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Dodge Reveals 2019 Challenger Lineup at FCA “What’s New” Event

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) invited us to attend its recent “What’s New” event. There at its Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, we got the chance to see and experience the changes FCA’s brands (Dodge, Ram, Jeep, FIAT, Alfa Romeo, and Chrysler) have made to their models for the 2019 model year. After releasing teaser photos of its 2019 Challenger online, Dodge finally revealed the revised model to us and our fellow automotive writers around lunchtime. It will offer a full lineup of trim lines and V6 and V8 engines later this year, but it chose to show us its three most focused high-performance models first.

Dodge has made a Challenger R/T Scat Pack model before, but the 2019 model year marks the first time it will be available with the grip-enhancing Widebody package introduced on the 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The newest version of the Challenger SRT Hellcat sports a new hood and even more power than before. Yes, you read that right. Dodge found a way to make the Hellcat even more ferocious.

They didn’t stop there, though.

Dodge created an all-new performance flagship for the Challenger lineup. It’s called the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. Why Redeye? According to Steve Beahm, FCA North America’s Head of Passenger Cars for Dodge/SRT, Chrysler, and FIAT, the Redeye is a Hellcat possessed by the Demon, the ultimate Dodge Challenger that cranks out up to 840 horsepower and flies through the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph.

Now that you know what the 2019 Challenger looks like, keep reading to find out more about how Dodge brought it to new heights of performance.

2019 Challenger

2019 Dodge Challenger Exterior

The 2019 Challenger may look largely similar to the 2018 model, but the visual changes it does sport are significant.

The Widebody package available on the Challenger R/T Scat Pack adds SRT Hellcat Widebody fender flares, increasing the R/T’s width by 3.5 inches. A set of 20 x 11-inch forged “Devil’s Rim” aluminum wheels wrapped in 305/35ZR20 Pirelli tires fill in the wheel wells. All R/T Scat Pack models come with a power-bulge aluminum hood with heat extractors and illuminated Air Catcher headlamps that improve engine cooling.

The biggest exterior difference between the 2019 SRT Hellcat and the outgoing model is the hood. Performance models from Dodge’s past, including the 1971 Dodge Demon, also rocked the dual-snorkel look. On the 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat, those openings do more than just look cool; they also improve the Hellcat’s breathing and increase output. Two 20 x 9.5-inch wheel designs are available. Dodge will continue to offer the Widebody package, which includes the same hardware as the Widebody upgrade for the R/T Scat Pack, on the 2019 SRT Hellcat.

According to FCA, “In addition to the new dual-snorkel hood, the exterior of Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye receives enhanced badging showing a sinister red jewel-like eye design on the Hellcat that jumps off the Midnight Grey Metallic finish fender badge.” Just like its siblings, the Hellcat Redeye is available with the Widebody package.

2019 Challenger

2019 Dodge Challenger Interior

Inside, the R/T Scat Pack features front seats with embroidered Scat Pack Bee logos, a new Dark Dub Plate finish on the instrument panel and console, and new Liquid Titanium trim on the steering wheel, shifter, and instrument cluster bezels.

Dodge outfitted the interior of the 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat with a flat-bottom steering wheel with a backlit SRT logo and paddle shifters, a seven-inch display between the red main gauges, Light Black Chrome accents, and standard Houndstooth cloth performance seats. A trio of optional seating packages are available: Nappa leather/Alcantara with embroidered SRT Hellcat logos, Laguna leather with embossed SRT Hellcat logos, and Laguna leather/Alcantara with embossed SRT Hellcat logos.

Unique features of the Hellcat Redeye’s cockpit include a red speedometer with a readout that goes to 220 mph, an SRT Hellcat Redeye logo splash screen, and a Light Black Chrome instrument panel badge with the SRT Hellcat Redeye logo on it.

2019 Challenger

2019 Dodge Challenger Performance

As cool as the new Challenger looks, it’s even more attractive under the hood.

The R/T Scat Pack continues to blast down the road with the power of a naturally aspirated 6.4-liter (392-cubic-inch) HEMI V8; output is 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. Transmission options are a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. All R/T Scat Pack models now come with high-performance features such as Launch Control and Launch Assist (for better starts off the line), Line Lock (to help warm up the rear tires before hitting the drag strip), and SRT Drive Modes (for optimized performance on or off the track). In addition to a wider stance and stickier tires, the Widebody package adds stiffer front springs, retuned shock absorbers, larger front and rear sway bars, adaptive dampers, a front splitter, and the rear spoiler from the Hellcat. Larger six-piston Brembo front brakes help bring it to a stop. Compared to the regular R/T Scat Pack, the Widebody model is faster in the quarter mile (12.1 seconds at 112 mph) and two seconds quicker per lap around a 2.1-mile road course.

Thanks to its dual-snorkel hood that feeds more air to the airbox, the 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat’s supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 cranks out 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque. Those impressive numbers can be routed through a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.

The Hellcat Redeye is equipped with the performance hardware of the regular Hellcat and plenty more. Its 6.2-liter HEMI V8 is connected to a larger 2.7-liter supercharger and runs a higher level of boost (14.5 psi). A pair of dual-stage fuel pumps give the HEMI more of the juice it craves. It also has more of an appetite for revs, redlining at 6,500 rpm. At its peak, the blown V8 produces 797 horsepower and 707 lb.-ft. of torque. Those figures are processed by an eight-speed automatic and help the Hellcat Redeye reach 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and travel a quarter mile in 11.1 seconds. With the Widebody package, it can fly through the quarter mile in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph.

Additional performance enhancements come courtesy of the Demon. Torque Reserve allows the Hellcat Redeye to use 3.9 psi and up to 55 percent more engine torque when launching off the line. The SRT Power Chiller uses the air-conditioning coolant and hardware components to lower the temperature of the air entering the intake system. Cooler air is denser, meaning the combustion chamber gets more of it to mix with fuel and turn into power. The After-Run Chiller keeps the HEMI at its ideal operating temperature by running a cooling fan and coolant pump after it shuts down. Doing that enables the HEMI and supercharger to be ready for more high-speed driving sooner than otherwise possible.

2019 Challenger

2019 Dodge Challenger Safety

All three high-performance 2019 Challenger variants come standard with front, front seat-mounted side, and front and rear side-curtain airbags; electronic stability control; Tire-pressure Monitoring; Hill-start Assist; a backup camera; and Rain Brake Support. Other technologies are available as part of packages, including Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection, and Forward Collision Warning.

2019 Challenger

2019 Dodge Challenger Overall

Prices for the 2019 Dodge Challenger start at $27,295.* The Challenger R/T Scat Pack has a starting price of $38,995.* That figure goes up to $58,650* for the SRT Hellcat. Base price for the Hellcat Redeye is $69,650.* Look for the new Dodge Challenger lineup in AutoNation Dodge dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2018.

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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