings us to 2015, and the release of the Hellcat Charger. This is the car that made the entire automotive world take a step back, and the one that put other OEMs (both foreign and domestic) on notice that Dodge now owned the muscle car market. At the time of its release, this newly restyled Charger was the fastest and most powerful sedan in the world. Its 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 made a tire-vaporizing 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, which helped it generate performance numbers that bested everything the Europeans had to offer.

Charger Widebody

A 204-mph top speed cemented it as the fastest sedan on the planet. A 0-60 mph time of 3.7-seconds made it one of the hardest accelerating, and an 11-second quarter-mile time on street tires simply made every hot-rodder in the universe giggle like a child.

This was the automotive wet dream America had been waiting for. Engine aside, the Charger was also blessed with a fantastic new eight-speed automatic transmission, six-piston Brembo brakes, and a fully adjustable and active suspension that could finally handle the cars 4,500-plus curb weight.

The time had finally come for Dodge to show it had no plans of backing down in terms of performance.

Charger Widebody

There was however one problem that had plagued not only the Charger, but its Challenger sibling since their inception – a lack of overall tire size both front and rear. To quote Pirelli, “Power is nothing without control,” and this was the one area where the Charger faltered. With the 2015 redesign came the addition of larger alloys that wore a squared setup of 275/40-series rubber.

And while this did improve both the overall handling and braking performance, the engineers knew that to reign in all that power and torque, a larger contact patch was needed.

Charger Widebody

The Challenger was the first to tackle this in 2018 with the release of the Hellcat and Scat Pack wide-bodies. Large flares both front and rear resulted in a wider track to the tune of 3.5-inches of overall width, as well as the addition of new rims that wore 305/35-series tires. This gave the car a more aggressive presence, and made it far more manageable in terms of getting all that power to the pavement. The flares were a success.

That brings us here, to the 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody, the next step in the evolutionary process of the world’s fastest mass-produced four-door sedan. Unveiled at the Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan, the Charger now comes to us with an air of assault that few can match.

Under the hood sits the same 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 as the 2015 model which, and let’s face it, is totally fine, because 707 horsepower is nothing to sneeze at. The Charger Scat Pack, with its 6.4L HEMI V8, also receives the same widebody treatment.

Charger Widebody

As we know, power was never the issue with either the Hellcat or the Scat Pack — traction was. To combat this, the designers and engineers took a page from the 2018 Challenger playbook. New fascias have been added both front and rear that incorporate integrated fender flares. They flow beautifully into the bodywork, with a more refined look than those on the Challenger.

The same 3.5-inches of overall body width has been added which now allows the Charger to wear newly designed 20×11-inch alloys and more importantly, run the same 305/35-series performance rubber at all four corners.

Charger Widebody

But the changes don’t stop there. Underneath that stunning bodywork is a revised version of the SRT-tuned Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping suspension. The changes consist of stiffer springs (32 percent stiffer than previous models), larger sway bars (expanding from 32mm to 34mm in the front and 19mm to 22mm in the rear), along with re-tuned shocks with revised valving.

A new electric power steering system (EPS) with selectable steering tuning has also been utilized to allow for improved handling performance.

Charger Widebody

All of these enhancements equate to some generous improvements in all-out performance. The zero-to-60 sprint now takes just 3.6-seconds, handling has been improved to 0.96g on the skidpad, and 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece front brake rotors with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers now allow for a stopping distance that is four feet shorter (107 feet) from 60 to zero mph than previous models.

There’s also a new mail-slot grille (think Durango SRT) to aid with cooling, a redesigned rear spoiler, new fender badges, and beautifully integrated rocker moldings.

Charger Widebody

This, in my opinion, is how the evolutionary process of the automobile should be done. Far too often are manufacturers scrapping current designs in favor of trying to chase down the latest trends. So while some may say the Charger is getting a bit long in the tooth, we’re here to tell you that the engineers at Ma Mopar still have a few tricks up their sleeves, and they’re dead set on making this car better than anyone ever thought possible. I can’t wait to get my hands on one to test, so stay tuned for a full review soon.

Of course, if you’re looking to put one of these modern muscle cars in your garage, we’d recommend getting on a list at your local AutoNation Dodge dealer. Because these are sure to be hot tickets when they hit showrooms.

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