This week I am back behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger Hellcat, a car I’ve had several times, but there is a new wrinkle for 2020…you can now get the Charger in the Widebody configuration. So, what is the big deal about that? The fender flares allow for 3” wider tires on the ground for better acceleration off the line and handling. The meaty 305/35R tires and 20” wheels propel you from 0-to-60 in a mere 3.6 seconds.
Other changes for 2020 Charger Hellcat include: electric power steering for better handling, a new front fascia for better airflow, and a stiffer suspension.
The big story with every Hellcat lies under the hood where you find the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 that is putting out an amazing 707-horses. My tester has the 8-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles. The paddles work great, but depending on the drive mode settings, the transmission shifts hard and fast on its own.
Performance stats on the Charger Hellcat are impressive: 707-horses, 650- pound feet of torque, and top speed is 196-miles per hour, quite a feat for a 4600 pound sedan.
Even under heavy acceleration, the Hellcat engine stays cooled, thanks to the functional dual snorkel hood scoops, and air dams around the headlights and under the front bumper.
Moving to the inside, the interior is nicely done and quite spacious. I love the optional Carbon & Suede interior package, and the air-conditioned and heated power seats are very comfortable. The Hellcat comes loaded with just about everything you can imagine except a moon roof.
The Chrysler Uconnect system is terrific as always, easy to operate, and the navigation system works great. The 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system sounds terrific and has surround sound.
My review vehicle has a backup camera, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, voice commands, blind spot monitoring, and remote start.
On the Uconnect screen, you’ll have a blast going through all the apps, especially the Performance Pages. New for 2020 is race cool down mode, a nice feature if you are running trials at the track.
The gauge cluster is bright, has a 200-mile per hour speedometer, and an extensive driver information center in the middle that is easy to navigate.
When you get your Charger Hellcat, you’ll get two keys-one red, one black. The red key unleashes the beast to full horsepower, and I am told that when the black key is in use, it holds the car to a measly 500-horses, but I can’t say that for sure, I never tried it.
Hit the SRT button above the air conditioning controls, and this is where you configure how you want the car to perform. Hit custom and you can vary the settings. I like track for some of the settings, and street or sport for others.
You’ve got to do a launch from a dead stop and feel the G-forces pin you to the seat. You also have to try the line lock button. It allows you to do a full throttle burnout with the front brakes locked completely down, but you’ll run through those big expensive tires quickly if you do. If you decide to do this, take it from me, turn the air conditioning system off, a lesson I learned the hard way when I had the Dodge Challenger Redeye widebody.
Let’s be honest here, this car makes no sense. Who needs over 700-horses in a family sedan? Who needs to see their life flash before their eyes on crowded freeways? The problem is the loud whine of the supercharger ramping up is impossible to resist and you can’t help with push harder on the accelerator pedal.
Handling is better than I expected or remembered from previous Hellcats. There is no body roll at all going into tight corners.
Pricewise, my very loaded review car with options has an MSRP of $80,210 and that includes the government’s $2100 gas-guzzler tax.
This car is rated at 12 miles per gallon in town and 21 on the highway, but at least for me, with my driving habits, those are mythical numbers.
As a Hellcat owner, you get a free full day of training on how to drive your Hellcat, something I would encourage you to do for your own safety.
This color is appropriately called White Knuckle and it has blue full-body stripes. The Hellcat emblem on the front fenders lets people who pull up next to you know what you are driving, and typically they show the proper respect for one of the fastest cars on the road.
2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody
- What I liked most: Obviously, performance, ride and drive.
- What I would change: Honestly, can’t think of a thing.
- MSRP: Base price $69,645, as equipped $80,210.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 12 City/21 highway/15 Combined.
- Official Color: White Knuckle.
- Odometer reading when tested: 2600 miles.
- Weight: 4586 pounds.
- Length-Width-Height: 201” long/78.3” wide/57.8” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: Not recommended by factory.
- 2020 Hellcat Widebody in a few words: A beast on the track, yet a very enjoyable daily driver.
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty
- Final Assembly Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
- Manufacturers website: www.DODGE.com
- Up Next: 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4