Given already to the Dodge Challenger, the Charger now receives the brand’s Widebody treatments.
More than just looks, the Charger Widebody boasts a number of performance and tech upgrades.
Pricing has not been announced for the new muscle cars, although the order books open this fall.
You can’t say Mopar is inconsistent. Essentially the philosophy of Dodge in the modern era – any time post-1960 or so – is simple: What’s the biggest, highest horsepower engine we got? Put it in everything! Whatever vehicles the company is producing, said engines will eventually make it into everything. For example, the Dodge Durango SRT. With the bigger engines, come bigger cars, like the Challenger’s Widebody treatments two years ago. And now here we are with the 2020 Dodge Charger getting a Widebody upgrade of its own.
Here Is The. Point.
Thus spoke Zarathustra: “Designed and Engineered to Push the Boundaries of What a Four-door Family Sedan Can Be, the New 2020 Dodge Charger … ” Yeah, blah, blah, blah, here’s the deal: Supercharged, 6.2 Hemi Hellcat V8, 707 horsepower, 650 lb-ft. of torque. Sure, sure, you can argue “But the BMW M5 this!” or “The AMG that!” or whatever you want, but I’ll see you at the end of The Strip, Klaus. No, not by a country mile is the Dodge Charger as refined, or as good all-around, as those built by Germans (and a good slice of Japanese or the British), but to FCA’s way of thinking, that’s kind of beside the point.
The Point here was one they figured out back when Brian Jones was leaving The Stones. The Point is quarter mile performance is everything. Acceleration. Torque. Tire-smoking, explosive, head-snapping, retina-detaching acceleration. So we’re not going to talk about nav systems and infotainment packages and leather dye colors. That stuff is beside The Point.
The Widebody package is standard on Charger SRT Hellcat and available for the Charger Scat Pack. If you get the Widebody, which you should, the fender flares add 3.5 inches of width. Dodge says this makes for “an even more aggressive, planted stance.” Gee, ya think? At any rate, thanks to the humongoid flares, you have lots of room for the wider, 20 by 11-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires. Sure, you might think that’s kind of overkill, but I direct your attention back to that torque figure of 650 lb-ft.
Also, those big wheels give you plenty of room for stuff like the Brembo two-piece front brake rotors (15.4 inches) with six-piston calipers. Stopping distance is now four feet shorter (107 feet) from 60 to 0 mph (and you’re going to need that, let’s face it). The 6.2 supercharged Hemi and TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic send the Hellcat Widebody to a top speed of 196 mph. 60 mph comes up in just 3.6 seconds with a quarter-mile time of 10.96 seconds. In case you are interested, the new Charger Hellcat Widebody pulls .96 g on the skidpad.
Naturally the Widebody’s suspension gets special tuning all around. Front spring rates increase to provide a jump in stiffness of 32 percent, versus the existing Charger Hellcat. Larger sway bars enter the picture, expanding from 32 mm to 34 mm in front and from 19 mm to 22 mm out back. An SRT-tuned, Bilstein three-mode adaptive suspension and a new electric power steering system are also on deck.
Hellcat Widebody Performance Tech
On top of all this, there are four race-inspired tech goodies standard for 2020. Race Cooldown keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after the engine is shut off so things don’t overcook. Line Lock, an old school personal favorite, engages only the front brakes so you can do burnouts. Launch Control handles tire slip for more consistent straight-line acceleration. (To me, this is cheating, but that’s another story.) And then Launch Assist, via the wheel speed sensors, modifies torque (in milliseconds) to prevent driveline-damaging wheel hop during launch.
Now with the 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody – which might be your best choice in a performance versus cost equation – you get the 6.4 392 Hemi, which puts out 485 horsepower. The engine is mated to a TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed automatic. All the aforementioned suspension bits and performance-enhancing mistresses; including Launch Control, Launch Assist, and Line Lock – all of it is still there with the Scat Pack Widebody.
Versus the “normal” Scat Pack, the Widebody stops three feet shorter. Acceleration improves too, with the Widebody Scat Pack hitting 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 111 mph, and a .98 g lateral grip figure on the skidpad. The Widebody Scat Pack also runs 1.3 seconds faster on a 2.1-mile road course, equal to eight car lengths per lap.
Standard wheels are these 20 by 11-inch, split-five spoke deals with a low-gloss granite finish. Optional are the 20-inchers in Carbon Black. Pirelli 305/35ZR20 all-season performance tires are standard; three-season tires are optional.
Ordering & Availability
So look, you’ve got a family, you need a sedan, you might (might!) want to consider the Charger. With the Widebody Scat Pack. Or the Hellcat if you are a greased-stained gearhead with only a partial amount of sanity like myself. The order books for the Widebody Chargers open this fall, with deliveries expected early next year.
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. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.