The Dodge Charger is the captain of the Detroit Muscle team; there is no better example of a modern day muscle car. On the whole, Dodge is becoming (even more so) the most rebellious brand in the automotive industry with their amped-up Chargers, Challengers, and Durangos. As things shift toward electrification and automation, and as countless small SUVs flood the market, Dodge is flying a pirate flag through a sea of Claire Standish wannabes.
The 2019 Charger lineup is proof Dodge is not budging from the table. By all accounts, they have propped their feet up, typical of their John Bender attitude.
“Despite a shift toward utility vehicles in the United States over the past decade, the Dodge Charger and Challenger continue to buck the trend,” explained Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and Fiat – FCA North America. “Charger and Challenger retail sales have increased 70 percent since 2008, and since the launch of Scat Pack in August 2014, high-performance model sales increased from four percent to more than 25 percent.”
Here is a look at the Dodge Charger lineup for 2019.
Charger SRT Hellcat
The Hellcat is the big dog in the 2019 Charger lineup, standing as the quickest, fastest, and most powerful sedan in the world. The supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 twists out 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft. of torque, and comes connected to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Helping this massive Hemi breathe are dual inlets that feed cooler outside air into the engine compartment.
The Launch Assist feature uses the Hellcat’s wheel speed sensors to watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop when launching. If hop is detected, engine torque is modified within milliseconds to regain grip. With Line Lock, the front brakes engage and the rear is left open for burnouts to heat up and clean the tires.
After arriving for that late night jazz show (it’s where I would take it), the Charger Hellcat will employ its After-Run Chiller system. This allows the supercharger/charge air cooler to continue cooling down after the engine is turned off.
This Super Bee can sting rival pony cars with its naturally-aspirated 392 Hemi V8 and TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic. The aforementioned Launch Assist and Line lock are now standard on the Scat Pack which puts 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft. of torque to the pavement. Optional for 2019 is a Bilstein three-mode Adaptive Damping Suspension system.
Inside, drivers are treated to a “Dark Dub Plate” instrument panel and Houndstooth cloth performance seats with plenty of bolstering. When the Scat Pack’s Launch Control feature is engaged, those seats are greatly appreciated. The system coordinates the engine, transmission, driveline, and suspension for hard straight-line sprints.
In the words of Samuel L. Jackson from Jurassic Park: “Hold Onto Your Butts.”
A solid daily driver, the R/T comes with the evergreen 5.7-liter Hemi V8, good for 370 horsepower and 395 lb-ft. of torque. The performance-oriented chassis includes the suspension and steering to match; the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic and 2.62 rear axle ratio are both standard.
The R/T gets a makeover for 2019 with a new hood, fascia, side sills, spoiler, and seats. Opt for the Cold Weather Package and get a heated steering wheel and heated seats.
Charger SXT AWD
Powered by the Pentastar V6, the SXT AWD returns a healthy 27 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel drive system is complete with an active transfer case and “front-axle disconnect” to increase overall efficiency. The Pentastar V6 is attached to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic and delivers 300 horsepower and 264 lb-ft. of torque.
A new Caramel Nappa leather interior and the aforementioned Cold Weather Package are among the available options.
With the same horsepower and torque specs at the SXT AWD, the GT is another ideal daily driver. Like the R/T, the GT gets a new hood, fascia, side sills, spoiler, and seats – and the newly available 20-inch Satin Carbon and Black Noise wheels don’t hurt anything either.
The vehicle’s systems and controls are accessed through an 8.4-inch Uconnect screen, which includes the Dodge Performance Pages like the upper models have.
Every muscle car needs a mild cruiser and the SXT certinately fits the bill at 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. Still the Pentastar V6, still the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic, just toned down a bit. Standard features are plentiful: electronic stability control, remote start, cruise control, electric power steering, automatic halogen projector headlamps with LED accents, and three 12-volt power outlets.
The aforementioned Caramel Nappa leather interior and Cold Weather Package are both available.
What makes the Dodge Charger such an enticing car is the color palette: B5 Blue, Destroyer Grey, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, IndiGo Blue, Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy, TorRed, Triple Nickel, and White Knuckle.
Hard to pick a favorite.
The 2019 Dodge Charger is expected in showrooms in the third quarter of this year, although any of the above models can be ordered now. The Charger is on track to lead the large car segment in the U.S. for the fifth straight year.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.