The muscle car wars continue to heat up as Dodge fires the latest salvo with its 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody it calls the “most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.”
It’s also the near twin of the Widebody version of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat coupe that made its debut two years ago, both models sharing the same 707 horsepower supercharged V-8 engine. The performance brand of Fiat Chrysler, Dodge says its latest muscle car can hit 60 in just 3.6 seconds and top out at 196 mph.
Despite increasingly stringent mileage mandates, automakers keep upping their performance game. Ford last week said its new Mustang-based Shelby GT500 Coupe will generate 760 horsepower when it comes to market later this year. General Motorswill unveil the first-ever mid-engine version of its Chevrolet Corvette next month. Manufacturers as diverse as Hyundai and Aston Martin are rolling out ever more gutsy models — some turning to electrified powertrains to push the performance envelope.
The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody’s 6.2-liter V-8 uses a massive supercharger to deliver 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic that, the automaker says, can improve both performance and fuel economy.
The wheels of the Widebody sedan flare out 3.5 inches more than the original Hellcat. That provides room for significantly wider, 20- by 11-inch Pirelli 305/35ZR20, tires and makes it easier for the Charger to grip the pavement under hard acceleration. Spinning tires may look and sound great but waste time when you’re looking for a fast launch.
The Charger Widebody will also get stiffer springs, larger anti-sway bars and retuned shock absorbers to allow it to handle on a track or on winding roads. And Brembo brakes will help it quickly scrub off speed without fading under repeated hard braking maneuvers.
Fast, faster, fastest
The sedan also uses four technologies, including Launch Control and Line Lock, to make it easier for even less-experienced drivers to achieve fast take-offs.