Leave it to the Dodge boys to not leave well enough alone. As a matter of fact, “not leaving well enough alone” is kind of a company trademark. How else could you explain stuffing a 426 Hemi into a Dodge Dart? Speaking of putting in engines that are too big for everyday rides, say hello to the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye.
Essentially, what we have here, is car engineering a la Dr. Frankenstein; a little bit from here, a little bit from there, and a brain clearly labeled “A.B. Normal.” I’m fine with that.
Wide & Wild
The 2019 Hellcat Redeye (no real explanation as to why they call it that) is, like all Mopar products since time immemorial – or at least since the end of The War – 99.999% about dat engine yo! Take the supercharged Hemi Demon V8 out of the quickest, fastest, and most powerful muscle car ever, and stuff it into this latest demi-ogre, and abracadabra: The 797 horsepower 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye!
Yes, the new 2019 Redeye is available with the Widebody Package. Yes, this definitely looks cooler than a bug on ice. Yes, you’re now 3.5 inches wider overall with improved handling and braking. Yes, the Redeye comes with larger, six-piston Brembo front brakes, wider wheels and tires, and the suspension upgrades featured on the “normal” R/T Scat Pack Widebody. Yes, the interior has some cool upgrades and there are some special wheels but, honestly, who cares about all that other stuff when you’re confronted with a powerplant like this?
The heart of the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is sourced from its (sadly) limited-production big brother: the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. That would be the supercharged, 6.2-liter big block Hemi rated at a staggering 797 horsepower and a just as astounding 707 lb-ft. of torque. Or, about the same torque as an ocean-going tug. The blown 6.2 Hemi is mated to a TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission with internals that must have a Hulk-like disposition to things like heat, shear forces, sun-like thermal loading and such.
The Redeye mill has 25 major upgrades, including a larger supercharger, strengthened con-rods and pistons, a high-speed valve train and, thankfully, an improved lubrication system. The Redeye’s supercharged high-output engine features the largest factory supercharger on any production car: 2.7 liters, or about the displacement of a smaller BMW engine. Consider that for a moment: The blower on this thing is bigger than the engine in your car (most likely).
Said supercharger has increased boost pressure (14.5 psi) and a higher rpm limit of 6,500 rpm.
The Redeye is so thirsty it has two dual-stage fuel pumps versus the normal single pump found on lesser models. How thirsty? This thirsty: At full throttle, the high-output Hemi ingests and consumes 1.43 gallons of fuel per minute. That’s enough to completely drain the tank in just under 11 minutes – or a burn rate slightly better than a Saturn V moon rocket.
Somehow though, the Redeye still gets 22 miles per gallon in “normal” highway conditions. So dig that: It is both way faster and more powerful than a 1969 Hemi ‘Cuda (for instance) yet gets about double the fuel mileage.
You will note the new dual-snorkel hood. This new bonnet is one of three sources of intake air along with the driver’s-side Air Catcher headlamp Inlet near the wheel liner to feed the new, larger air induction box.
Other goodies borrowed from the SRT Demon include Torque Reserve to deliver up to 3.9 psi of boost at launch and up to 55 percent more engine torque. Torque Reserve is active once the engine speed passes 950 rpm, and closes the bypass valve to “pre-fill” the intake with boost while better managing fuel flow and spark timing. Also along for that very short drag-strip ride are high-strength steel prop shafts for a 15 percent increase in torque capacity, and 41-spline half shafts to boost torque capacity another 20 percent.
And if you want to get all old school with this . . . this . . . beast? Ogre? Animal? Whatever, dig: The 2019 SRT Hellcat Redeye offers your choice of two final drive ratios, the standard 2.62:1 or the available 3.09:1 for “enhanced” launch capability. Trust me, you want the 3.09 gears.
All of this adds up to the 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye being one of the most powerful muscle cars in history: 1/4-mile E.T. of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph and a top speed of 203 mph. You got the timing slips to beat that? Bring ’em!
Manufacturing & Availability
Production begins this fall at the Brampton, Ontario Assembly Plant, with the Challengers arriving at dealerships in the fourth quarter.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. His forthcoming new book The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me will be available soon. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz