The Red Key—It’s Marketing Genius! And License to Misbehave!
When God tempted Eve, the apple was red. When Dodge tempts muscle car enthusiasts the color and results are similar. Succumbing to the seduction of temptation is purely human nature.
Its drivers sport a wild-eyed smile just knowing that the special red key has the potential to unlock all 707 horsepower, 650 lb.-ft. of torque, and 196 mph top speed of the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody’s supercharged V8 engine. Owners will quickly justify tapping into the “mere” 500hp that the “tamer” black key is capable of.
When they’re innocently minding their own business at a stoplight and a Corvette pulls up and revs its engine, Hellcat restrainers simply can’t be expected to control the urge to discretely slide a finger over to hit the launch button and show off zero-to-60-mph in 3.6 seconds. Anyone observing shakes their head in disbelief but always with a smile as the badass 4,600-pound four-door sedan roars its gnarly exhaust and emits a supercharged whine leaving all others behind, along with a little rubber on the road.
The widebody model is 210 inches long and 78.3 inches wide. Its Dodge-tuned ZF eight-speed automatic transmission make her surprisingly nimble when pouncing while “Devil’s Rim” five-spoke, 20-inch wheels are 11 inches wide and wrapped in 305/35 Pirelli P Zero tires to assure the footing of this ferocious feline on the road. Flared wheel arches are 3-1/2 inches wider than a normal Charger to hold her wider tires and wheels and the “mail slot” front bumper is specially designed to take in fresh air to feed her radiator.
Standards include huge six-piston Brembo brakes, sway bars, three-mode adaptive suspension dampers, auto-dimming driver and rearview mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, and rear parking sensors. The ride is downright comfortable on bolstered, overstuffed bucket seats that are heated and ventilated. Legroom at 41.8 includes in front and 40.1 inches in the back and 38.6 inches of front headroom are best in class.
Now if 707 isn’t enough horsepower, the very top of the Charger line is the femme fatale, a.k.a the Charger Hellcat Redeye which adds even a little more weight, another 90 hp (a total of 797 hp) and 57 more lb.-ft of torque (for a total of 707). 1.3 seconds is shaved off its zero-to-60 time, meaning that the sprint will take the Redeye just 2.8 seconds. To be capable of this output, parts from the Challenger SRT Demon are added to the supercharged V8 engine. These include stronger internal components, an upgraded valvetrain and a Power Chiller that uses the air conditioner refrigerant to lower intake air temperatures.
Call it obnoxious or ridiculous, but Dodge’s throw-back muscle cars are still hot sellers for owners willing to pay what it takes upfront and at the gas station to get the stares that Hellcats deserve. Pricing starts at a little over $70K for the SRT Hellcat and about $10K more for the Redeye version.
Be careful! The Hellcats are out there, loose on the streets, driven by show-offs waiting for a reason to fail another lesson in restraint.